The Dark Unwinding by Sharon CameronThe Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron

The Dark Unwinding

bySharon Cameron

Paperback | August 27, 2013

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A thrilling tale of spies, intrigue, and heart-racing romance!

When a rumor that her uncle is squandering away the family fortune surfaces, Katharine Tulman is sent to his estate to have him committed to an asylum. But instead of a lunatic, Katharine discovers a genius inventor with his own set of childlike rules, who is employing a village of nine hundred people rescued from the workhouses of London.

Katharine becomes torn between protecting her own livelihood and preserving the peculiar community she grows to care for deeply - a conflict made more complicated by her developing feelings for her uncle's handsome apprentice.

As the mysteries of the estate begin to unravel, it is clear that not only is her uncle's world at stake, but also the state of England as Katharine knows it. With twists and turns at every corner, this extraordinary adventure will captivate readerswith its thrills and romance.

SHARON CAMERON was awarded the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators' Sue Alexander Award for Most Promising New Work for The Dark Unwinding, which was her debut novel. Sharon lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and you can visit her online at
Title:The Dark UnwindingFormat:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 8.02 × 5.27 × 0.64 inPublished:August 27, 2013Publisher:SCHOLASTIC INCLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0545327873

ISBN - 13:9780545327879

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Book! This is a great book. The plot in interesting and clever, the characters are loveable and there are some intense moments. A very fun read!
Date published: 2017-07-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Review from Esther's Ever After The Dark Unwinding is a book that I find difficult to classify because of how well it blends different genres – there’s some steampunk, a bit of a historical fiction, and a healthy dose of mystery. Add just a dash of romance and you have a book that surprised me with how much I loved it (to pieces)! Like Katharine, I was unsure of what to expect when I began The Dark Unwinding. I hadn’t heard of it until it showed up in my mailbox, but I grew to love her uncle’s English estate and all the characters as much as she did too. Reasons to Read: 1. Creepy, spine-tingling scenes from beginning to end: The first chapter of The Dark Unwinding was likely my favourite of the whole book. I was instantly drawn in to the story, and my interest was piqued that I couldn’t put it down after reading those first few pages. Sharon Cameron writes creepy scenes SO WELL with just enough mystery to leave both Katharine and the reader guessing along the way. But the spine-tingling factor here absolutely cannot be ignored, and I loved that it continued throughout the whole book. There were a few scenes I felt like I was physically shuddering I was so bizarrely freaked out! 2. Katharine’s open-mind and brave heart: All that Katharine knows is that she needs to send her lunatic uncle off to an asylum. Her deceased father’s brother, whom she’s never met, and she assumes it should be fairly straightforward. But she’s so caught off guard and she quickly realized that her uncle isn’t crazy at all. He’s different, but she spends so much time getting to know him and eventually finds more good in him than most people will ever find in others. This is a fascinating perspective of how we perceive concepts like intelligence and the way a human mind works. It was very thoughtful, and very convincing. I really appreciated the way Sharon portrayed Katharine and her uncle in this situation. 3. Struggling with mysteries: Katharine has a number of puzzles to work out, as she’s left mostly in the dark and on her own to put the pieces together and uncover the truth. There are so many levels and issues to the plot in this aspect, and it has this old-school feel of a good mystery novel too. The romance here was also AMAZING. If you enjoy romantic tension as much as I do, and the build up to it – OH, THE ANTICIPATION!! – then definitely give The Dark Unwinding a chance. I couldn’t get enough of the romance because of that. I would have liked to have seen a bit more character development in the minor characters because that was the one area I felt was lacking. The villain felt very one-dimensional to me, and it felt like a bit of a letdown to have so much mystery build to very little. And the cast of secondary characters could have stood from a bit more time in the book to really flesh them out more than they actually were. Review copy received from Scholastic Canada; no other compensation was received.
Date published: 2014-06-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An Intriguing Historical Fiction Novel with Steampunk Elements Katherine Tulman is sent to her Uncle Tully's remote estate on her aunt's behalf in order to protect her cousin's inheritance when rumours swirl that it's being dwindled away. When she arrives, she learns her uncle is helping to support the livelihoods of almost a thousand people who've come from the poor workhouses in London. Understandably, the villagers are wary of Katherine's presence among them. Tully is a brilliant, eccentric inventor of complex automatons. He's a very peculiar man with a childish perspective of the world, and Katherine fears the worst would happen to him if he were committed to an asylum. Tully isn't fond of strangers, but he immediately allows Katherine to explore his workshop and help with small tasks, a feat which surprises everyone on the estate. He has placed his faith and trust in Katherine in such a short time, and it makes her feel guilty at the thought of playing a role in having him taken away from everything he loves. I sympathized with Katherine right away; as a woman living in the Victorian period, her future is limited in so many ways. She's completely dependent on her aunt's patronage, but a part of herself has always longed for freedom. Away from her aunt's stifling, domineering control, Katherine feels more comfortable in her new surroundings than she would have ever expected. She knows she's going to have to face her Aunt Alice again eventually, but she would do anything to prolong the moment. However, there are sinister plans in motion on the estate, and Katherine finds herself questioning her very sanity the longer she remains... The dark, creepy, and isolated Gothic setting is perfectly described in The Dark Unwinding! It leaves you completely paranoid that someone is playing tricks on Katherine's mind to scare her away. I may have identified the villain before the moment of revelation came long, but it didn't stop me from enjoying the book any less. Sharon Cameron's The Dark Unwinding is an intriguing historical fiction novel with steampunk elements! I also really liked the combination of mystery with a dash of romance too. You can also read this review at:
Date published: 2013-02-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Enjoyable When Katherine Tulman's uncle is suspected of wasting her family's fortune, she is sent to her uncle's state with the order to declare him insane. Yet, once she arrives to her uncle's place, a series of unexpected events unfold changing all the plans, making her question even her own sanity. WHAT I LOVED: -Breathtaking Gothic setting! From the moment our protagonist arrived to her uncles' place, I was blown away by the architecture and the dark atmosphere this place delivers (totally my thing!) Chilling and creepy, the setting never ceased to amaze me! -Katherine~ Great heroine. This is a well-thought out character whose reactions towards the problems she faced never stopped surprising me. -Lane ~ The love interest ❤ and the uncle's hot apprentice =9 First you'll love him, then you'll hate him, and then you'll love him again and you'll swoon all over him! -The plot! From the moment Katherine arrives to her uncle's place the thrilling plot moved to a good pace that kept me very interested in what would happen next. 100 pages into the story, I was completely immersed and strongly attached to the characters! Full of mystery, chilling scenes and unexpected twist, The Dark Unwinding kept me at the edge of my seat! BUT: -The writing style~ First of all, I have nothing against it. My English has always been very bad (but hopefully one day it will be awesome, and my Spanglish will cease to exist) and now that I have come across a writing style I am not very used to, it caused me troubles (at times) to follow the story. Sometimes I had to re-read passages to understand and this really slowed my reading experience. But this is just me, unfortunately :( -Not so much Steampunk. There are certain obvious elements that relates to the genre but I would not go into this novel expecting a 100% Steampunk novel (just so you know) -Not so much Romance. I liked the romance on this novel, but the premise is a little bit misleading. There is romance, yes. But not as much as I expected. However, from hate to love (literally) the romance moves forward slowly but let's face it, slowly is much more realistic, specially for the 19th century. Overall, The Dark Unwinding is a very enjoyable read even though the writing style at times was a bit hard for me to follow. Regardless this problem I came across while reading this novel, I still enjoyed the intriguing and chilling plot, I really loved the characters and the romance was subtle but still sweet enough for me. I believe that the highly intriguing plot alone will keep readers on their toes and turning pages with no stop!
Date published: 2012-11-12

Editorial Reviews

Praise for The Dark UnwindingWinner, Sue Alexander Award for Most Promising New Work"Utterly original, romantic, and spellbindingly imaginative." -USA Today"Cameron's eerie and suspenseful first novel offers gripping twists, rich language, and an evocative landscape." -Publishers Weekly"Cameron, through wry, observant Katharine, spins a deliciously gothic tale. . . . By turns funny and poignant, this period mystery is a thoroughgoing delight." -Kirkus"Cameron has produced a ripping good read with all the drama, intrigue, and romance of a Victorian pot-boiler with mystery, suspense, and hints of the supernatural thrown in for good measure." -VOYA