What it’s About: The elite Maplethorpe Academy exists in a society where people are given a numerical rankling adjusted due to their behaviour, which determines their standing in the world. An act of vandalism at the school will upend the lives of six students.
What I Thought: A bit disappointing. The book feels like a few different contemporary stories, which are abruptly forced together at the end in a dystopia that never really gets fleshed out. Ultimately, the book feels like than the sum of its parts.
What it’s About: Nora Walker, descendant of a long line of witches, is surprised when a boy who went missing from a nearby camp for wayward boys turns up alive in the dangerous woods surrounding her small town. She must uncover the mysterious events that left the boy in the forest.
What I Thought: Similar to Ernshaw’s The Wicked Deep, we find a girl who is local to an isolated town filled with creepy folklore who connects with an outsider boy. And as with her previous novel, readers will once again likely see the “twist” coming a mile away. This one ramps up the atmospheric writing even more, perhaps because the meat of the story feels thinner than in The Wicked Deep.
What it’s About: Indira is a character-in-waiting, elated to finally be selected to attend the school that prepares people like her to be discovered buy authors who will write their stories, allowing them to be known in the real world.. A disastrous audition lands her in the side character track instead being in the hero program. Indira begins to realize that an unknown antagonist is threatening not only her future but the entire world’s. But can she, as a lowly side character, really do anything?
What I Thought: An odd but fun world, this book got me back on the Reintgen train after I wasn’t thrilled with the later books in the Nyxia trilogy. My main complaint, ironically enough, is that some of the side characters could have used a bit more attention.
What it’s About: Kane recently survived an accident, or maybe it wasn’t an accident at all? People think he tried to kill himself. He is sure that isn’t true, but as he tries to return to normal life, strange things start happening, ranging from the appearance of strange creatures to a classmate who tells him the two of them are best friends, a relationship he has no memory of.
What I Thought: Not really as mysterious as it sounds, we learn fairly quickly that the book takes place in a world where people’s fantasies sometimes seep into reality. Kane and his friends are the only ones who stay in control of themselves, while everyone else falls into an appropriate role in the fantasy, and it thus falls to them to set the world right again. An enjoyable concept, that allows the book to move into some unique directions. This seems to be a love it or hate it novel, and I definitely lean more towards the former. The villain being a darg queen didn’t do much for me, but others seem to love it.
What it’s About: Sara’s sister Becca disappeared a year ago, and while everyone else thinks she ran off with a boy, Sara knows that Becca was trying to find local ghost Lucy Gallows. When a mysterious text message invites the students at her school to find Lucy, Sara and her friends embark on a creepy journey to find the missing Becca.
What I Thought: I normally don’t care for alternative narration styles, but it works for this creepy story. We shift between a first person narration of the events, transcripts of Sara with a therapist afterwards, and transcripts of what the group recorded on their phones. I definitely recommend it, but fair warning, the ending is rather controversial.
Published by Andrew Clendening