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 loved the historical element of this one and thought that part of it was exquisitely written. It came off as a historical fiction novel without having to remind me every ten seconds of what time period it was set in and/or having me question that it actually was a specific time period.
But I didn't like Evie. She was kind of stupid in my opinion and a lot of the decisions she made were not even remotely in the realm of being good ones. And at the end? No, just no Evie. Don't do that. Some of her phrases and choice of words irritated me beyond belief. It was just not something I wanted to constantly read and the dialogue got very frustrating at the end.
All the characters were fairly flat though -- not that interesting and nothing more than the typical characters. And the progress and pace of these characters was off so much because it is being set up as the first in a series. At first I thought maybe I was just not reading it properly because I hadn't seen any news that it was more than a standalone but with the ending the way it was, I then realized that we were getting insight into so many other characters BECAUSE there was going to be more to the series. And I think some of the amazing story telling that Libba Bray can do was squashed because she was trying to stuff too much into this one book.
Overall: 3/5 stars because it was just a meh book for me that could have been great. I am looking forward to seeing what more is to come in Lair of Dreams (and I have heard good things about that one)