Penelope Tredwell, thirteen year old proprietor and writer for popular Victorian magazine The Penny Dreadful, is back in her second historical-alternate-history-mystery-horror-paranormal tale starting six months after the end of Twelve Minutes to Midnight.
This time she’s pulled into the new and exciting world of the moving picture when the mysterious Mr Gold offers to make a film of one of Montgomery Flinch’s tales of terror.
Shadows of the Silver Screen has a similar pace to Twelve Minutes to Midnight, with a slower set-up for the first half of the book before you start finding out what’s really going on. The novel has a Sherlock Holmes feel to it, except the supernatural is real in this world.
When Penny left Alfie in London to travel with Monty, I was a little sad because I wanted all the characters to be included. I needn’t have worried as we need him in London to track down further clues. I found Penelope not as strong a character as the first novel, but this may have been the effects of ghostly interference. I hope she returns to strength for the third, and I hope there is a third because I am getting quite hooked on Christopher Edge’s alternate version of Victorian England.
A highlight of the novel for me were the historical facts the story inspires you to look up. I hadn’t heard of Louis Le Prince before and yet I would have called myself reasonably aware of film history (apparently not!) I also loved how the story didn’t end where I thought, but still held more thrills. Creepy and gripping, Shadows of the Silver Screen should appeal to anyone with an interest in film, horror, Victorian era, strong female leads and gripping plots.