SUMMARY (Courtesy of Borders.com)
A devilish debut by a brother-sister team invites us into the world of the elite Marlowe School, where some gifted students are having a hell of a year. One night, in cities all across Europe, five children vanish-- only to appear, years later, at an exclusive New York party with a strange and elegant governess. Rumor and mystery follow the Faust teenagers to the city's most prestigious high school, where they soar to suspicious heights with the help of their benefactor's extraordinary "gifts." But as the students claw their way up-- reading minds, erasing scenes, stopping time, stealing power, seducing with artificial beauty-- they start to suffer the side effects of their own addictions. And as they make further deals with the devil, they uncover secrets more shocking than their most unforgivable sins. At once chilling and wickedly satirical, this contemporary reimagining of the Faustian bargain is a compelling tale of ambition, consequences, and ultimate redemption.
OPINION: 3 STARS
Choppy. That was the word that kept coming to mind while I read this book. It jumped from scene to scene, character to character quickly and somewhat randomly and I found myself often having to stop and reread something to get onto the new character mindset/path only to have to do it again a few paragraphs or pages later. The constant shifting did detract from the story for me just because it didn't seem smooth and sometimes I didn't really see why things were cut and shifted when they were.
This is one of those deal with the devil kind of stories but one thing I did like was that typically, the person who sold their soul gets the reward now and suffers later but here, the children got both at once. Belle was beautiful but she had a horrible odor that pushed everyone away from her- admired from afar but never close. Vileroy truly was a master at tricks and she pitted the children together in the most subtle of ways where the reader only knew because of their omniscient perspective- if it weren't for that, I assume many facets of the story would have remained in the dark.
Even with the all knowing aspect, there were still plenty of things that didn't unfold until the very end, particularly everything related to Bice. Her story was the most well done in my opinion and the final explanation for everything with her was the most put together out of all of them. The relationships and personalities of the different children as well as they way they interacted with the world were intriguing for me but this book didn't completely take me by storm and make me want to keep reading till I finished- it didn't hold my attention enough.
The ending left me feeling iffy- I completely adored the closing line and thought it was fantastic and tied everything up but at the same time, I felt like there was a sense of things left undone. It was far from a happily ever after and truly bittersweet which made me adore it more but it was the last line that did hold it all together for me.