Expected Publication: November 1st 2017 by Sourcebooks Fire
When her mom inherits an old, crumbling mansion, Seda’s almost excited to spend the summer there. The grounds are beautiful and it’s fun to explore the sprawling house with its creepy rooms and secret passages. Except now her mom wants to renovate, rather than sell the estate—which means they’re not going back to the city…or Seda’s friends and school.
As the days grow shorter, Seda is filled with dread. They’re about to be cut off from the outside world, and she’s not sure she can handle the solitude or the darkness it brings out in her.
Then a group of teens get stranded near the mansion during a blizzard. Seda has no choice but to offer them shelter, even though she knows danger lurks in the dilapidated mansion—and in herself. And as the snow continues to fall, what Seda fears most is about to become her reality…
Note: I received an ARC copy of this book from Sourcebooks Fire via Netgalley. This in no way influences my opinion.
I absolutely loved Cyn Balog’s Unnatural Deeds, so when I saw that she was releasing a new book later this year I just had to read it. I was not disappointed! I was completely hooked on this book and read it in one sitting.
We are introduced to our MC from the very first page – along with the problems she has (I don’t want to say too much because SPOILERS!). The way in which we are introduced to her and the description had me immediately hooked – I absolutely had to know what was going to happen to this character and where certain aspects of her personality etc. were going to take us. Seda was a likeable character throughout the book despite the way we are introduced to her and I enjoyed watching her develop as a character as things progressed because it was easy to forget about certain things (again, trying not to be spoilery). She definitely came across as someone who could be a friend once she comes out of her shell. She definitely started changing with the arrival of the stranded teens and I feel like the interaction helped her to come out of her shell and to be a bit more loose.
What I also really enjoyed about this book was the family dynamic that Seda had with her mother and siblings. It was easy to empathise with Seda and the problems her parents were having and it made her more of a likeable character when watching her interact with the two sets of twins and her mother. We also learn other various aspects of her family, which become important later on in the book, which also made her easier to like and relate to.
Another aspect of this book that I really enjoyed was the setting itself. At the beginnign of each chapter was a little chapter heading describing something about either the house/rooms in the house or the way that Seda’s Aunt and Uncle used to run it. The author cleverly wove bits of fact of certain historic people and slightly changed their stories to make it fictitious at the same time – which gave it the air of creepiness. The set up of the house with certain props etc. definitely helped to set the scene for events that happened later in the book, whilst constantly keeping an air of subtle creepiness.
The pacing of this book was just right. It starts off at a relatively normal pace and then things start to get creepier, which had me completely hooked. It also begins to speed up as events start happening later in the book and keeps readers on their toes right up until the very end!
What I most enjoyed about this book was the fact that this was not an ‘in your face’ kind of scary book, but rather took a more subtle and psychological approach, whic made the ending even more shocking. I absolutely did not see the big reveal that came at the end and was left utterly shocked when this book ended! Certain things were revealed, other things happened and it just led up to a finale that left me completely gobsmacked! I recommended it further as soon as I had finished!
All in all, I absolutely loved this book and I cannot wait to have a finished copy on my shelf! Balog is fast becoming one of my favourite authors and I cannot wait to see what she writes next. I gave this book 5/5 stars.