17-year-old Evie is a handful. She is too much for small town Ohio. She is also hiding a strange ability. When she holds something belonging to another person she can see things about them. So when her drunken party trick tells the truth about the town’s favorite son and a chambermaid, her parents ship her off to her Uncle Will in New York City. Uncle Will is an expert on the occult and operates a museum on all things creepy. When a strange occult serial killer starts a murder spree, Will is brought in as an expert. He had no idea how much Evie’s gift could help him. The killings remind me of the last season of Dexter, which was awesome! Bray creates a cast of characters, each with a strange ability and fascinating history. My favorite characters are Theta, a Ziegfeld Follies girl and the quiet and mysterious Jericho who has a surprising secret of his own. Memphis and his brother Isaiah have powers too, that bring them closer to danger. Bray takes us back in time with her detailed descriptions of the roaring 20s with flappers and prohibition. I love hearing all the dialogue full of flapper slang. This book is a fun and fast moving read. It has a satisfying ending but also sets up the next installment in the series so you don’t feel strung along like some other series tend to do.
Some ideas for discussing with teens:
Talk about each characters special abilities. Which one would you want to have?
Talk about flapper culture and the slang the girls used. Talk about prohibition.
Theta has feelings for Memphis. At that time a mixed race relationship was taboo. Discuss.
Talk about Evie and Theta’s fashion.
Have you ever played with a Ouija Board? What was it like?
Discuss the Brethren. Why do you think they believe that way?
Talk about New York City. Have you ever been there? If not, what do you think it would be like? What would you do in New York if you were Evie?