2022 Reading Challenge

2022 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 5 books toward her goal of 260 books.

Book Review: The Monsters We Defy by Leslye Penelope

About the Book

“Never make a deal with shadows at night, especially ones that know your name.”

Washington D. C., 1925: Clara Johnson can talk to spirits—a gift that saved her during her darkest moments, now a curse that’s left her indebted to the cunning spirit world. So when a powerful spirit offers her an opportunity to gain her freedom, Clara seizes the chance, no questions asked. The task: steal a magical ring from the wealthiest woman in the District.

Clara can’t pull off this daring heist alone. She’ll need the help of an unlikely team, from a handsome jazz musician able to hypnotize with a melody to an aging actor who can change his face, to pull off the impossible. But as they race along DC’s legendary Black Broadway, conflict in the spirit world begins to leak into the human one—an insidious mystery is unfolding, one that could cost Clara her life and change the fate of an entire city.

My Review

What a phenomenal story this was! (AND what a phenomenal cover – the art definitely does the story justice!) Penelope has done an amazing job crafting a set of characters and a world that felt utterly original while also acknowledging and honoring the historical people and events that it riffs off of so beautifully.

I found the writing style wholly engaging. The plot and pacing were perfect, moving along at just the right speed to keep me engaged from the opening salvo until the not-so-bitter end. But as wonderful as those elements were, it was the characters that really drove this story, and that made it impossible for me to put the book down. I found myself wishing with a mighty fervor for more adventures with Clara, the Enigmas, Zelda, and Israel Lee, and dearly hope that this will turn into a series!

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my obligation-free review copy.

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