When a dark spirit reveals itself to Venus McKenzie, one of Saint-Ferdinand’s teenage residents, she learns that this creature’s power has a long history with her town―and that the serial murders merely scratch the surface of a past burdened by evil secrets.
I’ll admit right up front. I’m conflicted about this book. I found it on NetGalley and liked the blurb enough to give it a try but after making my way through all 450 pages, I can make an argument for and against recommending this book. Besides the issues with the story itself (which I cover below) Amazon lists “paperback” as the only format available for this book. No ebook, no hardback, just a $15.99 paperback. I find this annoyingly illogical especially since the version I reviewed was a MOBI ebook, but I digress.
Let’s start with the positives. The premise of the story was refreshingly original and the tightly woven complexity of intertwining plot points was extremely impressive. There was also an interesting mix of characters, surprising plot twists and just enough mystery to keep your attention throughout.
Unfortunately, there are also quite a few issues. In general, the overall flow was a bit choppy and confusing. Some scenes were needlessly drawn out while others which seemed to beg for deeper exploration were cut short for no apparent reason. And while the characters were compelling, they sometimes acted in ways that were either improbable or inconsistent.
Despite these issues, the story seemed to build towards what should have been an exciting climax but instead it weirdly stumbled through a bizarre ending that left a huge range of unexplained loose ends with no clear indication there will be a sequel.
In the end, I liked the basic structure of this book a great deal but almost feel like it could have been so much better if it had actually been written by a more skilled writer. Based on this effort, the author seems to be more of an idea guy than anything else. If it weren’t for the $15.99 (plus shipping) paperback price, I’d encourage folks to at least give it a try but given the limitations of the story itself and the lack of an ebook format, I’d say it’s safe to skip this one.
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