Cover image for The Eterna files
The Eterna files
Hieber, Leanna Renee.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Tor, 2015.
Physical Description:
319 pages ; 22 cm
General Note:
"A Tom Doherty Associates book."
Format :


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FICTION Adult Fiction Open Shelf

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London, 1882: Queen Victoria appoints Harold Spire of the Metropolitan Police to Special Branch Division Omega. Omega is to secretly investigate paranormal and supernatural events and persons. Spire, a skeptic driven to protect the helpless and see justice done, is the perfect man to lead the department, which employs scholars and scientists, assassins and con men, and a traveling circus. Spire's chief researcher is Rose Everhart, who believes fervently that there is more to the world than can be seen by mortal eyes.

Their first mission: find the Eterna Compound, which grants immortality. Catastrophe destroyed the hidden laboratory in New York City where Eterna was developed, but the Queen is convinced someone escaped--and has a sample of Eterna.

Also searching for Eterna is an American, Clara Templeton, who helped start the project after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln nearly destroyed her nation. Haunted by the ghost of her beloved, she is determined that the Eterna Compound--and the immortality it will convey--will be controlled by the United States, not Great Britain.

The Eterna Files series
The Eterna Files
Eterna and Omega
The Eterna Solution

Author Notes

LEANNA RENEE HIEBER's first novel, The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker , won two Prism Awards from RWA's Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal Chapter: Best Fantasy Romance and Best First Novel and is currently in development as a Broadway musical, with Hieber writing the script. Her YA novel, Darker Still , was a Scholastic Highly Recommended Title, an INDIE NEXT selection, and a finalist for the Daphne du Maurier Award.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Hieber (The Double Life of Incorporate Things) kicks off her new Victorian fantasy series with this atmospheric but unfocused cloak-and-dagger affair in which rival agencies search for the cure to death. Following the unfortunate demise of an American team researching the so-called Eterna Compound, which promises immortality, teams from both sides of the Atlantic engage in ethereal espionage and spectral skullduggery. Representing America: psychic Clara Templeton, instrumental in the project's origins. For England: police officer Harold Spire, newly appointed director of Special Branch: Division Omega. There's also a motley crew of spies, mediums, and scholars. But as both teams track down leads, a gruesomely ruthless third faction seems ready to beat them to the prize. Hieber takes a leisurely approach to the story: neither primary group ever encounters the other, and a diagram is needed to keep the sprawling cast organized. This initial entry is mostly set-up, leading to a frustrating cliffhanger with very little resolved or explained, but Hieber has a knack for creating authentic Victorian atmosphere and colorful personalities that will keep readers coming back for more. Agent: Nicholas Roman Lewis, The Roman Group (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Library Journal Review

Rival teams in Victorian-era London and New York are searching for the secret to eternal life. In London, Harold Spire has been plucked from the police force to lead a new team after the last group disappeared without a trace. He works with Rose Everheart, a researcher more open to the possibility that supernatural forces exist in the world. In America, Clara Templeton drove the U.S. hunt for the eterna compound after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and hopes to use her ability to see spirits to help the cause. VERDICT Hieber (Strangely Beautiful) has a good feel for her time period, and the premise of Victorian spies certainly has appeal. But as is always a danger when running parallel story lines, the author fails to make the characters stand out enough from each other or the story compelling enough to keep the plights of the American and British teams from blurring together. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.