Release Date: 24th February 2022
Publisher: Manilla Press
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4.25/5 stars
October 1840. A young woman staggers alone through a forest in Shropshire as a huge pair of impossible wings rip themselves from her shoulders.
Meanwhile, when rumours of a ‘fallen angel’ cause a frenzy across London, a surgeon desperate for fame and fortune finds himself in the grips of a dangerous obsession, one that will place the women he seeks in the most terrible danger . . .
The Gifts is a beautiful and engrossing tale set in October 1840. When a young woman finds a pair of wings protruding from her back, rumours of a fallen angel begin to take London by storm. When a surgeon finds the most unbelievable corpse, he believes this will be the making of the fame and fortune he has always dreamt of. As the obsession grips him tighter, he goes in search of others like the corpse, threatening the lives of those he seeks.
The Gifts has quite a mysterious synopsis so I wasn’t really sure what to expect going in. I won’t say much about the plot – this is definitely one of those books that it’s best to go in knowing nothing. Early on in the story, I was hooked and I raced through the book in a few days. Hyder has written a really engaging story, one I could not look away from. It was well-paced and the sights and sounds of London really came to life. I really enjoyed the blend of historical fiction and magical realism and felt it was really well crafted.
The Gifts has some really compelling characters and I grew really invested in the story of these women. The story focuses in on the treatment of women and is at times quite hard-hitting. The multiple perspectives in this book were also well crafted. Rarely do I find a book where I enjoy all the points of view equally, but I was eager to see what was going to happen to all the characters in this one. The Gifts is a dark and addictive read – in particular the short chapters had me turning pages faster and faster, desperate to know how it was all going to end. If you’re looking for a story that will have you hooked right until the very last sentence, The Gifts should definitely be your next read.