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Genre: Young Adult Mystery
Publishing date: December 1st, 2020
Every fifty years, a cult claims twelve men to murder in a small Texas town. Can one girl end the cycle of violence – and save the boy who broke her heart?
San Solano, Texas is a quaint town known for its charm, hospitality, and history of murder. Twice now, twelve men have been brutally killed, and no one knows who did it. A shadowy witch? A copy-cat killer? Or a man-hating murderess? Eighteen-year-old Natalie Colter is sure that the rumors about her great-great-grandmother’s cult of wronged women are just gossip, but that doesn’t stop the true crime writers and dark tourism bloggers from capitalizing on the town’s reputation. It’s an urban legend that’s hard to ignore, and it gets harder when Nat learns that the sisterhood is real, and magical. And they want her to join.
The more Nat learns of the Wardens’ supernatural history, the more she wonders about the real culprits behind the town’s ritualistic murders. Are the Wardens protecting San Solano from even darker forces? As the anniversary of the murders draws near, the town grows restless. Residents start getting “claimed” as this year’s planned victims, including Levi Langford, the boy whose kiss haunted Nat for a year.
Nat knows that no one is safe. Can she and the sisterhood stop the true evil from claiming their town?
I thought this book was fun. I liked the supernatural vibes with some southern charm to make it fun. It reminds me of the CW shows I used to watch long ago and still love just as much. All of the best types of vibes from this book, and it was definitely so great I cannot wait to have an actual copy on my shelves to visit this story again each October. I enjoyed it that much.
The mystery is done well, and the ending was great. I did not have any lingering questions or plot holes that made me go hmm. I liked the one POV so I could keep up with the story. But the interwoven plots came together really well and made a strong story arc.
Natalie is a great character, and I enjoyed her story overall. I thought her past was interesting and how it was all connected. Even the romance was sweet, but it did not keep my attention the way I thought it would. It seemed like it was just placed in the story to make it more something, but that never really happened. I did like Natalie and Levi though, but they just seemed to be missing a bit more spark.
I like the creepy setting and thought it was a good read. This is perfect for those who like YA mystery or just something a little less light on the subject matter.
Meet the author
Hannah West is the author of young adult books including The Nissera Chronicles series and The Bitterwine Oath. She’s been writing fantasy since kindergarten, when she penned her first tale about a princess who ran away and lived at the top of a flagpole with two loaves of bread. But it wasn’t until she studied abroad in Orléans, France during college that the premise for her first novel materialized. The fairy tale castles, the snowy winter days, and a Disney princess pencil that arrived in a care package from her parents provided the inspiration that allowed her to wrangle all her untold and unfinished stories into a novel.
Hannah currently lives in the Dallas area with her husband and their two rambunctious rescue dogs.