Today I am going to be talking about one of my new favourite books, something I didn’t think I would be saying as this book is pitched as a book for fans of The Raven Boys & Stranger Things – so I definitely had pretty high expectations for this one! Yet somehow this book still managed to exceed my hopes with a creepy story of old town secrets and supernatural families that won’t fail to keep you reading.
Therefore, as soon as I finished it, I knew I just had to share all of my thoughts on this one in order to stay sane whilst we wait for the release of the sequel.
As soon as Violet Saunders is dropped into her new life in Four Paths, it is clear that this town is not your ordinary small town, with a beast trapped in the mysterious Gray and four founding families sworn to keep it there with the help of their supernatural abilities, one of whom she happens to be apart of. With bodies appearing in the woods and a town slowly turning against the people meant to protect them, Violet along with four other children of the founder families, will have to try and solve the mystery of their town before its too late.
Give me all your character driven novels!
I will take well developed, complex characters over a super intense plot any day of the week, and so its no surprise that this book managed to suck me in with this gorgeous cast. Everyone was so well crafted and written that I just wanted to continuously get to know all of them more and more. As for our protagonist, Violet was such a strong character who was desperate to get to the truth about her families history whilst also still not hiding away from her struggles grieving her sister.
Whats more, none of them were perfect! All of them had faults and made mistakes, and faced the consequences they resulted in. Even those who at first seemed purely good or purely evil were soon revealed to be alot more complex than we first thought, and so by the end they’re were so many morally grey characters and characters whose many layers we had only just begun to uncover, particularly May and Juniper.
As everyone was so written, it enabled for the relationships between them to be just as well developed and seem just as real and sometimes messy as in reality. None of the relationships were straightforward or stayed the same throughout the story, but instead constantly evolved and changed as our characters and the situations around them did. I especially loved Violet and Isaac; how they bonded over their grief and pain without that being the only aspect of their friendship and relationship
This book also reminded me of one of my new favourite settings – small rural towns.
This setting is slowly becoming one of my favourites to read about, particularly when it is done well and really fits with the story as was the case here. The combination of the supernatural aspects of this story and small town secrets was so well done that it almost seemed like a completely normal thing for this town to be hiding such a deadly and magical thing. The small community who all know each other complimented the story so well, with the constant atmosphere of secrets and old grudges making this book that little bit creepier.
As for the Gray itself, I am so curious to discover more about this strange and deadly place that people just seem to keep stumbling into. I love the ambiguous nature of both the setting itself and the monster trapped within, as the act of not knowing really anything about either made them so much scarier than they would have been otherwise.
Well written plot twists are my weakness, and this one had more than enough of them!
I swear everyone in this book had a secret that at some point got revealed to us all, and honestly I was so here for it. I loved getting to uncover more and more stories and events that changed the story greatly or simply just explained a few things we already knew. I adored the amount of plotting and planning went on behind our backs and how much I am sure we still don’t know that will just come along and change everything we thought we knew.
I also don’t remember the last time tension was built so well in a story, with Christine Lynn Herman managing to perfectly do this as our characters discover two big secrets simultaneously. The pacing was beautifully done that by this point I just couldn’t stop reading as the climax approached, which is exactly what you want from a story.
Overall, I absolutely loved my time in this world! It was such a packed story with stunning characters and twists that kept me reading well into the night.
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Have you read this book – what did you think? Do you agree with my thoughts?