Book Review : Resonance by Celine Kiernan

May 20, 2015 Book review 7 ★★★

OK, don’t all look at that 3 star rating and dismiss this as book not worthy of your time!  Hear me out, this book is really good but I’m just not the best target audience for it.

Book Review : Resonance by Celine KiernanResonance by Celine Kiernan
Published by O'Brien Press, Limited on April 6th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Horror & Ghost Stories, Young Adult
Pages: 464
Format: Paperback
Source: Received from Publisher
Buy on Amazon

What does it mean to be alive? What is it worth to stay alive?

Ireland, 1890: two ruthless immortals prowl the theatre district in search of food for their ‘Angel’. Ancient, pitiless and caring for none but their own twisted family, they will stop at nothing to maintain their grip on life.

A seamstress, the young man who loves her and a penniless American magician soon find themselves imprisoned in a snow-bound country estate, the latest additions to the family’s warped collection. Here, they are nothing but food, nothing but entertainment, and soon they will be nothing at all.

Many miles from their homes and fighting for survival, Tina, Joe and Harry will come to understand that far more is at stake than their lives.

First Line of Resonance by Celine Kiernan:

“For a moment, the Angel looked directly at him and Cornelius’ heart leapt with joy and dread.”

 My Thoughts on Resonance by Celine Kiernan:

I enjoyed this book but I would have enjoyed it more if I were a bigger fan of gothic style fantasy books.  In general Fantasy is not my favourite genre but I like to try different genres out and give them a chance to impress me.  And there was a lot in this book to impress me and the things that were a fail are more to do with my issues with the genre in general rather than this book.

What I Liked about Resonance by Celine Kiernan:

– The younger characters are great.  I really enjoyed the interaction and the personalities of the three main YA characters –  Tina (a seamstress in the theatre), Joe (an orphan cab driver and Tina’s childhood sweetheart) and Harry (a magician who has travelled from America to work in the theatre).  They came to life for me and I loved the bond that grew between them, it felt tender and touching.  Especially for Joe as he badly needs the love and support that they give him.

– The setting in Dublin from the dirty poverty-sticken tenements to the theatre was gripping and I was kind of sad when the location shifted from here during the book.  The other location is an isolated Estate House in the countryside.

– I liked the way the book linked in factual history (such as the Irish Famine) with the storyline as it felt clever and original.

– I really cared about Tina, Joe and Harry and the tense atmosphere of the book made my heart pound for them over and over.

– The EVIL children were so well done, they freaked me out!  They had no boundaries and no empathy and their uncontrolled wickedness was bloodcurdling.

– I ADORED this quote and found myself pondering over it quite a lot after reading it:

“Fiction is the human mind exploring all the possibilities of what is and what might be Luke.  Every progress ever achieved began as fiction, in one form or another.”


What I didn’t like so much about Resonance by Celine Kiernan:

– I thought it was confusing and muddled at times.  The plot did lose me and I had to check back a few times with previous chapters to remind myself of facts.  This is something that happens me with a LOT of fantasy books though not just this one.

– The book was fast paced but at the same time I felt I wanted to discover things sooner.

– I didn’t really identify with the older characters that much and was less interested in the chapters from their pov.  Also there was a lot of flashbacks and character povs which probably didn’t help with my first issue above.

Overall though this was an entertaining read that felt very original and I loved the gothic setting.  The dark feel of the book intrigued me and made me work though my confusion and by the end of it,  I felt well rewarded for my efforts.


Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: three-stars


Who should read Resonance by Celine Kiernan?

I’d recommend to fans of dark YA fantasy/paranormal books.

Thanks to The O’Brien Press for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest unbiased review.


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7 Responses to “Book Review : Resonance by Celine Kiernan”

    • trish

      Haha, that never even struck me. Harry is based on Harry Houdini though, thankfully not THE Harry as that would be a bit of a rip off!
      And yes that quote got me thinking a lot too.

  1. Lola

    Great review Trish! What a lovely and haunting cover, although I don’t think this is a book for me either, as I am not a fan of dark reads. Those evil children sound really creepy. I have read one book with YA character ocne where you got flashbacks to the kids their past and they were so evil and had no empathy at all, it was hard for me to read. That is one of the reasons there are very few mystery/ horror books that I read. That fiction quote is great and certainly got me thinking! I am glad you at least liked the younger children. It’s hard to enjoy a book when you can’t really relate to the characters.
    Lola recently posted…Sunday Post #127

  2. Deb Nance at Readerbuzz

    Love how you organized this review. My reviews are…well, short. Very short. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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