- The authenticity. I loved that the author stayed so true to the time period. The slang, the clothes, the music--everything about the novel is authentic. A list of references from Bray's extensive research is available on the book's website.
- The horror. Naughty John and his creepy followers are so artfully crafted. The zealots Evie encounters throughout the novel made the story feel more authentic. As repulsive as John and his actions seemed, the fact is that there would have been a small group of people who believe in his cause.
- The dialog. I loved the dialog in this book, particularly the constant bickering between Sam and Evie, which was hilarious.
- The characters. All the characters in this book were well developed. I liked how each character's personality and history was slowly revealed, just like it would be if you were getting to know a person in real life.
- The slow ending. The last 100 pages of the book felt like they moved more slowly, but maybe that was just because I was so impatient to know what was going to happen. It also felt like the last 50 or so pages should have been the beginning of the sequel.
"I hear they feed you in Sing Sing," Evie muttered. "Three squares a day."
"Evangeline," Will said with a sigh. "Charity begins at home."
"So does mental illness."
"There is a hideous invention called the Dewey Decimal System. And you have to look up your topic in books and newspapers. Pages upon pages upon pages..."
Uncle Will frowned. "Didn't they teach you how to go about research in that school of yours?"
"No. But I can recite 'The Battle Hymn of the Republic' while making martinis."
"I weep for the future."
"There's where the martinis come in."
Interesting characters, engaging plot, suspenseful mystery, fast pace--this book has it all. One of my favorite reads this year!