Author: Susannah Appelbaum
Publication Date: March 15th, 2016
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Synopsis: Eloise meets Rosemary’s Baby in New York City’s very own Carlyle hotel.
Seventeen-year-old Itzy Nash is spending the summer at the exclusive Carlyle hotel in New York City. But the hotel harbors more than the rich and privileged; it is host to a gorgeous fallen angel, reclusive movie stars, and—Itzy soon learns—demons of the worst sort. When the Queen of the Damned checks in, all Hell breaks loose. Itzy is called upon to save herself—and all of humanity—from the ravages of the Underworld. There’s only one problem: Itzy’s possessed.
Part gothic thriller, part historical fiction, the novel straddles the Upper East Side and the lush trappings of the Carlyle hotel, and Paris during the Reign of Terror in 1789. Marie Antoinette is the Queen of the Damned. Marilyn Monroe is an expert demon hunter. To kill a demon, Hermès scarves, Evian water, and a guillotine are the weapons of choice.
A cross between historical fiction and fantasy, Divah has a lot going on. It’s definitely a fun, clever thrill ride though historical New York City’s Carlyle Hotel – a thrill ride full of all sorts of strange things – we’re talking angels and demons – and all sorts of other things that the main character, Itzy, didn’t expect when she had planned on spending the summer there.
When I hear about a potentially great new horror novel, I’m pretty much all over that, waiting for it come out and sitting patiently waiting to get a copy. I hadn’t heard about Divah until it was almost time for the release date of the book – somehow it got swept under my radar. Also, I’m not always one for fantasy elements – such as demons and angels – I often find them difficult to read through, but that wasn’t the case with Divah. I thought it was kind of enjoyable, and while it seemed a bit far-fetched, if you remind yourself that this book is supposed to be a paranormal fantasy, it instantly becomes a lot more fun of a read.
No matter how many times I found myself reading the synopsis itself for this book, I just didn’t really connect with it – it sounded confusing and difficult to grasp, but once you get started with reading the book, it’s a lot better. Itzy’s character was a fun, kick-butt heroine who is dealing with all of these supernatural beings in the hotel where she’s spending the summer. It’s a different kind of story – definitely not something I’ve seen before in YA books, and the originality aspect of the book really made it even better.
The whole haunted hotel angle had me right off the bat, and it only gets more interesting as the book goes on. I have always loved the whole haunted hotel/haunted house type of book (or movie), and I am forever seeking out new books that fit this description. If you’re like me on that aspect, give this one a go!
If you like historical YA, horror, and paranormal, this is a really great book to pick up. I’m glad I had the chance to read it!
Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.