Synopsis: One minute everything was fine and the next… they arrived. Those that saw them died instantly. The unlucky ones survived. Now unimaginable things straight out of nightmares roam the streets of our towns and cities. Nothing is impossible. Nowhere is safe. And no one can escape The Change…
Grace just wants to find her brother, but she can’t go anywhere without the Queen of Coney Island’s permission to travel.
Now the Queen demands payment and Grace and her new friend, a man in a false beard who believes he is God, must journey into the nightmare world of Dreamland, a tourist park whose attractions are as lethal as they are bizarre.
My review: I was worried that as this is the second book in the series that I’d missed out on quite a bit of important information as to what brought on The Change and the apparent apocalypse. However reading through the reviews of that first book it seems that while there may be an overarching story each book has it’s own self contained tale. In which case this book is just as strange as I at first thought.
The book opens with young girl Grace on a journey to Rikers Island to see if her brother survived. On the way she picks up God (or at least in his head he is). I liked God the best of all the crazy characters in this book. He knows he isn’t really the Almighty and there are a few little winks to that for example where he says he could smite down the bad guys but it’s best to sometimes experience a beat down as a human would.
To get to Rikers they have to pass through Coney Island and gain permission from the Queen. As with all apocalypse tales it’s interesting to see how the dynamics change with people and in this instance the Queen appears to be a former ageing homeless woman.
The rest of the characters are ghosts, freak show small people (I think. I wasn’t quite clear about them) and babies with frightening sets of teeth. The imagination that went into these characters is brilliant and they’re for the most part really well developed.
The book is short and fast paced. There are two instances where I was left wanting more. Firstly there’s mention that the presence of Grace and God is awakening the park and not necessarily in a good way. The short answer to that is that they leave. I would have liked to have found out more about want would happen if they’d chosen to stay awhile. Secondly the end is very abrupt. They’re given the free pass to Rikers and a boat to take them there and then The End.
But what about the brother? Is he alive? Did they get to Rikers? And so on. Seeing as the next book is set in Paris we may never know. I am interested to see how everything develops and whether there is an overarching story to the books so I guess the shortness has worked it’s magic.
Overall an enjoyable read.
Free arc from netgalley