As a second generation Goth, even Gothic life for Emylene is weird. Not weird. Perverse! While she enjoys her position in her community as a Goth princess, she doesn’t always see her spoiled and self-centered behavior and how it impacts others. When she inadvertently frees a mysterious girl from a charcoal sketch found in a dismal antique shop, Emylene’s world begins to shift. Her parents are barely recognizable and what’s the deal with her friends at her nightly club hangout?
Too late, Emylene realizes her new friend is not what she seems. As events spiral out of control, Emylene finds new allies to face the terror she is partly responsible for releasing. It will take all their strength and cunning to stop the creatures controlling her hometown.
Rodness creates a complex and feisty young girl with smarts and spunk in spades. Emylene grapples with her newfound adulthood and its challenges in familiar and entertaining ways. Narrative and plot are not as well-constructed as the characters, however. The narrative wanders out of one point of view and into another without ceremony or pattern. Scattered rants about the misconceptions the mainstream population has about the gothic community were sometimes off-putting rather than insightful. One character hijacks the story and inserts a long (several chapters) narrative of his own. Still, Rodness uses some interesting bits of folklore and introduces readers to a strange magical picture, creating a story world worthy of the genre.
References (without description) to some teen sexual experimentation girl-on-girl. In one scene, Emylene is incapacitated by a villain and made to experience sexual pleasure. She is later found by a young man who fantasizes about having sex with her, whether or not she is willing. Other brief references to aberrant sexual practices.
Brief mention of solstice celebrations and Wiccan traditions.
Some brief scenes of fatal violence.
References to bad parts of town including drug trafficking, but no drug use among characters.