Publishers Weekly Review
Tanzer's charming, confident follow-up to Creatures of Will and Temper continues the conceit of drawing on famous literary source texts for character and plot material; here, The Great Gatsby crashes into the works of H.P. Lovecraft, with, of course, chaotic results. On Long Island in the 1920s, Ellie West does bootlegging by boat to help pay for her brother's education. One night, she inadvertently gets into an altercation with another sailor that ends in her acquiring some odd new bottles of moonshine; those bottles end up at a party thrown by Delphine "Fin" Coulthead and her rich husband and friends. Fin is out of her element in the endless parties of the Roaring '20s, a situation only made worse by the nightmarish paranormal effects of the tainted liquor. Fin and Ellie make an appealing team as they work to figure out what's wrong and stop it, and the depiction of Long Island is a fine example of nuanced, lovely landscape writing. The portrayal of groups of normal people falling into mob violence and hatred of the other groups is genuinely unnerving, and Tanzer resists simplistic moral takes. Some elements of the plot are a touch predictable, but the overall effect is delightful. (Nov.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Booklist Review
Tanzer's follow-up to Creatures of Will and Temper (2017) returns to the compelling historical-fantasy world where demons live among us. The seaside village of Amityville, NY, is deep into Prohibition. Ellie West is a moonshiner and the family's sole breadwinner. On a stormy night, she comes upon a stash of booze that has a strange power over those who drink it. This discovery leads Ellie to Fin, another unconventional woman, and they gather their diverse group of outcast friends to do battle with a KKK-like cult that is tapping a supernatural evil and the townspeople's racism to gain power. Once again, Tanzer expertly weaves an authentic historical setting into a tense, engrossing supernatural frame with lush descriptions and a steadily building pace. The alternating points of view of the two female protagonists, unwilling to live within society's confines, really stand out. Despite the supernatural, historical setting, readers will see themes and issues that reverberate eerily with our present. For fans of Lara Elena Donnelly's Amberlough (2017) or V. E. Schwab's A Darker Shade of Magic (2015).--Becky Spratford Copyright 2018 Booklist