Chameleon Paperback – May 15 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
Lady Victoria Grayson is up for an adventure now that she's healed from her childhood illness. She arrives in London to visit her brother doctor, Lord Ravensmoore, only to be shunted to Lord Witt as her brother's healing skills are needed with Lord Stone. Lord Witt has been commissioned by the Prince Regent to investigate Lord Ravensmoore's doctoring skills which are highly unusual for a lord to practice.
There are twists and turns which Ms. Kent steers us through on solid writing. She has a keen eye for tortured souls and I appreciate her realistic, compassionate portrayals. Because of this, I look forward to her next book in this series.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Yet, I was hooked. Lady Victoria and her physician brother, Lord Ravensmoore, are determined to change the cruel or neglectful treatment of patients at the asylum for the insane.
Then there is the handsome former spy, Lord Witt, looking into a human attack by a hawk where the victim is near death. Witt allows Lady Victoria, whom he calls "little snoop,"to help investigate sometimes because he has an affection for her and she likes to solve mysteries.
I hated the character who trained hawks. I deducted he was the vicious Talon, the object of their search. But no one knows who Talon is.
A mental health institute was on my beat as a newspaper reporter and I was astonished at the diagnoses thought to be linked to insanity in the late 1800s: Paralysis, syphilis, Down's Syndrome, epilepsy, deafness, and a whole lot of physical problems that later experts learned had nothing to do with insanity. This book is set in 1818.
So it wasn't Lady Victoria's visits to the asylum and reading to patients that bothered me most, but the dreaded mammoth hawks who attempts to kill Ravensmoore and Witt.
I don't know if the author intended this book to be an allegory using imagery to reflect a spiritual message such as C.S. Lewis uses in the The Chronicles of Narnia, but a message came through loud and clear to me as the mammoth birds circle their prey.
First, Jesus warned that when the seeds of the gospel are sown in our hearts, some falls on the wayside and birds come in and devour it. In his explanation of the parable, Jesus said the birds symbolize Satan (Matthew 13 KJ).
Then we're told in John 10:10 the "thief," Satan, comes to kill steal and destroy, so I see the hawk, as Satan, pecking spiritual eyes out, ripping away faith's flesh, as well as destroying the eggs, baby chicks and squabs.
Yet, hawks are majestic beautiful birds with characteristics of the eagle. The Word reminds us the devil takes on many forms and could disguise himself as "an angel of light" (2 Corinthians 11:14).
In Chameleon, the characters fight against the killer falcons, but according to scripture all we have to do against Satan is to resist him--for greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world.
Jillian Kent, the author of Chameleon, has written a unique novel that satisfies the reader because there is victory, as well as romance.
The novel didn't follow through quite as far as I expected with the reflective imagery, but it's still a great read if you like suspense and allegories. As I said, I don't know if the author meant for it to be an allegory, but it seems so to me.
The whole story revolves around the dark mystery of Talon. Who is he? Why is he using his birds to hunt and maim or kill members of Parliament? The whodunit ending was very surprising - I hadn't guessed it.
'When I noticed that a main character in the book, Ramsay, was misspelled on his first and second appearances in the book as RamsEy, I was afraid there might be trouble.
Sad to say, the editorial errors were numerous and more glaring than just spelling. These mistakes made reading difficult and confusing.
I really like the Regency style of Jillian's writings. Her subject matter of mental health practices of the day makes her books unique and different (although Talon was almost too much for me in this book). Unfortunately, the editorial errors made the book hard for me to enjoy, and Chameleon ultimately couldn't win me over.
*I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given, and all thoughts are 100% mine.*
Victoria befriends Lady Phoebe and wonders about the girl's brother, Lord Ramsey. Victoria joins Lord Witt, a friend of her brother, in trying to unravel the strange goings-on. When her own life grows endangered, how will she escape? She draws on strength from God to withstand this life-threatening trial.
Each chapter of Chameleon opens with an appropriate quote that helps establish the mood. Jillian Kent has woven a masterful tale, as noted by the awards lists on which the books appears. It's the second in a series, but strong enough to stand alone.
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