Divah

Susannah Appelbaum. Skyhorse/Sky Pony, $17.99 (400p) ISBN 978-1-63450-674-8
After 17-year-old Itzy Nash arrives at New York City’s Carlyle Hotel, the distant aunt she is supposed to spend the summer with is nowhere to be found. Instead, Itzy is confronted by Luc, a handsome stranger who soon informs her that demons are quite real—and as a fallen angel, he should know. Marilyn Monroe, it turns out, was a demon-hunter, while Marie Antoinette was the “Divah,” queen of the demons. Marie is returning, threatening dark days for humanity, and the fate of the world may rest with Itzy. Appelbaum’s (the Poisons of Caux series) story takes a while to find its footing, unleashing back story and details about this demon-filled version of our world through awkwardly deployed devices that include Luc’s letters to Marie Antoinette, the musings of a reclusive actress, and a substantial mid-novel narrative shift that dives into Luc’s love-affair-gone-wrong with the French queen. Even so, Appelbaum threads her story with enough playful details to keep readers enticed—who knew that guillotines and well-tied Hermés scarves were such useful tools when fighting demons? Ages 12–up. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/04/2016
Release date: 03/01/2016
Genre: Children's
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