Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Review: The Appearance of Annie Van Sinderen by Katherine Howe.

With thanks to Rock the Boat, please enjoy my review of Annie Van Sinderen.

It’s summertime in New York City, and aspiring filmmaker Wes Auckerman has just arrived to start his summer term at NYU. While shooting a séance at a psychic’s in the East Village, he meets a mysterious, intoxicatingly beautiful girl named Annie.

As they start spending time together, Wes finds himself falling for her, drawn to her rose-petal lips and her entrancing glow. There’s just something about her that he can’t put his finger on, something faraway and otherworldly that compels him to fall even deeper. Annie’s from the city, and yet she seems just as out of place as Wes feels. Lost in the chaos of the busy city streets, she’s been searching for something—a missing ring. And now Annie is running out of time and needs Wes’s help. As they search together, Annie and Wes uncover secrets lurking around every corner, secrets that will reveal the truth of Annie’s dark past. 
'Annie Van' was an unusual book for me in the fact that I've honestly never read anything like it. It was a completely new experience, but one that I thoroughly enjoyed.

The book tells the story of two characters from different periods of time.

Wes, a modern film-maker at NYU Summer School.

Annie, a businessman's daughter from circa 1825.

They unexpectedly meet, in the most peculiar of ways, and what follows is an adventure through time to right wrongs and put unfinished business to rest; a love story for the ages.

I guess I would classify it as a time travel ghost story, hence its unusual nature. Switching back and forth from two different time periods, it essentially tells two different stories, both of which were highly intriguing. The characters were all loveable, in their own way, and I especially loved Annie and Maddie, who very much mirrored each other, but who were also strong, independent women.

The only points that I would say slightly detracted from the story were;

1: Pace. Meandering in points, it did take me a while to finish.

2: Time travel aspects. Although the mix of it with the supernatural genre was interesting, the back and forth of the timelines was sometimes confusing and hard to follow. Moreover, the physics - the how - of the book was a little sketchy in places, such as why only certain people could see and interact with Annie, and yet why, at times, she was a corporeal, tangible being.

All in all however it was a highly enjoyable narrative and I give it a well deserved four stars.

Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think in the comments below, or on Twitter!

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