New favorite obsession! It’s dark but classy…
…beautiful but swallowed in the feel of a haunting.
There are a lot of characters in this book. So, let’s do this list style:
I positutely love Evie. She is such a unique heroine. Usually, the heroines these days are mysterious, introverted and quiet about how they are different. Evie is none of those things. She is a flapper (setting is in the 1920s), she is as extroverted and confident as they come, and she isn’t shy about what she can do.
If you give her an object, any old thing, she can tell you some things about yourself. Vague things like what you ate for breakfast or where you went that day, or she can learn the desires of your heart if she tries hard enough. She uses this as a party gag and plays it off like it’s a trick. Hiding in plain sight, you see. She’s brilliant.
When Evie gets sent to live with her Uncle in New York, she is happy to be reunited with one of her old pals Mabel. Mabel kind of does whatever Evie tells her to do, and she has helicopter parents, but she doesn’t mind the adventure that comes with being friends with Evie. Oh, and she has a major crush on the gentlemen who works with Evie’s uncle, Jericho.
This is Evie’s Uncle, or “Unc” as she calls him. He runs The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult, or as locals call it, The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies. He teaches classes to gentlemen here and there, but the museum itself is not doing too well. Evie is fixin’ to change that for him though. He has a lot of secrets that aren’t even fully revealed in this book, so I am eager to know more about his past.
Sam Lloyd / Sergei Lubovitch
He gets on Evie’s last nerve (he owes her twenty dollars!). He literally runs into Evie on her way to her Unc’s and pick-pocketed her. So, when she saw him again, she was all about ruining any chances he got to do it again and she just wants her money back. He is a very talented liar, thief and all-around smooth talker. He also has a few tricks up his sleeves…
Jericho is a big, strong young man who works with Will Fitzgerald at The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies. He’s quiet but doesn’t let people walk on him. He has a big secret revealed towards the end that makes me feel as if this as some steam-punk sprinkled into the genre.
Memphis used to have a power like Evie’s. He could heal people with the touch of his hands. But after a series of unfortunate event (I love that phrase), he no longer can channel that part of him. His story doesn’t really touch with the five above. In some parts he meets some of them, but he has his own story line going on. He’s African American, so you see a lot of the horrible ways people of the same race were treated back in the day. Memphis little brother, Isaiah Campbell, has a power of his own as well.
She is a Ziegfeld girl and a friend of Evie’s. She actually becomes the chain between Memphis and the rest of the group. She meets him and they have a little, casual attraction between the two after they realize they are having the same dream. I am loving this checker-board love. I can see there is going to be a lot of problems with this in the future, but I absolutely am sailing this ship into the sunset.
Theta has a dark past. She, as well, has a little magic in her… but it gets her in all kinds of trouble and she has been on the run ever since.
We don’t know much about him other than he likes men, may have a trick up his sleeve, and a huge heart for his now-roommate Theta Knight. Without him, Theta would be in a whole other type of situation. I hear we get a lot more of him in the next book though, so I am anxious to read it.
This is our antagonist. Like I’m going to tell you anything about him besides he is messed up in the head and he needs the actual Lord and not the Lord he thinks he knows.
There are other characters that play a big part even though they aren’t mentioned as often, like Blind Bill Johnson who has a power of his own, The Proctor Sisters who seem to know a lot about magic and what is to come, a gentleman named Arthur who seems to be too interested in Mabel, a crow that keeps bothering Memphis, and a girl with green eyes.
SO WHAT IS THIS STORY ACTUALLY ABOUT?
Young adults finding out why they have some supernatural power and murders… lots and lots of murders… and ghost… and murders… murders…
This book is so well rounded and the setting is absolutely to die for. I love the twenties (cliché, I know); but, what I love more is creep. I love the creepiness of this book. Any book that makes my skin crawl is a book I am going to hold onto for the rest of my life.
Warning that there is an actual love-triangle forming and I have the ships that I am sailing and I will riot if I don’t get my way.
And sweetie, please listen to this book. I don’t care if you read along with the narrator or if you just listen to it while you drive. January LaVoy is one of the best narrators I have ever listened to. I will forever be on the lookout for books she narrates.
This is really where my review ends. Below is a rant, so proceed at your own risk.
Representation. Libra Bray has always been phenomenal at making sure everyone can relate to someone. I look to her when someone talks about representation. With that being said, I don’t know how to go about this without getting my ear chewed off by some angry commenter or without offending the author who lead the way for me to become a reader. So, please know this is something I feel strongly towards because it is a big part of my life. Know that I am not meaning to offend anyone and that I just want to be heard. You don’t have to understand where I am coming from, but you do need to respect my words, just like I would respect your words. This means do not attack me, please. We can have a friendly conversation about it, but I will not be responding to attacks.
Where is the representation of sane Christians? They are either crazy and shoving a Bible in your face, controlling and twisting the words in the Bible, or they are literally mentally insane and using the religion as an excuse for what they are doing. There are literally at least one of each of these types of characters in this book, but none with a level, easy-going head. And I know, you can’t represent every-kind of person in the world in one book. I completely understand that, as to how I am writing a book of my own, but I feel if you are going to shove one type of person in such a bad light with three characters, shouldn’t you have at least one character who is in a better light?
I am a strong Christian. I pride myself on that. I know it isn’t the popular thing in our day and age and people may pre-judge me or unfriend me because I call myself a Christian. But please hear me: I am an accepting Christian. I don’t care what other people do to themselves or to their lives (as long as no one is hurt, everyone is of age and everyone involved is consensual) because that is how they want to live. If they ask me about my faith, sure we can talk about it, but I am not going to shove my beliefs at someone because when on earth did that actually work?
There are a lot of Christians like this. The ones in the media (books, TV shows, movies) are literally the minority. So I am not just picking on the lovely Libba Bray who I admire so much as a writer, story teller and just as a person in general. Christians are always portrayed as crazy and controlling in the media, when I’m over here watching Game of Thrones and planning next week’s devotional. I’m reading risky books and listening to praise and worship music. I have an obsession, which is probably a super unhealthy obsession but let’s not get into that, with Harry Potter and an equally-unhealth obsession with any Francine Rivers’ books.
I’m just ranting at this point, but hear this: I am a strong, accepting, level-headed Christian with friends of all religions and faiths and I love them for who they are and who they want to be just as they love me for who I am and who I am trying to be.
Where’s my representation?
I loved this book. I’m going to love the series. I love the Gemma Doyle series. I love this author. Libba Bray is who I aspire to be like. I need more people to read this so I can fan-girl with them.