Our Lady of Mysterious Ailments
- Author: T.L. Huchu
- Genre: YA Fantasy
- Publication Date: April 5, 2022
- Publisher: Tor Books
- Series: Edinburgh Nights #2
Thank you to NetGalley and Tor books for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
CONTENT WARNING: murder, blood
Ropa Moyo’s ghostalking practice has tanked, desperate for money to pay bills and look after her family she reluctantly accepts a job to look into the history of a coma patient receiving treatment at the magical private hospital Our Lady of Mysterious Ailments. The patient is a teenage schoolboy called Max Wu, and healers at the hospital are baffled by the illness which has confounded medicine and magic.
Ropa’s investigation leads her to the Edinburgh Ordinary School for Boys, one of only the four registered schools for magic in the whole of Scotland (the oldest and only one that remains closed to female students).
But the headmaster there is hiding something and as more students succumb Ropa learns that a long-dormant and malevolent entity has once again taken hold in this world.
She sets off to track the current host for this spirit and try to stop it before other lives are endangered.
This was such a fun and interesting book that I couldn’t wait to start. It’s been a while since I read book 1, and I remembered that there was a lot that happened, so I had to start with a reread of that one before starting OLMA. And I’m so glad I did, because there was so much that I forgot.
We pick up shortly after the events of book 1, and Ropa is still on her grind — trying to support herself, her younger sister, and her disabled grandmother. And just when things start to look up, she manages to get herself caught up into a few new things that derail her plans.
Let’s start with Ropa. She’s such an awesome character — brilliant, snarky, and hilarious, as well as incredibly loyal to the people she cares about. She’s always ready to jump on an opportunity, although she doesn’t always think through the consequences fully and always seem to wind up in trouble. This time, she gets hooked up with an apprenticeship at the Society of Sceptical Enquirers and a lucrative side job, but things definitely don’t go as planned.
Ropa relies on the help of her two besties, Jomo who works in the Calton Hill Library, and Priya, a healer, to make headway on her missions, both for the Society and the side job. As well as getting roped into another case involving an unexplained illness affecting several students at the Edinburgh Ordinary School for Boys. We really get to know more about Priya in this story, and how truly awesome she is. Priya is probably the most badass character in the story, and never lets her wheelchair get in her way — in fact, there’s a scene with her rocking out at a skatepark.
There’s a lot going on in this story, and it made for a fast read because I simply couldn’t put it down at all. I was always wondering what would happen next, and how everything tied together. And no matter how hard I tried, I was always surprised by the next plot twist, which I never successfully predicted. There’s a lot of Scottish slang involved in the story, and while I had to stop and look up a few words, I was mostly able to figure it out through context.
I love this series so much. It’s innovative, incorporating elements of a dystopian society with paranormal elements and magic, which made it completely unusual, at least in terms of the books that I typically read. It strongly reminds me of a younger version of Rivers of London, another series I love. It’s hard not to fall in love with the characters as well as the story, and I am really hoping for more books in this series.
People who have sat around with me while I’m reading, especially when there’s a surprising reveal, a shocking plot twist, or an unexpected event often look up in alarm when I gasp audibly. The gasp factor is directly related to the number of times I audibly gasp during a reading, and there isn’t an upper limit.
Gasp Factor: 7
Categories: Book Review