My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a dark story. Thankfully, Jess Lourey built it around Frankie, the tough-as-nails 14-year-old protagonist who shines a light into every corner she explores. She has just lost her loving father and been sent to live with the mother that cut off communication with her years ago for no good reason.
On her first day back in the small town of Litani, her mother sends her outside 'to play' with the other 'children'. but her first encounters with the children are not fun. As she explores further, she (and we) discover that the town is sick, with a twisted history that casts an ominous tone over everything and everyone.
I don't really enjoy reading stories like this one. You know, the usual trigger warnings: kids in danger, Satan worship, creepy adults. Who do you trust? On the other hand, Jess Lourey is crafting such interesting stories, inspired by (gulp) true stories, populated with interesting characters and masterful plots that it's difficult to stay away. And once you start reading, you daren't put it down or look away.
So here we are. A book that creeped me out and I can only recommend to the more adventurous or tolerant of my friends. Yet, I will probably vote for it as one of the best books of the year.
Disclosure: Thank you to Netgalley and Thomas & Mercer for providing a free copy of this book in return for my honest review.
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