Wednesday, 25 July 2018

That Inevitable Victorian Thing by: E.K. Johnston

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Historical Fiction
Published: October 3, 2017 by: Dutton
Pages: 330
Rating: 4/5 stars

In an age where the Victorian era never ended, Crown Princess Victoria-Margaret is spending one last summer of freedom before she is married in an intricate match-making process. When she arrives in Canada for weeks of lavish balls and political meetings, she meets Helena Marcus, a brilliant daughter of a geneticist, and August, the heir to a powerful shipping firm. Together, the trio form an unlikely bond, and look to carry on the first Queen Victoria's legacy of tolerance and acceptance.

This book was hopeful, and interesting. The basic premise is that the British Empire has carried on by keeping promises and respecting all different colonies. Basically, colonization never happened. The result is a seemingly perfect world where everyone respects each other and their space. It seems like a dream, but this world is real.

There was some great f/f representation in this book. I would never think that a crown princess in real life would be accepted as a lesbian, but Victoria Margaret's empire is basically perfection. Her relationship was so witty and cute, and I loved her character.

My favourite character was probably August, I thought he was charismatic and charming, but not predictable. All of the characters in fact were very well written and the trio complimented each other well. The plot was also very light and humourous, this book was not hard to get through in the slightest.

I think the only issue I had with this book was how perfect it was. Like I said before, basically it's all sunshine and rainbows in the world, and while there is some minor confrontation in other aspects of the book, the whole "nothing can go wrong" mentality just made it very unrealistic. I actually wrote a story with a world similar to this a few years ago and I grew to hate it because I felt like there were no cracks to get under. And that just makes it seem uncomfortable and fake.

I use hopeful to describe this book because it seems like the author is trying to look forward to a better future. The British Empire cannot fix past mistakes, but it can ensure that they never happen again. While my cynicism prevents me from thinking that a world like this could ever happen, it is nice to dream about.

Have you read That Inevitable Victorian Thing? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess


  1. But if it respects it's different colonies, then it's still colonised? Unless the countries joined the Empire out of choice? I don't know, it just seems like a weird set-up! (And the real-world version was not good, obv.)

    1. I actually misspoke, sorry! I meant to say they respect the countries they would have colonized in real life. Colonization ceases to exist in this book! There were definitely some logistical errors and a lot of continuity problems too though that made a world like this quite hard to fathom.

    2. Ha, no worries. I just got really confused! :)

  2. Tbh, I'm not that interested in this one, but I'm glad you enjoyed it! Also, the cover is SO PRETTY, which is basically the prime reason why I originally wanted to read it lol. I'm glad that positive books exist, but it can be hugely annoying when EVERYTHING is perfect in a world.

    Veronika @ The Regal Critiques

    1. The cover is very pretty, that’s what originally drew me to it in the library! It was a bit annoying, but definitely not terrible.

  3. I love the cover of this book.

    Glad you enjoyed it even though it sounds like you had a few problems with it.

    Dinh@Arlene's Book Club

    1. Thank you, Dinh! I know, it’s a gorgeous cover!