From School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up-Set in 1920s New York City, this literary tour-de-force from Printz Award-winner Bray offers grand themes, complex characters, and suspense. After her secret gift for divining information from objects lands her in trouble, 17-year-old Evangeline O'Neill is sent from Ohio to live with her uncle, who runs a museum specializing in folklore and the occult in Manhattan. Evie is a quintessential flapper: not really bad, but rebellious and yearning to fly free of her Babbitt-like existence. Although she starts out her new life like the party girl she was back home, her pursuits become more serious when her uncle is asked to help solve a series of strange murders. She crosses paths with Memphis Campbell, a black numbers runner in Harlem, whose power to heal by laying on hands failed him when he tried to save his mother. Other characters include a homosexual composer who meets people in dreams, a Ziegfeld girl with a past, a pickpocket searching for his family, and a young research assistant with his own secrets. Bray develops each of these characters and their gifts, gradually bringing them together in a chilling and thrilling battle with Naughty John, a paranormal serial killer. Over the course of the novel, people (mainly good) smoke, drink, and use other illegal substances. These peccadilloes are contrasted with the values of the hellfire-and-brimstone cult that spawned Naughty John. The compelling and dramatic supernatural plot explores self-actualization, predestination, the secrets everyone hides, and, of course, good versus evil. An absolutely terrific read and, thankfully, the first in a planned series.-Nina Sachs, Walker Memorial Library, Westbrook, MEα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
A Publishers Weekly Best YA Book of the Year
A School Library Journal Editor's Choice
A Kirkus Best YA Book of the Year
A Top Ten Amazon Best Book of the Year for Teens
A Library Journal Best YA Book for Adults
An Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy Finalist
delivers an addictive and terrifying story of young New Yorkers investigating a rash of occult-based murders. Bray sustains a breathless energy throughout this ambitious series-starter, deftly evoking the exuberance of 1920s city life and the evil lurking beneath it."―Entertainment Weekly
* "1920s New York thrums with giddy life in this gripping first in a new [series] from Printz winner Bray...The intricate plot and magnificently imagined details of character, dialogue and setting take hold and don't let go. Not to be missed."
―Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
* "The compelling and dramatic supernatural plot explores self-actualization, predestination, the secrets everyone hides, and, of course, good versus evil. An absolutely terrific read and, thankfully, the first in a planned series."
―School Library Journal (starred review)
* "The book is big and wants to be the kind of thing you can lose yourself in. Does it succeed? It's jake, baby."―Booklist (starred review)
*Everyday moments and a romance or two help lighten the mood of this creepy, dark, twisted tale of things that go bump in the night."―VOYA (starred review)
* "The book is engrossing, spooky, and thought-provoking."―Library Media Connection (starred review)
" [A] lavish supernatural thriller...Wisecracking Evie is a likable heroine, and all signs point to intriguing complications and more malevolent spirits on the rise in succeeding books."
―The Horn Book
See all Editorial Reviews