Right from the start you get a real sense of the dry, dusty existence that Callie and her mother live in their isolated Kansas town. Times are already tough because of the depression, but Callie’s past is mysterious. Her mother still holds a torch for her father, who disappeared long ago. Callie is bi-racial, which is hard enough in this time and place, but with a father whose identity is shrouded in mystery, things get even worse. The story is intricately woven, as many faerie stories are, and it serves to build a world that is dangerous and full of action. Callie meets both friends and enemies along the way, and you can’t always tell which they are. I loved the dialogue, which is in the vernacular of the time, because it really put you in the middle of the story without the feeling that you have one foot in the 1930s and one in contemporary times. This kind of attention to detail can really make or break a reading experience, in my opinion.
I thought this book was fantastic a new take on what has become a popular genre in YA. While the basic faerie folklore is intact, setting it in the 1930s was a refreshing change. The dust and the desperation of people struggling to get by gave this book an angle that kept me turning the pages. The characters were engaging and Callie and Jack were funny and tough protagonists. There seemed to be non-stop action and a cast of strange and sometimes terrifying opponents. This book would appeal equally to teen and tweens and, in my mind, could almost be considered middle grade. However you categorize it, I thought it was a unique and wonderful read.
I received this book as a galley from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.