Release date: November 8, 2014
Genre: Young Adult Psychological Horror
When their car breaks down, Dee, her boyfriend Luke, and his brother Mike walk through a winter storm to take refuge in a nearby town called Purity Springs. When they arrive, the emergency sirens are blaring and the small farming town seems abandoned. With no other shelter, they spend the night in an empty house.
But they soon discover that not everything in Purity Springs is as it seems. When the town’s inhabitants suddenly appear the next morning, Dee, Luke, and Mike find themselves at the mercy of the charismatic leader, Elijah Hawkins, who plans to make Dee his new wife. Elijah’s son, Joseph, offers to help them escape . . . but the price of his help may be more than Dee and her friends can bear
***I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review via Flux and in correlation with this tour.
Do you like M. Night Shyamalan? Are you looking to be creeped out and wickedly disturbed? If you answered yes to any of these questions, add this to your TBR, stat.
- There’s something incredibly disturbing and sinister about this story. The plot is not overly detailed or blunt, there’s not an abundance of gore or carnage but what Leaver and Currie do astoundingly well is create an atmosphere of utter hopelessness and terror. The foreboding is almost staggering, it forces the reader to pause and take a breath. Like a great horror film, it leaves you reeling and hesitant to look because the certainty that the worst is still to come is ever on the horizon. Small images, the wooden crosses, the mirrored room, the absolute pristine condition of the identical homes is weird, the kind of bizarre that sinks and settles beneath the skin. Rationally, it doesn’t seem like anything crazy or out of the ordinary but it’s immensely unsettling. The clues serve as tiny pieces of the puzzle that is Purity Springs and the truth is revealed with a resounding slap across the face. Nothing can prepare you for the reality of this tiny, insulated town.
- Religious zealots, the brain washing, the sense of righteousness and absolute disregard for human life is sickening and downright horrifying. Elijah is a complete psycho. Totally and utterly out of his mind and justifies everything with his belief that he is a prophet of God. Insanity. Leaver and Currie get the fanaticism down pat and man, is it chilling. Elijah doesn’t flinch, doesn’t question. He’s a genius, able to predict and understand the human heart so well and that’s what makes him dangerous. That and the fact that he’s a solid sociopath.
- Joseph is a fascinating character. He wavers between a compassionate, fierce young man willing to withstand any abuse to protect his sister and one who is equally willing to toss others’ safety into the wind. It’s hard to peek beneath the layers of emotional damage and mind manipulation to get at the heart of Joseph but pity and anger are pretty constant.
- The physical violence and blood-letting inspires goosebumps and nausea. It’s a cult-like series of rules and expectations in the name of a vicious dictator who rules in the name of God. The bowls, the paddles, everything is an image, a glimpse, but it’s these images that suggest so much more without actually witnessing the deeds. The acts aren’t needed, the imagination does all the work and it’s brutal.
- Dee is a fierce, powerful character she has already suffered and experienced so much in her life that her trauma is painful to read. Her resilience is remarkable and inspiriting. Her spirit is not broken and she fights and makes decisions that damage her happiness for the sake of those she loves.
- The first 1/3 or so of the story was really slow.
- Luke and Mike are main characters but there isn’t much insight into who they are apart from some small details. It wasn’t enough to establish a connection with them and because of this, some moments that should have been emotionally crushing and paralyzing fell flat.
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Lindsay Currie graduated from Knox College in Galesburg, IL with an English Literature degree. She is a member of the SCBWI, the Horror Writers Association and a contributor to the YA Scream Queens.
Trisha Leaver graduated from the University of Vermont with a degree in Social Work. She is a member of the SCBWI, the Horror Writers Association, and the Cape Cod Children’s Writers.
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