AD • I received a copy of this book from Black Crow PR on behalf of Tor UK. My review is voluntary and opinions are entirely my own.
Good morning wonderful bookworms! It’s frosty AND sunny here in Poole which is a little bit confusing but I’m enjoying the sun on my face and the breeze on my back as I write this. Today is a very special day because it’s my stop on the blog tour for Our Lady of Mysterious Ailments by T.L. Huchu. If you’ve been around for a while, you’ll know that I absolutely ADORED the first book in the Edinburgh Nights series – The Library of the Dead. So much so, in fact, that I named it my favourite book of 2021. And I stand by that. So you can only imagine how excited I was to get to read and review book #2.
Before we dive into my review, I should probably bring you up to speed on what The Library of the Dead is about just in case the Edinburgh Nights series is new to you. Don’t worry, there’ll be no spoilers!
The Edinburgh Nights series by T.L. Huchu follows a teenage girl called Ropa whose job is to talk to ghosts and help them cross over – for a price, obviously. And along the way, she finds herself caught up in the magical side of Edinburgh. In libraries exclusively for trained magic folks. Solving mysteries about missing children. Fighting off evil spirits and just being an all-round badass.
If that sounds like your cup of tea but you’re not 100% sold just yet, check out my review of The Library of the Dead. And if you’re already in it for the long haul like myself, read on to see what I thought of Our Lady of Mysterious Ailments.
Our Lady of Mysterious Ailments
by T. L. Huchu
Date of Publication: 3rd March 2022
Series: Edinburgh Nights #2
Format: Hardback (368 pages)
Source: Review copy via Black Crow PR
Hardcover • eBook • Audiobook
Ropa, now an unpaid intern at the Society of the Sceptical Enquirers, has another mystery to solve. This time, the mysterious case of a magical schoolboy in a coma which is resistant to regular and magical treatments who may have been dabbling with some dark and forbidden magic as part of a secret society.
What You Need to Know About Our Lady of Mysterious Ailments
- Book #2 in the Edinburgh Nights series
- Urban fantasy
- Set in a future Edinburgh
- Written by an author of colour
- Zimbabwean-Scottish female MC
- Disabled side character
- Social commentary on class
- CWs: murder, classism, some body horror
- A must read for fans of magical and/or paranormal stories set in contemporary settings
- Perfect for adults who grew up loving the Harry Potter series
My Review of Our Lady of Mysterious Ailments
First of all, what I love about this series is how it blends together so many different things. It’s very ambitious in that respect but Huchu does it masterfully. Not only is it an urban fantasy with strong paranormal, scientific and historic themes – it’s also a little bit dystopian, a coming-of-age story and a mystery all rolled into one. For me, the mystery element holds the greatest appeal and I love seeing Ropa’s investigative process. She’s still a kid and she makes some mistakes. There was a great quote in there:
“Your errors of judgement, while disappointing, are not unexpected in someone still learning.”
I thought that was a great way of framing the situation. We all make mistakes or errors in judgement when we’re younger, it’s part of the process. So it was great to see Ropa be shown in a developmentally accurate way. At the end of the day, her primary goal is still to look after her family and that’s where her motivations get a little cloudy here. She’s driven by money because she needs to be. She’s the breadwinner of the family so making money is naturally going to be top priority for her. And an unpaid internship just isn’t going to help there.
As such, I’m really looking forward to the next instalment and ultimately just seeing Ropa’s journey progress. I’m also very interested in seeing what her gran’s tea leaves foretold for THAT reaction. Everything after that exchange, in terms of family stuff, felt different somehow. But Ropa had a lot on her plate and it felt like maybe she wasn’t seeing the big picture or asking the right questions to the right people. Maybe that was the point. As teens especially, we’re all guilty of missing what’s going on in front of us sometimes.
Did I enjoy it as much as book 1? No. But I do feel that it held value in terms of world-building including the magic systems and social hierarchy within this Edinburgh, the development of the core group of characters and the introduction of people, places and concepts that I suspect will become more important as the series progresses. It built on book 1 and opened doors for future books and that’s ultimately what you want from a sequel.
Will you be adding Our Lady of Mysterious Ailments to your TBR? Let me know in the comments below.