|Pages/Publication Date:||540 / 2017|
Imagine if your every wicked thought was visible to all. This is the only world that Thomas Argyle and Charlie Cooper know, an alternative version of Victorian England in which every sin—from a brief flicker of envy to a murderous rage—is immediately visible as smoke rising from the skin. Because members of the aristocracy remain clean, their superiority is unquestioned, while the lower classes are covered in soot. After enduring the sadistic authority of a head boy at their elite boarding school, however, Thomas begins to doubt these assumptions of purity. And when the boys meet Livia, the daughter of a powerful family with a secret lab, they find that smoke itself may not be all it seems, and together the three set out to uncover the truth about their world in this "compelling ... deliriously imagined" novel (NPR) from the author of The Quiet Twin and The Crooked Maid.
"One of the most original and enthralling books I have read in a long time ... an addictive combination of thriller, fantasy, and historical novel, with a dash of horror. It's chilling and complex and amazingly imaginative."—Shelf Awareness
"Mr. Vyleta ... writes with intricacy and imagination and skillful pacing; never once would I have considered putting his book down.... In the manner of both a Dickens novel and the best young adult adventure stories (the Harry Potter series among them), the children run away together to uncover the dark secrets of the grown-up world.... His ending, which I wouldn't dare reveal here, is a real firecracker, and the lessons Mr. Vyleta wishes to impart are largehearted."—NYTimes