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 have had this book on my radar for such a long time but I never picked it up because of it's size plus I wasn't really sure what it was about. One day recently I was scrolling through Twitter and I started reading a thread where two people were talking about how terrifying this book was, to the point where they had nightmares. I was in the mood for something spooky because of Halloween, so I checked it out from my library. And I am really happy I did.
The story was a lot of fun and had me hooked from the get go. The supernatural elements were so great and honestly at times I was genuinely spooked. I was so excited when I read that it was set in the 1920's and it was honestly really fun. I have read Libba Bray's Gemma Doyle series like 5-6 years ago, which was set in 1895. So I knew she was great at writing books set in the past but this really blew me away. I felt like I was there with Evie. I did have to get used to Evie's jargon (honestly so did most of the characters in the book, so I don't feel too bad) but it was a lot of fun.
The characters were great. I loved Evie so much as our main protagonist. She was definitely a little annoying at times but for the most part I really liked her. I thought she was brave, witty, and really clever. I like that she kept her own surrounded by the guys in the story like her uncle Will, Jericho, and Sam. I would have loved more Theta and Mabel because they were both amazing in completely different ways. I am hoping they are more prominent in the sequels. I also really liked Memphis and I hope we get more of him and his family. I honestly had no problems with any of the characters.
The villain was absolutely terrifying. I went in with high expectations to be scared because of what I had read on Twitter. At first I was a little disappointed but the more I read and the more he popped up, the more I was scared. The visuals were haunting and the way the tension is written had me on edge almost every scene he was in.
At times things felt a little slow, which was easy to push through while reading, but if I paused during a slower section it definitely made it hard to be motivated to pick the book back up. I think it's 100% worth pushing through because this story is pretty amazing, but it for sure affected the time it took me to finish. My only other complaint, which I feel like is the bigger one, is I want more with/about the diviners. I have a lot of unanswered questions I am hoping are answered in the next book, which I definitely want to pick up. I hope Evie is able to meet more diviners.
Overall, I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in reading an rich supernatural heavy story about a girl from the 1920's who can read your possessions and tell you your secrets. I think this book is perfect for autumn and winter. Books that are chilling and get your adrenaline pumping are what I love this time of year. If you do too, you'll enjoy this book!
Thanks for reading!