Firstly I wish to thank Tracy Fenton of Compulsive Readers for inviting me on the Blog Tour for The Pursuit of William Abbey by Claire North.
South Africa, 1884. William Abbey, an English doctor, watches white colonists lynch a Zulu child. As the boy dies, his mother curses William: wherever he goes, the shadow of her son will follow him. It will never stop, never rest. It can cross oceans and mountains. And if it catches him, the person he loves most in the world will die . . .
But to those in power, William’s curse might be a blessing, and as the world slides towards war, William must decide what he’s willing to sacrifice in order to survive.
Moving, thought-provoking and utterly gripping, Claire North’s extraordinary new novel proves again that she is one of the most original and innovative voices in modern fiction.
HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW
The more I read this book and the more the cover became perfect for the story. The story began in 1884 and my skin crawled as arrogant white men showed no respect for the native South African people. They are seen as not human, having no feelings and being worthless, so when William Abbey, a young doctor, witnesses a Zulu boy being tied to a tree and set on fire he feels nothing for him.
When he is cut from the tree, unrecognisable his mother holds him while he still fights to breathe. When she has to end his life she curses Abbey. The spirit of her son will hunt him down, as long as Abbey lives, and when he comes in contact with him the person Abbey loves the most will die, then the next and the next. Abbey runs and runs but has to sleep, has to eat and has to rest but the spirit keeps coming, never having to stop.
Oh boy, this made my skin turn cold, no matter how slow this spirit was I knew it would keep catching up with him. He really did find out what it was like to lose the people you loved, like the child’s mother, did. The only thing he could do to combat it was not to love if he had the choice. A new ‘talent’ is discovered through his curse, one that is thought of as an extremely useful commodity for the government.
The story does have lulls, or should I say gentler moments but when the tension rises it really goes sky-high for some pretty intense heart-pounding chapters. This is such an unusual story that I didn’t know if I was happy to find there were more people with a similar curse to him or more uneasy. I really did feel for William Abbey who was continually after the proverbial carrot held in front of him.
The book ticks so many genres, horror, supernatural and espionage all blended into a haunting belter.
I wish to thank NetGalley and the publisher for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.
HERE, IS A LITTLE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Claire North is a pseudonym for British author Catherine Webb. The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August was her first novel published under the Claire North name and was one of the fastest-selling new SFF titles of the last ten years. It was selected for the Richard and Judy Book Club, the Radio 2 Book Club and the Waterstones Book Club promotions. Her next novel Touch was published in 2015 to widespread critical acclaim and was described by the Independent as ‘little short of a masterpiece’. Catherine currently works as a theatre lighting designer and is a fan of big cities, urban magic, Thai food and graffiti-spotting. She lives in London.