Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Book Review: Servants of the Storm by Delilah S. Dawson

Servants of the Storm
by: Delilah S. Dawson
YA Paranormal
Published: August 2014

Do you like the idea of combining Southern Gothic, hurricane aftermath, and abandoned demonic amusement parks? Then this is your bag.

In the year following a hurricane that devastated the city of Savannah, seventeen-year-old Dovey wanders through life in a meaningless fog after watching her best friend Carly get swept up by the storm right before her eyes. Only her fog might not be purely post-traumatic. The mysterious unmarked pills her parents urge her to take every day, and strange sightings--thinking she sees Carly running through the streets--lead her to question what really happened to her best friend.

I loved the Gothic undertones depicting a crumbling and decaying post-storm Savannah, Georgia. The creepy factor is upped further with hints of witchcraft or magic, it's not too clear at the start. Most characters are suspect here, given how Dovey has been in a pharmaceutical haze for the past year, and doesn't know who she can trust. Parts of the mythology reminded me a bit of Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, especially how the paranormal world exists within a contemporary "unknowing" world.

And this book gets creepy. People die, and some pretty brutal things go down. There is definitely a horror element here, though in YA you're never really going to get too far in. Still, I was really impressed at the world set up here, and the exploration of the relationships with Dovey, her allegiance to her friend. Add in her school buddy Baker who's by her side no matter what, and the mysterious Isaac, who possibly holds answers to Carly's disappearance, and there's a love triangle that doesn't really feel like a love triangle, in all the best ways.

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