Children of Chicago is dark, gut-wrenching, emotional, and highly relatable at its core. It’s an example of old folklore and fairy tales being communicated through urban legend and interpreted through new technology to cause real harm. But Children of Chicago is much more than that. It’s a look at real violence in real communities and the darkness that stretched across generations, across centuries, that causes it. And it’s about a beautiful, complicated city, which feels a lot like a stand-in for our society at large. Pelayo’s skill as a poet is very apparent in her prose. I enjoyed her style of writing, especially for this dark fairy tale retelling. I recommend it to fans of authors like Tana French and Christina Henry, shows like The Killing and The Fall, and anyone who is interested in dark secrets coming home to roost.
Sometimes the twists life throws at you make you stronger. They teach you who you truly are and what (who) is most important to you. And sometimes they also makes you really good at hunting ghosts. Karma Moon is a 12-year-old compulsive worrier and believer in all things “woo woo”. She lives in the West Village with her dad and helps him with his documentary company when she’s not hanging out with her best friend Mags. She also regularly sees her therapist, because ever since her mom left, Karma’s worries have been debilitating. But when her dad gets a call from Netflix about filming a ghost hunting documentary at a famous hotel in Colorado, she just knows everything is going to change for the better!
Dr. Jennifer Gilbert is from a wealthy privileged family, but despite her pleasing appearance and familial connections, she can’t seem to make friends. Her whole life people have distanced themselves from her, but she never quite understood why. And then there are the deaths. More than one boy or man connected to Jennifer has died in her presence. When one of these mysterious deaths catches the eye of Captain David Stavitsky (chief of homicide), it becomes clear that Jennifer is living on borrowed time. The Killing Gift is great for fans of The X-Files and quiet crime films like Zodiac. While a bit of a slow burn, it offers many intense moments and vivid descriptions that kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. I have more of Wood’s work and will definitely be reading it.
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