Servants of the Storm
By Delilah S. Dawson, 2015, Simon Pulse
Gothic mystery, Horror, Paranormal, YA
Rating: 👻👻👻 1/2 (3.5 out of 4 boos)
“A year ago, Hurricane Josephine swept through Savannah, Georgia, leaving behind nothing but death and destruction—and taking the life of Dovey’s best friend, Carly. Since that night, Dovey has been in a medicated haze, numb to everything around her.
But recently she’s started to believe she’s seeing things that can’t be real…including Carly at their favorite café. Determined to learn the truth, Dovey stops taking her pills. And the world that opens up to her is unlike anything she could have imagined.
As Dovey slips deeper into the shadowy corners of Savannah—where the dark and horrifying secrets lurk—she learns that the storm that destroyed her city and stole her friend was much more than a force of nature. And now the sinister beings truly responsible are out to finish what they started.”
What's the main character like?
Despite coming across right in the beginning like she might be weak, Dovey proves strong, sassy, intelligent, and resilient. She’s also a good actress! Author Dawson gives Dovey an engaging and fast-paced present-tense voice that keeps the reader flipping quickly through the pages.
How scary is it?
While not nightmare-inducing (for me anyway), the book is dark in its subject matter, and there are some intense paranormal scenes that give this Southern gothic book a vividly stressful edge. Somehow, though, in spite of its darkness, this book feels more fun than terrifying. There is a bit of language, as well as some references to sexuality.
Who might like this book?
With strong female characters and Southern gothic flair, this book might appeal to fans of The Vampire Diaries, or to Supernatural fans for the book’s “no one knows what’s really going on in the world“ quality. I was also reminded, mostly because of Dovey’s fast-pace narration, of Megan Abbott’s Dare Me (a book about high school cheerleaders, although written for adults). An even closer comparison is Fiendish, another Southern gothic YA book.
What did I like best?
Dovey’s present-tense narration absolutely sings due to Dawson’s fresh way of describing a post-hurricane version of Savannah from a confused but curious teenager’s perspective.
What wasn’t my favorite?
I loved the first half of the book a lot, but then suddenly when some aspects of the mystery were revealed, I wasn’t as excited. That’s not to say I stopped reading the book at a rapid pace; I was just less excited about the book’s second half.