What is it about?
Ada and Corinne are the best of friends. They would go to the ends of the earth to keep each other safe. So, when Ada was sent to Haversham Asylum for being a songsmith – she can manipulate emotion through songs – it was no surprise when Corinne leads the mission to break Ada out. Soon, Ada is free and back at the Iron Cast, a night club where songsmiths and other hemopaths – people with special abilities – perform secretly for the elite. Things don’t go back to normal like Ada had hoped. Hemopaths from similar nightclubs are going missing and Ada and Corinne have the feeling that they’re being watched at every turn; fearing the moment when they’re caught and sent back to Haversham, never to be seen or heard from again. Someone is betraying them and giving intel on hemopaths to hemopath protection, cops who work with Haversham asylum to find unwilling participants for their experiments to stamp out hemopathy for good.
- I love the time period. I’m beginning to love reading and watching stories set in the 1920’s, especially when there’s magic and other abilities involved.
- The characters are relatable. Each character has their own thing going on. Corinne is the daughter of a rich family, delved deep into politics. She is afraid to tell them that she is a hemopath because her brother is marrying the daughter of the very owner of Haversham; an asylum for hemopaths like herself. Ada is the daughter of immigrants. She works in the Iron Cast to help her mother and is generally treated badly by the public because of her skin color (she is Portuguese and African.)
- I like that the story includes racism and homophobia instead of just using the public’s mixed feelings about hemopathy as a metaphor for those issues. In fact, there are many scenes in which Ada faces ignorance and hostility from others, i.e. being thrown out of a store because ‘they don’t serve coloreds’. There’s also a character Saint, whose lover has a wife so that people don’t know he’s gay. Being a hemopath is just the icing on the cake of being different or other in the eyes of the public.
- I like the friendship with Corinne and Ada. They are quite different, but instead of working against each other, they even each other out.
- When Ada talks to her mother, it makes me think of talks with my dad. He’d tell me stories of cousins in Puerto Rico and some crazy shenanigans that his grandmother would get into.
- (This may be a spoiler) This book gave me trust issues. At certain parts, I was suspicious of EVERYONE except for Corinne and Ada. It’s a wild ride and I loved every second of it.
I highly recommend this book. What are you waiting for? Go read it!