Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 14 to 18
- Grade: 9 to 12
Now in paperback, the new heart-stopping suspense thriller from #1New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong.
Riley Vasquez is haunted by the brutal murder of the couple she was babysitting for.
Max Cross is suffering under the shadow of a life-altering diagnosis he doesn't dare reveal.
The last thing either of them wants is to spend a weekend away at a therapy camp alongside five other teens with "issues." But that's exactly where they are when three masked men burst in to take the group hostage.
The building has no windows. The exits are sealed shut. Their phones are gone. And their captors are on a killing spree.
Riley and Max know that if they can't get out, they'll be next--but they're about to discover that even escape doesn't equal freedom.
About the author
When librarians finally granted Kelley Armstrong an adult card, she made straight for the epic fantasy and horror shelves. She spent the rest of her childhood and teen years happily roaming fantastical and terrible worlds, and vowed that someday she'd write a story combining swords, sorcery, and the ravenous undead. That story began with the New York Times bestselling Sea of Shadows and continues with Empire of Night.
Armstrong's first works for teens were the New York Times bestselling Darkest Powers and Darkness Rising trilogies. She lives in rural Ontario with her husband, three children, and far too many pets.
- Nominated, John Spray Mystery Award
"Action-packed suspense from beginning to end." —Kirkus Reviews
"[A] terrifying thriller where suspense and psychological horror serve as perfect counterpoints to themes of forgiveness and growth. . . . Masterful storytelling . . . overflowing with twists."
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
YA ThrillerAwesome! I stayed up way too late because I just could not put it down without finishing it. I partly had the scenario figured out, but there were so many twists and turns that there was enough that kept me guessing. If you're familiar with the mangas "Judge" or "Doubt" you'll know where the author's idea comes from. A warehouse, with kidnapped teens who are being murdered by captors wearing masks.
For a YA book this has the violence, fast pace and psychological thrills of an adult book of the genre, yet it never stops reminding you that it is, indeed, a YA book. And there is where I have my problems and am not sure how to rate or review the book yet. Since the book starts off with a group of teens in a mental therapy group, their diagnoses become the "issues". Especially those of the two main characters. We are taken on time-outs to be given information lessons, debriefings, politically correct terminology and touchy-feely stuff about how the mentally ill are not "crazy". I personally belong to the mental health community so "get" all this, but did I want it interfering during what was otherwise an excellent thriller? No, it hindered both the tension and pacing.
The thriller was very good; a departure from Armstrong's usual paranormal fare. This was strictly realistic. The terror was high, adrenaline was rushing and the tension was virtually non-stop. No character was safe keeping the reader on the edge of their seat throughout making for an incredibly fast paced read. Character development was also awesome; I was invested in both Max and Riley and was satisfied with the realistic ending.
I hope Armstrong continues to venture out into this genre more, but I'd love to see what she can do in the mainstream adult market.
Other titles by Kelley Armstrong
The Final Trial
Royal Guide to Monster Slaying, Book 4
A Rip Through Time
The Deepest of Secrets
A Rockton Novel
A Stranger in Town
A Rockton Novel
Shapers of Worlds Volume II
Science fiction and fantasy by authors featured on the Aurora Award-winning podcast The Worldshapers
The Serpent's Fury
Royal Guide to Monster Slaying, Book 3
The Gryphon's Lair
Royal Guide to Monster Slaying, Book 2
Alone in the Wild
A Rockton Thriller (City of the Lost 5)