I read a lot of books, y’all. A lot. So when I tell you that HER MAJESTY’S PSYCHIC SERVICE: THE HANGED MAN by P.N. Elrod was one of my favorite books that I’ve read so far this year, that should say something.
This book was just utterly gorgeously written. It is not a quick read, by any means. The period language and details made it a book I had to focus on, but when I did, I was totally immersed in the alternate-Victorian era Elrod created. I’m always a fan of period books with paranormal elements, but I’ve noticed in the past that either the period details or the paranormal bits get overwhelmed by each other, but this was a perfect balance between the two. The world felt completely integrated, and I loved that.
And oh holy Alex. Alex, Alex, Alex. As our protagonist, she was fiercely intelligent and independent, but with a deep rooted loyalty to the Service itself. Both sides of her birth families are utter messes in various ways, but the Service never wavers as the “family” and purpose she’s chosen for herself.
The entire cast of characters and their respective motivations in the intrigue building the plot in this one kept me guessing – from feckless and loathing cousins to unwilling prescients and unhinged Seers to military men and police officers, I enjoyed every single one of them. I can’t wait to see more of them show up in the later books in this series (which I will be preordering super quick – let me tell you!).
Final added bonus – there is a delightful pre-romance that happens with the Seer shipping it so hard. I enjoyed her matchmaking and Alex’s discomfort with it almost as much as the rest of the story combined.
But yeah, I just loved this book. I full on grinned with glee when I finished it and started flailing about it on Twitter and via email to friends I thought would enjoy it. Definitely high on my rec list this year – I think all of y’all should check it out!
Have any of you already read it? Want to come flail about it with me? Hit me up on Twitter! @C_L_McCollum