by Dan Vyleta
* * * * * Stars (Amazing!)
Set in an alternate Victorian England, Smoke is both a read-alike for Harry Potter and a study of class structure within society. It can be enjoyed just for the impressive story-telling or studied by a book club with plenty of meaty subjects to explore. In the story, wicked thoughts or deeds are exposed for all to see when smoke and soot appear at the time of a sin. The leading members of society seem to sin much less than the rest of the people. Is this accurate, or have they found a loophole? The story begins at an elite boarding school and follows two friends, Charlie Cooper and Thomas Argyle, as they navigate school and society, while learning not to accept everything is as it is.
Be sure to get cozy and have lots of provisions available when you start this book, because you will not be able to put it down.
Review by Susan Oberhauser, Adult Services Librarian