Five teenagers at an elite Manhattan private school game the system–because they’ve sold their souls to the devil.
When I picked up Another Faust, my expectations were low. I figured it was going to be yet another first in a series capitalizing on Gossip Girls and Twilight. Don’t get me wrong–I figured I would like it–but I didn’t expect anything more than light entertainment.
So I was thrilled to realize that Another Faust was a spiritual and literary heir to the Gothic tradition I so adore. Shades of Shirley Jackson, a little Stephen King, and quite a lot of imagination mark this debut novel from brother and sister team Daniel and Dina Nayeri.
The five Faust teens, all fifteen years old, have enrolled in an elite Manhattan boarding school. Three of them use supernatural gifts to get ahead. Victoria reads minds so that she can take down her academic competition. Belle uses her beauty to compel those around her to do her bidding. Valentin goes back in time to redo moments and events to his advantage. Meanwhile Belle’s twin Bice hides in frozen moments, preferring isolation over competition, and Christian tries to quell his desire for athletic prowess because he fears losing his humanity. Tended by governess Madame Vileroy, the five Faust teens hurtle towards a reckoning that they can’t anticipate.
I was so impressed by Another Faust. The story is wholly original, the characters riveting, and the plot imaginative. I loved all the horror and supernatural elements. It’s a book that could’ve been written just for me, because it’s exactly what I like. I know I’ll reread it numerous times. It’s smart and riveting and deep. Good stuff!