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Author: Bray, Libba
Seventeen-year-old Evie O'Neill is thrilled when she is exiled from small-town Ohio to New York City in 1926, even when a rash of occult-based murders thrusts Evie and her uncle, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult, into the thick of the investigation.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: UG
Reading Level: 4.80
Points: 23.0 Quiz: 153510
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 9-12
Reading Level: 5.50
Points: 35.0 Quiz: 58583
Kirkus Reviews (+) (08/01/12)
Booklist (+) (07/01/12)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/10/12)
The Hornbook (00/11/12)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 07/01/2012 *Starred Review* Here’s your headline, boss: “Small-Town Dame Lands in Big Apple, Goes Wild, Tries to Stop Resurrection of Antichrist.” It’ll sell bundles! Indeed it will, as Bray continues her winning streak with this heedlessly sprawling series starter set in Prohibition-era New York. Slang-slinging flapper Evie, 17, is “pos-i-tute-ly” thrilled to be under the wing of her uncle, who runs the Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult. Business is slow (i.e., plenty of time for Evie to swill gin at speakeasies!) until the grisly arrival of what the papers dub the Pentacle Killer, who might be the reincarnation of a religious zealot named Naughty John. Even Evie’s new pals—hoofers, numbers runners, and activists, but all swell kids—are drawn into the investigation. It’s Marjorie Morningstar meets Silence of the Lambs, and Bray dives into it with the brio of the era, alternating rat-a-rat flirting with cold-blooded killings. Seemingly each teen has a secret ability (one can read an object’s history; another can heal), and yet the narrative maintains the flavor of historical fiction rather than fantasy. The rest of the plot—well, how much time do you have? The book is big and wants to be the kind of thing you can lose yourself in. Does it succeed? It’s jake, baby. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: One need only peruse Bray’s track record (the Gemma Doyle Trilogy; Going Bovine, 2009; Beauty Queens, 2011) to see that the heavy promo plans and author tour are well earned. - Copyright 2012 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 10/01/2012 Evie O’Neil’s parents have finally had it with their daughter’s rebellious flapper ways, so they send seventeen-year-old Evie off to stay with her uncle at the Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult. Luckily for Evie, the museum happens to be located in New York City, which in 1926 is the height of decadence and debauchery, offering up much of Evie’s favorite kind of fun. When Evie accompanies her uncle as he’s consulted on a murder case, though, she finds a different kind of thrill. Alerted by the psychic powers she’s long kept secret, she realizes there’s a serial killer on the loose; she therefore reveals her gift to her uncle, and the two begin to hunt for the killer themselves. Smart and unapologetically snarky, Evie is a kindred if psychically gifted spirit to Haines’ noir girl sleuth Iris Anderson (The Girl Is Murder, BCCB 7/11, The Girl Is Trouble, BCCB 9/12), and her crackling dialogue is a delight, leavening a disturbingly dark tale with plenty of banter. Bray has a knack for scene-setting, pulling back from Evie to offer a picture of both the excess and the poverty of the roaring twenties and to lay ominous clues that link Evie’s battles with the supernatural to the economic crises that will soon take hold of the country. Readers interested in Americana will find much to occupy their Google searches here, and a few of the subplots seem to indicate future installments, a development that will certainly please fans of historical fiction and fantasy alike. KQG - Copyright 2012 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.