The Second Death of Edie and Violet Bond

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The Second Death of Edie and Violet Bond
Author(s)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
October 04, 2022
ISBN
978-1454946786
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Sacramento, 1885  

Edie and Violet Bond know the truth about death. The seventeen-year-old twins are powerful mediums, just like their mother—Violet can open the veil between life and death, and Edie can cross into the spirit world. But their abilities couldn’t save them when their mother died and their father threatened to commit them to a notorious asylum.   
 
Now runaways, Edie and Violet are part of a traveling Spiritualist show, a tight-knit group of young women who demonstrate their real talents under the guise of communing with spirits. Each night, actresses, poets, musicians, and orators all make contact with spirits who happen to have something to say. . . notions that young ladies could never openly express.

But when Violet’s act goes terribly wrong one night, Edie learns that the dark spirit responsible for their mother’s death has crossed into the land of the living. As they investigate the identity of her mysterious final client, they realize that someone is hunting mediums…and they may be next.Only by trusting in one another can the twins uncover a killer who will stop at nothing to cheat death.

Editor reviews

2 reviews
enthralling historical fantasy
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
THE SECOND DEATH OF EDIE AND VIOLET BOND is an enthralling historical fantasy. Edie and Violet travel with a group of mediums and perform around the country ever since their mother died and they were forced to run away from home - or face being institutionalized. Something strange is happening in the town where they are currently performing, with mediums disappearing- and something unexpected happening during a performance.

As Edie begins to investigate what is happening with the veil, she finds herself being tailed by Laws, a young journalist who is ready to expose the fraud of mediums. Their investigation will lead them down unexpected avenues, further revealing the dark occurrences in town and the maltreatment of women.

What I loved: This was such an enthralling story that really captivates the reader from the start. It begins with an author note and a photo of the real Edie and Violet Bond that brings an extra element to the story. While the story is fiction, the characters are based on a real photo in the author's family. That being said, this is a supernatural story that is perfect to read during the fall spooky season. The pacing is just right, and it maintains a dark atmosphere throughout.

A theme I did not expect to find was around women's historical rights (or lack thereof) and the use of institutions and their horrible treatment of the women placed within them. The institution in town looms large, and the threat of being forced into it hangs over the head of every woman considering the way that the men in their life control their freedom and money. Other characters speak to their experiences in such places, and the glimpses inside are just as terrible. This historical context certainly adds to the story.

Edie and Violet are great characters. While most of the story focuses on Edie, their bond of sisterhood is ultimately strong. Events of the past have driven a wedge between them, but when push comes to shove, they are always there for each other. Edie is a compelling character who has big ideas but understands all too well the way the world works. The romance that springs up has a great meet-cute and develops at a great albeit quick pace, keeping up with the rest of the story.

Final verdict: THE SECOND DEATH OF EDIE AND VIOLET BOND is an enthralling and thought-provoking YA historical fantasy that is perfect for a spooky fall read!
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The Second Death of Edie and Violet Bond
(Updated: August 12, 2022)
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
What worked: I love a good spooky tale! There's so much to love about this story set in 1885 Sacramento, California. For one, my own great-grandfather settled in downtown Sacramento around this same time so the descriptions of the area brought back fond memories. Another huge plus is how the author shows the popularity of spirituality at this time. Plus, how easy it was for the medical community at that time to diagnose a woman as being insane and send her to a state asylum.

The idea of mediums being able to cross over through the veil to help the recent dead is shown in vivid detail. I like how the author shows that it wasn't just a scam that these young women practiced.
Readers see what goes on during the shows. Add to this a mystery on the disappearance of young female mediums.

There's lots of historical backdrop throughout this story. 1885 Sacramento comes to life. I especially loved reading the descriptions of downtown Sacramento. Since I'm from this area I knew the area, like K street. Lots of history adds to the character of this engaging story.

I loved the premise of twins mediums who flee after the tragic death of their mother to end up joining a traveling Spiritualist show. Edie and Violet might be twins but like their different hair colors, they have different goals and temperaments. They do share a bond as sisters which helps them when times turn dark.

The haunting part of this story has to be what women dealt with during the later 19th century. Men had the final say on what to do with women, which included the horrific practice of locking them up in asylums. The author doesn't hold back by showing the grisly practices of what a woman could expect if sent there.

Also, I loved the idea of the handsome news reporter who added needed tension to the story. The romance is a slow burn that builds toward the end. I also like how it isn't the guy who saves the day, but rather the determination and courage of the protagonist.

Great pacing, ghostly suspense, and the power of a sister's bond set in 1885 Sacramento.
Good Points
1. Spooky historical set in 1885 Sacramento
2. Spirituality & feminism of the 19th century
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