Summary: New York, 1882. A dark, forbidding city, and no place for a girl with unexplainable powers. Sixteen-year-old Avery Kohl pines for the life she had before her mother was taken. She fears the mysterious men in crow masks who locked her mother in the Tombs asylum for being able to see what others couldn’t. Avery denies the signs in herself, focusing instead on her shifts at the ironworks factory and keeping her inventor father out of trouble. Other than secondhand tales of adventure from her best friend, Khan, an ex-slave, and caring for her falcon, Seraphine, Avery spends her days struggling to survive.
Like her mother’s, Avery’s powers refuse to be contained. When she causes a bizarre explosion at the factory, she has no choice but to run from her lies, straight into the darkest corners of the city. Avery must embrace her abilities and learn to wield their power—or join her mother in the cavernous horrors of the Tombs. And the Tombs has secrets of its own: strange experiments are being performed on “patients”…and no one knows why.
Sixteen-year-old Avery Kohl has been working as a welder in an ironworks factory ever since her mother was locked in the Tombs asylum and she and her father had to flee their respectable middle-class life. The skills Avery has developed in creating perfect metal connections are only appropriate, as she discovers that she has powers that let her see the connections between lives, and help heal other people’s auras. But in New York City in the throes of the Industrial Revolution, such powers are dangerous, and there are plenty of greedy men who want to use Avery’s powers for their own gain – just as they have been using her mother’s. When Avery’s burgeoning powers attract attention from the mysterious men in crow masks who drag people off to the Tombs, she has to go into hiding with her mother’s Romany friends. She hatches a desperate plan to free her mother…only to find that the greedy industrialists are getting ready to unleash an awful plan on New York City, one that threatens the lives of every worker in every plant and factory. And Avery and her friends may be the only ones who can stop it. Filled with intrigue, adventure, romance, and all the cool steampunk flourishes a reader could ask for, Schaumberg’s debut melds history and fantasy to create an absorbing world just beyond the known.
THE TOMBS is out now.