From my vantage, all I could see were the five attic windows protruding from the slope of the convent roof – two left of center and three on the right. (Blame my father for teaching me to always notice symmetry.) One shutter had become detached and was hanging loosely, rattling in the wind.
I watched the shutter methodically flap open and snap shut again, but the man’s dead blue eyes stained my mind. What had happened to him? A car accident? The rhythm of the knocking wood put me into a meditative state. y tears stopped, and my breathing evened. The claps gradually became louder and louder, drawing my focus back to the window.
A rusty smell pinched my nostrils, and only then did I realize the cut in my palm was now bleeding profusely. I untied the sash from around my waist and wrapped it tightly around my hand. Back less than a day and I already have two injuries. Dad is going to freak. I silently mourned the death of the Chanel as the blood soaked through it.
Sweat dripped down my back. Gross. I tugged at my now-damp dress and wiped the tears from my face with the back of my bandaged hand, all the while watching the attic window. The heat was incredible, rippling down my torso in waves, almost feverish. Was it wrong to pray for a cool front, I wondered, staring at the convent. Maybe just a little breeze? The shutter snapped back shut. Something bothered me about it…and then I realized what it was.
I stopped and stood perfectly still. There was no breeze; the air was dead. The shutter flapped back open and snapped shut again, as if demanding my attention.
Adele Le Moyne and her father are some of the first to return to their beloved New Orleans after a mandatory evacuation following a natural disaster so bad they simply called it “The Storm.” After two months spent at a Paris boarding school in her mother’s home country, she is desperate for life to return to normal but her best friend was relocated to California with no return in sight, a silent city without power and growing mold, a parish wide curfew, and a body count that continues to rise – but the bodies are victims of murder, not Mother nature.
As the water drains from the city and power is restored, it’s clear that something, or someone, is draining the life from its residents. Never one to squash her curiosity, Adele investigates and accidentally stumbles upon a Pandora’s box of an attic that has been sealed for hundreds of years. The chaos that commences threatens her life and the life of everyone she holds dear.
If recovering from losing her life as she knew it wasn’t enough, Adele now has to untangle a web of mystery, magic, and horror that’s three hundred years in the making. What she discovers and how it relates her own life and past may just be too much to handle.
OKAY. I’m going to state the obvious. This has vampires. I, like most of the fantasy girls reading over a decade ago, fell into the vampire fantasy category in high school. I devoured anything I could find on the subject. I essentially gave myself a literary belly ache over it and haven’t touched the subject matter in a good seven or eight years. However, I feel ready to dip my toes back into the genre and this was a good book to get me started.
Fun fact, without really any preparation or research on the city, we decided to take a day trip there on our way home from Alabama last May. I was entering my second trimester and my son was two. It was also hot out and schools across the country had just gotten out for the year. So, long story short, probably not the best time to have tried a day trip. We all got overheated and stressed out and ended up leaving saying we’d never return again. My husband is still strongly in that boat but I’ve recovered enough to again be intrigued by the idea of trying to visit.
This book has helped that intrigue. The rich history and descriptions of the French Quarter draw me in, as does the strong story telling. I won’t say it doesn’t head down a predictable story plot (it does) but it has enough character development and unique voice to make me hungry for me. In fact, when I was about fifty pages from the end, I quickly realized that there were not enough pages left to resolve everything that needed to be resolved and I had to double-check that there’s at least a second one coming (there is-this month).
I’d say this book falls into a nice easy high school level. It’s also a nice read. It’s just creepy enough to keep me hooked but light enough that given a weekend of relaxing (read: not spend with a toddler and baby or a house that needs upkeep), I think I could have easily finished it.