Paperback, 384 pages
Published September 2nd 2014 by Balzer + Bray
Format read: E-ARC via publisher
Enter Peregrine Marceau, Chloe St. Pierre, and their group of rich, sexy friends known as the Dolls. From sipping champagne at lunch to hooking up with the hottest boys, Peregrine and Chloe have everything—including an explanation for what’s going on in Carrefour. And Eveny doesn’t trust them one bit.
But after murder strikes and Eveny discovers that everything she believes about herself, her family, and her life is a lie, she must turn to the Dolls for answers. Something’s wrong in paradise, and it’s up to Eveny, Chloe, and Peregrine to save Carrefour and make it right.
Fortunately for me, this novel doesn't disappoint. Sullivan presents a very stark, almost sensual look into how voodoo and power go hand-to-hand in Carrefore, a reclusive southern town where the moneyed elite have used unnatural power to rule for decades.
But once Eveny Cheval moves back to town with her Aunt Bea, things begin to change. Eveny's relative newcomer status provokes a shift in the hierarchy of the Carrefour power structure, and the dark secrets and betrayal that have been hidden for generations begin to come to light.
From the very first page, Sullivan does a great job of introducing both Eveny and the reader to the complexities of Louisiana voodoo culture. Even though I went into the book with very little understanding of what voodoo entails, Sullivan quickly shows that it's a rich tradition that extends beyond the stereotypes that most people believe.
The richness of the culture makes Eveny's initiation into the Dolls - the elite, group of teenagers who use voodoo to rule the town - more complicated and fascinating to read. Readers quickly learn that this isn't a supernatural-infused power play. There are decades of hidden secrets with deadly consequences that become unraveled as the story progresses.
Sullivan's writing is a breeze to read as she helps readers begin to unwind those deadly secrets, and she has an almost unparalleled knack for keeping readers on the edge of their seats as each chapter progresses to the surprising conclusion.
However, it's worth pointing out that some readers may have issue with both the relative shallow behavior of the Dolls, and the insta-love relationship that develops between Eveny and a key character, but it's this reader's opinion that Sullivan does a good job of justifying both.
For the former, Sullivan does a good job of showing that because the Dolls have been isolated in Carrefour for almost their entire lives, it's not that unfathomable to believe that they would lack the compassion or empathy of non-Carrefour residents. Their entire worlds have literally evolved around their pursuit of pleasure, so how would they have learned to care in the mean time?
For the latter, the relationship does come off as fairly unrealistic at times. Who falls in love that quickly? However, Sullivan does emphasize the fact that some relationships are almost fated to be because of supernatural forces.
Keep both of these facts in mind, and I can guarantee that you'll enjoy this solid book.
This is an intriguing look into how absolute power can absolutely corrupt, especially when you're living in a place where the usual system of checks and balances isn't in place. I can't wait to see where Kiki goes with this series and how the books develop.
I'd recommend this book for fans of Beautiful Creatures, but also for fans of Meg Cabot's Jinx. There's a certain degree of fish-out-of-magical waters in both books, that is also found in Eveny's journey as well.
About the author:
Kiki Sullivan is the author of The Dolls series. Like the main character Eveny Cheval, Kiki used to live in New York and now calls the American South home. Unlike Eveny, she finds it impossible to keep her rose garden alive and has been singlehandedly responsible for the unfortunate demise of countless herbs. She may or may not have hung out with queens of the dark arts, strolled through creepy New Orleans cemeteries at night, or written the first book of this series with a red-headed Louisiana voodoo doll beside her computer. Visit her at www.KikiSullivan.com.