Evening friends, bloggers, readers and weirdos.
Technically this is no longer a #WriterWednesday post seeing as its now Thursday, however I started writing this yesterday and never had time to finish as Dallas was calling me (the programme, not the city) so I had to call it quits for the night. Maybe instead I should call it #WattpadWorship seeing as this is my second review this week for one of my wonderful Wattpad finds!
I’ve mentioned The Casquette Girls by Alys Arden before, as some of you may remember me talking about discovering this stunning novel on Wattpad a while ago and I was hooked from page one. Novels like TCG (as I like to cheekily abbreviate it, sorry Alys) and The Key to Erebus (reviewed earlier this week) make me feel honoured to be a part of something like Wattpad – a site so popular that even published authors like Margaret Atwood, Marian Keyes and David Moody are now dipping their toes into the Wattpad waters – because they show what amazingly talented writers are out there just trying to get their work to the masses and doing a damn fine job of it too. Also it’s novels like these that send me into a frenzy of jealousy because of how fabulous they really are so if you haven’t yet wandered into the Wattpad world, The Casquette Girls would be a wonderful place to start your journey……
Set in a hurricane-aftermath New Orleans (although Alys is keen to emphasis this is not based on Katrina) Adele Le Moyne is on her way home following a mandatory evacuation when the storms hit, having spent the past two months in Paris with her difficult, distant mother and she’s not quite sure what she’s going back to.
Adele and her father move back into their storm-battered family home and set about trying to get the house into some kind of order and re-establish their lives in a devastated city, where dangers seem to lurk dangerously in the shadows. Since the storm, crime within the city has increased and the death rate is steadily increasing as bodies start turning up – deaths that might not have been results of the hurricane and in fact, caused by something even more sinister than the evil storm.
Soon, Adele learns that these mysterious deaths are not the only strange things happening when odd, supernatural events start occurring around her in particular; which lead her to discover that she is part of something much bigger than the storm and its something that started with one of her ancestors Adeline, back in 18th century Paris.
With vivid historical flashbacks via Adeline’s diary letters to her father, Alys successfully weaves an intoxicating mix of old with new, and gives the reader a stunning backdrop to understanding just who Adele is and why she is suddenly caught up in this edge-of-your-seat mystery of witchcraft, vampires and shape-shifters.
Being a Brit, I’m always a little bit in love with any novel set in a place where it’s highly likely I will never go and when novels are set in New Orleans, it’s fair to say I’m reeled in rather easily – which is why TCG reminded me a little of Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles as it took me back to a world I hadn’t read about since I’d dallied with Lestat and Louis. What’s even more alluring about TCG is that Alys is a master at painting beautiful pictures with her words; her descriptive abilities are second to none and despite never having visited New Orleans in my life, I almost felt I had seen it for myself, so detailed is Alys’ depiction of the city.
With so many vibrant and mysterious characters pouring out of every page, you will have a hard job working out which one you love the most and lets not even get on to the battle between Isaac and Nicco; a reader discussion which still continues to cause quite a stir on Wattpad!
On reading this (which I’m quite sure you will now do), you will be forgiven for wondering why the hell The Casquette Girls isn’t yet published, however with almost half a million reads, I don’t think it will be too long before we see it gracing our bookstores. Until then, you can read it free – YES FREE!!! – on Wattpad and when this one does make it, I’ll be pleased to say I was a fan long before it hit the stores 🙂
Five out of five, Alys!!!