Author Lisa Morton
Published by: JournalStone
Published: January 10, 2014
Paperback, 282 pages
In nineteenth-century Victorian England, a young widow finds that she has inherited more than her late husband’s property: The Furnavals serve as the ancestral keepers of supernatural portals scattered around the globe. When demonic entities begin crossing over from the Netherworld, Lady Diana realizes that a war is brewing, and she must be the one to confront it.
Accompanied by a young Chinese sailor named Yi-kin, her feline guardian Mina, and a mysterious scholar, Stephen, Diana will begin a journey to solve the mystery of her husband's death and prevent the apocalypse.
Diana Furnaval is a Gatekeeper to the Netherworld. That entails keeping the creepy crawlies and specters from entering this world and reeking havoc on unknown pedestrians. She became a Gatekeeper when she married her husband Lord Stephen Furnaval. They were very happy in their life until Lord Furnaval disappears and is presumed dead. In despair, Diana starts to close the portals. However in doing so, she inadvertently starts a war. And her beloved Stephen might not be dead after all.
Diana Furnaval isn't trapped by conventions of the time. She is very forward-thinking in all areas of her life. Even with her husband gone, she still continues his work with the Gateway. All those are good qualities in a heroine. She's also a know-it-all. And that kind of bothers me. She encounters new things and ideas all the time and knows everything about them because, coincidentally, she's read a book on the very subject the day before. This seemed too happenstance for my liking. I like intelligent characters, but this went a little to far for me.
For the most part, I liked the story-line. I love that Diana is on a search for her husband, the mysterious characters she encounters, and the Netherworld. Morton is very descriptive in her narrative. She makes the scenes come alive, but at times I found sections in this book boring. I had to force myself to read through them, but then the story would pick up again.
Overall I though this book is an okay to good read. I would recommend this book with some caution, because it's not everyone's cup of tea. I'd also like to see the author expand on Diana's character a little bit. Especially since Victorian England didn't see many trouser-wearing ladies at the time. Netherworld is the first book in this series. I would consider reading the second book before I make up my mind entirely.