Author: Libba Bray
Publisher: Little, Brown
Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Blurb: (from goodreads) Do you believe there are ghosts and demons and Diviners among us?
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 unfurl in the city that never sleeps. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened....
Me: 1920's flapper girl NYC + a quirky heroine + a creepy ghost murder mystery? Yes. Yes yes yes.
The Ups: First of all, the history. I love books with a historical spin on them, and the 1920's is one of the most exciting decades in the history of America. The glitz and the glam looks extravagant and glamorous, but beneath the facade is a lot of problems. A lot of problems.
Evie, the main character, talks about the Ziegfeld girls who dance and sing on stage, the newsie boys selling the latest headlines, and the bars and nightclubs even in the prohibition era. Everything is exciting, special, and it's fascinating to think that this setting was real, that a time like this really existed.
I also love that it is set in New York. I have such a love for the city, and to see it in the perspective of an Ohio girl in the 20's was so awesome. What I would give to have been there in her place and experience it all for myself....
I really liked all of the characters. Evie is such a great protagonist. She is quirky, bubbly, and just a bit crazy, but she's also very smart, determined, and not afraid to speak her mind. I loved her originality, but I could also tell that underneath everything she was just a small-town girl (livin in a lonely world....nope nope jk jk) who was trying to find her place in a city that was constantly changing. Uncle Will was kind but distant, caring but almost too intelligent, and I loved his awkardness. Theta, Sam, Sister Walker, THE CAST WAS PERFECT. Oh, not to mention Jericho. I wish we get to spend more time with him later on in the series.
Another interesting thing is the subtle commentary on American culture, and the materialistic, media-centered world we live in. It is imbedded into the story, and it is phenomenal that the critique on society is woven in with just a simple story.
Ahh and we cannot forget the horror. I'm not a fan of creepy supernatural stories, but this one was good. Good as in it gave me the chills. I was on the edge of my seat when the murders happened, but then Evie and her brightness would come in and balance it out, which I thought was a great contrast.
Basically, Libba Bray created a world. An experience. Reading this book is like living in the 1920's and the way she writes is magical. You can hear the music, see the lights, smell the perfume. How she manages to describe it so perfectly and bring it to life is beyond me.
Overall: A great thriller story with a quirky twist that sets a perfect mood for the 1920's New York; a truly American story.
Rating: 5 kisses!