Harold Spire of the Metropolitan Police reluctantly accepts a new position when Queen Victoria personally asks him to head Special Branch Division Omega. This clandestine group specializes in investigating the paranormal and their first assignment is to track down the Eterna Compound which purportedly grants immortality. Harold finds this increasingly difficult and dangerous as he discovers his group are not the only ones after the elusive formula. Thankfully he has the brilliant Miss Rose Everhart and her eclectic friends to assist. Meanwhile, there’s an American contingent also keen on finding the Compound. Led by Clara Templeton, who helped start the project after the assassination of President Lincoln, they once had the Compound in their hands, but it disappeared, leaving only the dead bodies of the researchers behind. Clara, who possesses paranormal abilities of her own is desperate to find the formula before the Brits. Finally, there’s a third group who seeks the cure in order to use it for more nefarious reasons. And so the race begins!
I always look forward to a new book by Leanna Renee Hieber, and The Eterna Files did not disappoint. I would definitely say this is as much a character driven novel as a plot driven one. They all have very strong personalities and it’s fascinating to see them interact. I did find the personalities of Rose and Clara to be a little too similar, but as this is only the first book in a new trilogy, or series, I’m looking forward to the further development of their characters. One of the things I’ve always liked about Leannas’s writing is her quirky characters, and this is no different. There’s a little romance, but it’s definitely not the pivotal part of the book. Instead, it focuses mainly on the set-up of the two groups, and of course the mystery of the Eterna Compound itself. Set in 1882, the book goes back and forth between England and America, but I never found this to be distracting. Each group is equally intriguing, and I can’t wait for all the players to finally meet, which will hopefully happen in the next book. The only disappointment was the rather abrupt ending. It wasn’t really a cliffhanger, but it ended so quickly I felt a little nonplussed. Otherwise I’m very excited about this new series and I would not hesitate to recommend this to fans of the paranormal.