ARC Review: Missing by Kelley Armstrong

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The only thing Winter Crane likes about Reeve’s End is that soon she’ll leave it. Like her best friend did. Like her sister did. Like most of the teens born in town have done. There’s nothing for them there but abandoned mines and empty futures. They’re better off taking a chance elsewhere.

The only thing Winter will miss is the woods. Her only refuge. At least it was. Until the day she found Lennon left for dead, bleeding in a tree.

But now Lennon is gone too. And he has Winter questioning what she once thought was true. What if nobody left at all? What if they’re all missing?

review4/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Crown Books for Young Readers

+++Potential triggers for animal abuse/mutilation, abduction, violence, suicide, and physical abuse

Creepy, chilling, and all sorts of sinister, Missing is the kind of mystery that hits hard because of just how possible the situation is. 

This mystery is a challenge. There are so many clues that lead you in several directions. The reader, just like Winter, doesn’t know who to trust and what’s more, there are hints that suggest Winter is not psychologically sound or an entirely reliable narrator. I loved that the possibilities were endless and kept me guessing throughout, up until the very end. 

There are some seriously nightmare-inducing scenes. Some material may be triggering for readers, especially when it comes to animal abuse/mutilation. The adrenaline is high. Every snap of a twig, every laugh in the dark, every moment that makes you doubt, it’s a rush that will leave you breathless with anticipation. I could not put it down. 

In Reeve’s End the poverty is so profound that people can’t afford food and hunting is a necessary means of survival for some. The story begins with the main character setting traps, hunting for her dinner, resting in her personal shack in the woods. As the world building picked up, it was a huge revelation. Reeve’s End is one sketchy and messed up place. The cops are a joke. They arrest people on whim, they dismiss actual tips, and are full of prejudice that prevents them from doing real police work. And the sexism. Wow. There are several pointed comments about a woman’s position in society, victim blaming, and intelligence as something snobby and indecent. Sometimes the rage was pretty strong and the frustration that no one would listen to Winter and Jude, it’s enough to put anyone on edge. 

Winter and Jude. Steamy. Profound. Beautiful. The way they confide in each other. They see beneath the surface and fronts they put on for outsiders and they’re so cautious. Winter recognizes Jude has deep resentment, issues, and has put up a wall because she has the same feelings within herself. Their relationship isn’t angsty or particularly sexual like a lot of YA lately, it builds and grows and is rooted in understanding and compassion. 

While there were tidbits and clues throughout, I don’t think there were enough of them. The ending is so twisted that there’s really no way to see it coming and there wasn’t enough given to the reader to make a guess until a chapter or two before the reveal. 

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

Keep reading, 

Jordan

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Review: The Rising- Kelley Armstrong

2.5/5 Stars

The Rising (Darkness Rising, #3)- Kelley Armstrong

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“…I don’t know if that’s how you really do become a werewolf.”He paused. “It could be kind of cool, though. A werewolf and skin-walker hybrid. Time to shift? You pick your form.”
He grinned and I managed a soft laugh. “My luck, it’d be a mix of the two. A shaggy, brown monster with retractable claws and an irresistible urge to chase sticks.”
“As long as it’s not an irresistible urge to hump legs and sniff crotches.”

Plot:
Picking up right where The Calling left off, Maya, Daniel, and Corey are on the run from two rival Cabal groups who want nothing more than to capture them and make them prisoners to a lifelong series of obligations and medical procedures. As arguably successful recreations of extinct mythological creatures, Maya and Daniel are the greatest asset and highest marketing potential for future investors. Maya and the others who escaped the helicopter charade fleeing from Salmon Creek, now that they know their entire lives were based on lies in order to further scientific experimentation and exploration for warring Cabal groups, want nothing to do with the gilded cage of the Phoenix Project. All these teens want is their freedom and to not have to run anymore. Daniel, Maya, and Corey go on a reckless journey across Canada to meet up with the parents who loved them all their lives but believed them dead. With the risky plan to intercept their parents at their own funeral, all bets are off when Maya’s long-lost twin brother Ash shows up and warns them of the stupidity of their plan. A series of terrible choices and bad luck later, Maya is captured and reunited with the others from Salmon Creek and her biological father Antone, the half-demon. More importantly, Maya is back with Rafe, the hot future skin-walker from the earlier books. What Maya finds at the compound is not so bad. They have everything they could want except that which they desire most, freedom from supervision and to make their own choices without the influence of the Cabal. The Rising follows Maya, the usual crew, and a few new characters on the journey to find freedom, or relatively acceptable living circumstances without sinister Cabal intentions. Maya adjusts to life with her brother, sorts through her overwhelmingly confusing feelings for both Rafe and Daniel, and the possibility that they might actually need Cabal resources to survive, when Maya discovers that like Annie, she too is regressing.

PROS:

  • Ash was just the sort of character this series needed, someone sarcastic, attractive, powerful, with some edginess, and a bit of a chip on his shoulder. He is the perfect counterbalance to Maya’s proud fierceness, and interacts with her in a natural brotherly way complete with fighting and hilarious disagreements.
  • The only redeeming moments belong to the sizzling flirtations, and mounting sexual tensions between characters that will constantly leave you with a smile on your face and a glowing sense of satisfaction.

CONS:

  • I had such high hopes for this book, I expected crazy action scenes, danger, and a lot more magic considering the supernatural elements but surprisingly this book was severely lacking in all of those departments. For a series that is based on scientific experiments connected with the revival of extinct mythological creatures, it felt like more of a teenage drama with half-hearted attempts at supernatural. Adrenaline should have pumped, the speed should have been fueled with uncertainty and fear for their lives but honestly, the whole story was slow, boring, and not at all what I anticipated. Sure there were a lot of dire circumstances, narrow escapes, and even shootings yet somehow the story felt like a series of telling with little description and the pace was not up to speed with the action scenes. I spent more than half of the book hoping something would happen that made me sit on the edge of my seat, gripping the edges of the book for dear life, and I was just so underwhelmed.
  • The story didn’t have a climax. It went in circles with a bunch of nothing much happening. The plot didn’t really fluctuate and there were no surprises.
  • The end was bland and deeply unsatisfying.

As the conclusion to the trilogy, The Rising fell flat and lost some of it’s earlier magic in the earlier books.

If you enjoyed the following books you would likely love this:

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Happy reading,

-BB