The Deck Of Omens by Christine Lynn Herman
The sequel to 'The Devouring Gray' in which the haunted town of Four Points, evil has an unstoppable momentum that is focused relentlessly on the 4 Founder families. They are under extreme duress, there are cruel doings and a relentlessly violent showdown looms. People are vehemently opionated and there is dastardly behaviour.
One can see 'Riverdale' influences in this book. Justin is Archie, Isaac is Jughead, Harper is Betty and Violet is Veronica.Justin has a propensity for playing the hero and his jealous sister May wants to 'hold him accountable for his decisions'. But she's just jealous and making a terrible mistake for selfish motivations. She does unacknowleged harm and does not care to know the truth. There are desperate days and May whines about being overlooked and the least important.
May is mortally offended she isn't the centre of attention. The four teens (and May) quesion the duties and powers carefully inherited from generation to generation. They are accustomed to adversity and have growing concern about goings on. Things are formidably difficult and there is lingering trauma. There is morally reprehensible universally hated baddie, jealous confusion, upheavals, grim portents, growing unease and grim sights. There will be a revocation and apocalyptic prophecy.
People are increasingly fearful. Something very bad has been done. There is unacknowledged harm and a cruel monster hiding in plain sight. There is deep hatred, a bimbo oblivious to reality and a scary sicko. This was compelling.
There is inevitability and an undercurrent of despair in this thoughtful and solemn tale. The view of the local theological movement/local history turns out to have been wholly inaccurate. A dimwit makes a terrible mistake. Secrets that are horrifying on many levels negatively impact characters. Someone actively deliberately tries to do ill. There is horrifying insight and deeds beyond the boundaries of acceptability.
This was very good. What's a merit aid package? There are dubious nocturnal activities. This was wonderful madness and duty was the all abiding rule in town: the future will look very different.
“Responsibilities he would never bear.”
“That nobody seemed to beleive she could be that important.”
“Fond of making dramatic entrances.”
“For trapping his descendants in a town where people died in awful ways and leaving them to stop it.”
“A family that had always asked for far too much.”
“This town lived in fear of a very different kind of god.”
“Risking his life over and over again for their reputation, their safety, their comfort.”
“I was told that if I came back, I wouldn't be wanted.”
“Isaac was used to the town acting hostile toward him.”
“He knew how people reacted to his friend: a mixture of awe and friendship that he'd managed to earn for himself.”
“That look was respect.”
“There was no world in which she forgave him for that.”
“They all knew how to be watched.”
“Pretend the town hadn't turned on him.”
“Drew attention like a beacon.”
“Wanted to do something thrilling and dangerous.”
“His reputation had gone from bad to worse.”
“Treated him with far more affection than usual.”
“Gone from Four Path's de facto choice for future prom king to a total pariah because of a secret he had chosen to tell the whole town.”
“Deep, unbridled fury.”
“It's great to hear about how traumatized you are from that time you tried to murder me in cold blood.”
“They never liked me very much,”
“Thought too little.”
“Horrible cult town...”
“Deep, unending fury.”
“Town's perpetual disdain,”
“A world he could not access. Powers he could not reach.”
“I wanted to matter, for once.”
“Deserved no mercy whatsoever.”
“Attack them without mercy.”
“He didn't sound particularly intimidated.”
“Guarding herself from happiness.”
“Braced herself for infamy again.”
“Be an actual part of their lives.”
“College decisions happened,”
“Willing to bear it.”
“We might damn an entire town because our ancestors made some disastrously bad chocies.”