Disclaimer: this review was originally posted on my old blog URL.
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.
Why I picked this book up:
I had seen this everywhere on Tumblr, and as soon as I read the synopsis I knew I had to read it. Flappers? Check. Murder mystery? Check. Occult? Check. Sassy female characters with badass superpowers? Triple check.
This book does take a while to get going, but considering its length at almost 600 pages, it’s understandable as to why. I’ve had this book for almost a year and never got further than fifty pages, but that’s mainly because I always ended up reaching for it whilst I was in a huge reading slump. Although I found it interesting, the plot hadn’t really started picking up in the small section that I’d read. It was only recently I decided to give it another go and carry on from where I’d left off.
But boy, when this book got going, it really got going. I was so heavily invested in every single one of the characters, despite the narrative flicking quickly between them all, as well as a few side characters as well. The setting of 1920’s New York with an occult murder mystery and a huge cast of contrasting teenage characters really made the book come alive for me. Every one of them had their own motivations, their own family or friends to take care of and their own attitude towards the powers they hold, which alongside a gripping detective narrative meant that I could hardly put it down once I made it past 200 pages. The setting, the tensions, and the huge climax made this such an easy and almost indulgent read.
“She was tired of being told how it was by this generation, who’d botched things so badly. They’d sold their children a pack of lies: God and country. Love your parents. All is fair. And then they’d sent those boys, her brother, off to fight a great monster of a war that maimed and killed and destroyed whatever was inside them. Still they lied, expecting her to mouth the words and play along. Well, she wouldn’t. She knew now that the world was a long way from fair. She knew the monsters were real.”
Overall rating: 5/5