Brooklyn is the perfect setting for this dark, gritty thriller with heavy religious overtones and breathtaking violence.
The story of three teenagers—a suicidal Catholic schoolgirl, a narcissistic socialite and a beautiful, street-smart musician—who find themselves thrown together by fate and forced into an epic battle against evil, it is just as likely to thrill some as it is to offend others. After a clever opening in which readers are introduced to Agnes, Cecilia and Lucy, who are in varying states of distress in the hospital emergency room, Hurley initially spends too much time focusing on the girls independently and too little time exploring their implied connection. While each of the characters is compelling in her own right (particularly the beautifully crafted Cecelia), it’s when their lives and destinies finally intersect that the story really takes off. Their struggles become far more compelling when Agnes, Cecilia and Lucy discover that they are the living avatars of three saints, each martyred when she was exceptionally young and after horrific suffering. Indeed, this creates a unique and powerful bond that emboldens them as they are thrust into a battle for their souls. Readers can rest assured that while these young women may be saints, they are definitely not angels.
This first in a planned trilogy isn’t for the faint of heart, but readers with strong stomachs will find themselves swept up. (Paranormal thriller. 14 & up)