Ace: Berkley. Apr. 2017. 336p. ISBN 9781101990735. pap. $16; ebk. ISBN 9781101990742. FANTASY
Clairvoyant Alice Dartle travels to the small Florida town of Cassadaga, having heard that it is a haven for spiritualists. There she hopes to learn how to better control her gifts. Meanwhile, Cuban-born tailor Tomás Cordero is haunted by terrible memories of his days as a soldier during World War I. Having lost his wife, Evelyn, to the flu, Tomás first believes the fires that spontaneously combust around him are random accidents, until he sees his dead wife's face in the ashes. He heads to Cassadaga, seeking help from Alice. But the fires seem to be the work of a spectral presence that Tomás brought back from the battlefields of Europe. Although Alice is presumably meant to be spunky and unconventional, she instead comes off as self-indulgent and lacking good sense. Tomás is a much more sympathetic character, deeply grieving and desperate to make a connection to the wife he lost.
VERDICT Regardless of the flaws in one of its lead protagonists, this dark historical fantasy from Priest (Maplecroft; Boneshaker) features an intriguing setting and fascinating details about the Prohibition era that will draw in readers. [See Prepub Alert, 10/21/16.]
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