Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Mini-Review: High Vaultage by Chris Sugden & Jen Sugden

High Vaultage by Chris Sugden & Jen Sugden
Publication Date: March 14th, 2024
Hardcover. 400 pages.

About High Vaultage:


An uninterrupted urban plane encompassing the entire lower half of England and, for complex reasons, only the upper third of the Isle of Wight. The immense Tower casts electricity through the sky, powering the mind-boggling mechanisms of the city. The engineer-army of Isambard Kingdom Brunel swarms across the capital, building, demolishing, and rebuilding whatever they see fit. And at the heart of it all sits the country's first private detective agency.

Archibald Fleet and Clara Entwhistle hoped things would pick up quickly for their new enterprise. No-one is taking them seriously, but their break will come soon. Definitely. Probably.

Meanwhile, police are baffled by a series of impossible bank robberies, their resources absorbed by the case. Which means that when a woman witnesses a kidnapping, Fleet-Entwhistle Private Investigations is the only place she can turn for help. They're more than happy to oblige!

But what's the motive behind the kidnap? As Clara and Fleet investigate, they find more than they could ever have imagined . . ."

High Vaultage is an extraordinary mystery novel set in the tumultuous city of London–Even Greater London, to be exact– and is filled with sharp dialogue, satirical undertones, and an inventive world. I didn't realize that this was going to have nearly as much as humor as it did, as I tend to find those types of novels a bit hit or miss (for instance, I should love Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchet, but for some reason I just can't get through it!), but I ended up having a wonderful time with this book and adored the Sugdens' writing. 

What I liked: This was honestly such a delightful read and it took me completely by surprise how much I enjoyed this! I absolutely adored out main protagonists Archibald Fleet and Clara Entwhistle, who together make up Fleet-Entwhistle Private Investigations and thought they worked as such perfect foils for one another, which made them an incredible duo. This book was absolutely overflowing with imagination and creativity and each page had something delightfully odd that I found such enjoyment in discovering, and the world-building and setting of High Vaultage was also incredibly intriguing and creative. I also loved how witty and clever the writing and dialogue was and I found myself genuinely laughing at some things said in this book. The overall mystery at the heart of this story was interesting, though took a bit of a backseat to some of my general enjoyment of just experiencing the world and Fleet and Clara's interactions with people and things throughout. 

What I didn't like: There's not really too much that I particularly didn't like. As mentioned, the mystery took a bit of a backseat to my enjoyment of other elements of the story, so I'd say perhaps I wasn't a gripped by that aspect of the plot as I could have been. I also did find a few things a bit too overcomplicated or drawn out to where I found my attention wavering slightly, but I wouldn't say this was a huge issue. 

Overall, I really did love my time reading High Vaultage and am very much anticipating the sequel because I will read it in a heartbeat. I've given High Vaultage 4.25 stars!

Buy the book: Amazon | Bookshop.org

1 comment:

  1. I've never heard of this, but it sounds like something I would enjoy. Although like you, it has to be the right kind of humor for me😁