Book review: The Casquette Girls by Alys Arden (aka the book that surprised me in the best way possible)

Summary from Goodreads
Publisher: Skyscape
Source: Received by the publishers via netgalley
Publication date: 17 November 2015

Seven girls tied by time.
Five powers that bind.
One curse to lock the horror away.
One attic to keep the monsters at bay.

After the storm of the century rips apart New Orleans, sixteen-year-old Adele Le Moyne wants nothing more than her now silent city to return to normal. But with home resembling a war zone, a parish-wide curfew, and mysterious new faces lurking in the abandoned French Quarter, normal needs a new definition.

As the city murder rate soars, Adele finds herself tangled in a web of magic that weaves back to her own ancestors. Caught in a hurricane of myths and monsters, who can she trust when everyone has a secret and keeping them can mean life or death? Unless . . . you’re immortal

What I thought of the book:

The Casquette Girls is a book that has been described as “an epic love letter to New Orleans.”

Now I haven’t been to New Orleans, but the one thing I can do is recognise when an author imbues every part of her soul into giving the reader an Odyssey-like experience into the heart, soul and settings of a book.

Alys Arden?

She’s done all that and more in this unexpectedly lush and gloriously compelling paranormal fiction novel. Blending both the history of New Orleans, with myths, urban legends and modern day settings, The Casquette Girls is a smorgasbord filled with storytelling at its finest.

It’s not often that I’m caught off guard by books, but The Casquette Girls has managed to do so with its interesting and seemingly normal heroine, lore dedicated to the vampires of yonder (i.e. the not-so-benevolent kind) and detailed and incredibly interesting historical aspects that detail life in pre-colonial New Orleans.

Add voodoo, witchcraft and deliciously dark gothic and romantic undertones and you’ve got yourself a beautifully atmospheric read that will send shivers down your spine.

Read it and experience it for yourself.

There’s romance, there’s magic and diversity, but mostly, there’s a moody, beautiful city that’s positively brimming with life, both natural and supernatural.

Huge kudos to Alys for capturing the spirit of human survival and perseverance in the midst of the worst circumstances possible. This, above all, was probably my favourite aspect about the novel.

I can’t wait for the next book.