The Second Death of Edie and Violet Bond
- Author: Amanda Glaze
- Genre: YA Fantasy
- Publication Date: October 4, 2022
- Publisher: Union Square Co.
Thank you to Union Square Co. for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
CONTENT WARNING: misogyny, death of a parent, grief, forced institutionalization, death, blood, suicide, violence
Edie and Violet Bond know the truth about death. The seventeen-year-old twins are powerful mediums, just like their mother—Violet can open the veil between life and death, and Edie can cross into the spirit world. But their abilities couldn’t save them when their other died and their father threatened to commit them to a notorious asylum.
Now runaways, Edie and Violet are part of a traveling Spiritualist show, a tight-knit group of young women who demonstrate their real talents under the guise of communing with spirits. Each night, actresses, poets, musicians, and orators all make contact with spirits who happen to have something to say…notions that young ladies could never openly express.
But when Violet’s act goes terribly wrong one night, Edie learns that the dark spirit responsible for their mother’s death has crossed into the land of the living. As they investigate the identity of her mysterious final client, they realize that someone is hunting mediums…and they may be next. Only by trusting in one another can the twins uncover a killer who will stop at nothing to cheat death.
Carrying right along with my spooky season reads is this book. And while it isn’t the usual type, this one fits right in.
I enjoyed the story and the characters right from the start. It’s easy to like both Edie and Violet, and they’re sympathetic characters. There’s something about two smart and relatively level-headed young women who are basically on their own in the world that makes it hard not to love them and want what is best for them. However, my biggest complaint about the book is that I found it rather difficult to differentiate between the twins for so much of the story, since their voices were very similar.
Edie is the protective and more focused of the two sisters, while Violet seems to be a bit more flighty and ready to live it up, although there are times when the two switch roles. However, they work together seamlessly throughout life and their shows, with similar goals for the majority of the story. But they’re both constrained by the strict gender roles of their time, and Edie’s keen mind has found a way to flout the rules and speak her thoughts publicly, especially since her part of the show isn’t as flashy or attention-grabbing as Violet’s:
“And so, Edie had found another way to earn her spot on the tour. Something that dovetailed nicely with her very unladylike interest in political affairs: trance lectures.”
They both see the injustice around them. Women have less rights, and as they’re exposed to women of different ethnic backgrounds from themselves, they also learn to see that poor women and women of color don’t get the same attention when they go missing. And all kinds of girls have been going missing in Sacramento. As Violet strives to pursue her own goals, Edie gets drawn deeper into this mystery and figuring out how to get rid of the malevolent spirit that has crossed into their world.
The story is a fast-paced one, with lots of twists and turns that I never saw coming. I was pleasantly surprised at how this story held my attention from start to finish, and wrapped everything up so beautifully. The author had me fully invested in the story and the outcomes for all of the characters, and there were quite a few parts where I was literally on the edge of my seat, and I couldn’t fall asleep until I finished reading this one.
Overall, this was a great read that drew my attention to the plight of women in the late 19th century, and how some women were able to reclaim power despite all of the factors working against them. The author masterfully manipulated all of the moving parts to create a cohesive and engaging story that kept me thinking about it long after finishing, and I’ll definitely be watching out for more books by Glaze.
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: 9
Categories: Book Review