Pages: 576 pages
Published: September 18, 2012
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult
Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City—and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.
Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.
As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened.”
I was so excited when I saw that Libba Bray released a new book. Although Bray has released other books since The Sweet Far Thing, part of the Gemma Doyle trilogy, but none of those books were of any interest to me. But as soon as I read the synopsis I knew I was in for another magical nature.
And I wasn’t disappointed.
This. book. was. amazing. I don’t know how else to describe it. The storytelling, the descriptive imagery…all managed to suck me into the story. You know how book lovers love to say they feel like they entered another world when reading? That is literally how I felt when I read this book. Bray created a world that was like the Gemma Doyle series but in fact, quite different from it. Bray’s writing managed to capture the magic of the story, both figuratively and literally. Her attention to detail is so astounding that it fuels my wish that one of her novels needs to be adapted on the big screen.
What I found interesting in this book is her use of characters. The synopsis gives the impression that there is only one main character, Evie, but in fact the story is told through many perspectives. Sometimes it was confusing to have to jump from one perspective to another but I found it an interesting departure of what Bray usually does. It was kind of little twist in the reader’s expectations. I loved it. It added a little more diversity to the story and which is badly needed in young adult books.
This book was so creepy and so explicit in the gory detail. I was creeped out from the first couple of pages and it still made me want to read more. I don’t usually read horror books but this one is different from the rest. There are horror books that spend too much time with the gory details and forget the story altogether but this novel managed to keep both features intact.
The downside? It’s long. Really long. That’s part of the reason why it took me so long to finish it (another part is that it was so good I didn’t want it to end). Bray did a lot of research when writing this book and you can tell with attention to detail and the 1920’s language she incorporated into the story. So be prepared to give this book your full attention and get ready for the long haul.
I am not going to say that this is the next Harry Potter or The Hunger Games because this book, this series stands on its own. Bray leaves with you wanting more and she did that on purpose since there is a second book, Lair of Dreams, which I can’t wait to read. I am itching to find out what happens next. Bray has mad a strong comeback with this series and if you choose to read it, it is an experience you will highly not forget.
Overall rating: 5 out of 5 stars.