Okay, I'm ready now.
After shedding light on a scandal in her small Ohio town, Evie is sent to live with her Uncle Will in Manhattan as punishment. But Manhattan is not punishment to Evie. She plans to become the most notorious flapper in town, and she is well on her way we her friends, Mabel and Theta, when a policeman comes knocking on the door of her uncle's museum. Uncle Will runs the Museum of Creepy Crawlies-the unofficial name given to the museum specializing in the occult and unusual, and the officer requests his help in solving an occult murder. Evie jumps at the chance for adventure, but once at the scene, she discovers a gruesome secret she never saw coming. Now, the murders are becoming more frequent, her friends are becoming more strange, and she keeps being warned that a storm is coming. Even if they catch this killer, will it stop all the unusual events happening to Evie and her friends?
Evie is a well drawn character. She wants to be a good time girl, but with her special ability to read people's feelings and destiny from their objects, she becomes much more involved in righting wrongs than she would like. Even though she can seem frivolous on the surface, Evie is a caring and brave girl who ultimately wants to use her power to help.
The secondary characters are all wonderful too. At first glance, Theta, Henry, Mabel, Memphis, Jericho, and Sam, all just seems like support staff, but then the reader realizes that they all have powers too, with the exception of Mabel perhaps. She didn't demonstrate any interesting abilities in this volume, but I'm sure there will be more from her later. Some how the reader gets the feeling that each of these people will be important.
You also get the feeling that there was a generation of Diviners before these youngsters, with the stories of Blind Bill Johnson, Sister Walker, Sam's mother, and even Uncle Will. But some of the previous generation may be bent on exploiting the newest diviners, not helping them, so the next installment could prove quite interesting.
The writing and tone are incredible. That first chapter just sends chills up my spine. The Ouija Board brought out for a good time, then not properly closed. The wind spinning through town, observing the good and bad, and settling on someplace evil. The spirit coming home. It's all very well said and very captivating. This is not a good book to skim, rather every passage needs to be read, not to understand the plot, but to appreciate the setting, the tone, the somberness of the message. It's quite masterful.
This book has cross over appeal in spades. The main characters are all young adults, aged between 16 to 20, but they read older. Plus the whole description of the Jazz Age is just wonderful, and the description of the crime is pretty intense. This is a book that can reach up, but not down. I would keep this on firmly in high school or above.
Now, I must wait another year for the next installment. It will be a long wait. Luckily I have plenty to read before then, but this is my new obsession. It's right up there with Daughter of Smoke and Bone. And believe me, Bright Young Things will be positively snore-inducing from now on. Read this book! Read this book now! It's Halloween and we all need something a little spooky in our lives, so this is perfect. You won't regret it.