"There isn’t another way; not now. The others are coming. I can’t let them have you…"
Seventeen-year-old Reagan has a problem: She can’t remember what happened the night her brother was taken.
Now, the dreams haunting her from the incident are becoming more intense by the day. All the while, the lines between what’s real and what’s a product of her paranormal-obsessed mind are becoming blurred.
Is she losing her mind or has she just stepped into a world she thought only existed in books?
Caught in a web of worried parents, competing boys, Wiccan relatives, protective amulets, and psychiatrist babble, Reagan must determine the truth before it’s too late.
It's no secret: I dig wolves. And werewolves. And the premise of this story seemed to be right up my alley. Reagan Cooper is attacked in the middle of the night by a wild animal while her younger brother is dragged off and presumed dead during a family camping trip to Yellowstone. Afterward, while trying to cope with the gaping hole the loss of her brother leaves in her life, and trying to find some semblance of normal again, she starts having horrific nightmares and hearing voices in her head. She loses interest in her boyfriend and her school activities. The only person who does suddenly attract her interest is the new boy in town, but there's something about him that repels her and puts her on edge at the same time. And while Reagan's parents and the authorities are convinced it was a bear that attacked them, Reagan's dreams are full of wolves, and one in particular, with golden eyes. The only person who seems able to help at all is Reagan's Nana, with her Wiccan beliefs and practices, but Reagan's parents disapprove and become determined to force Reagan into a routine of psychiatrists, drugs, and mental evaluations to figure out what is going on in her head. But as Reagan's behavior become more erratic, and she begins to question her sanity and needs the support of her friends and family the most, she discovers she can't trust anybody and will have to solve the mystery of what's happening to her on her own . . . while she still can.
I was really hooked on this story. I was sucked in by the prologue and looking forward to a good teen paranormal, but I did become a bit dejected in the next chapter when the teenspeak and Twilight references started, but fortunately, the high school drama soon takes a backseat to the spooky mystery of what happened that night and what has been happening to Reagan since then. (And turns out there are more Shiver references than Twilight :) As her parents try to help her with good intentions, though awful results, and as Reagan takes charge and searches for her own answers, truths are slowly and deliciously teased out, including some real What the Heck is Going On moments--and I mean that in a good way. It's refreshing to not be able to predict the outcome or to be able to tell the good guys from the bad. I give Ms. Bach major thumbs up for keeping the story compelling and unputdownable while not actually revealing much about what happened that night in Yellowstone. And I was OK with that. Though I'm anxious to put the pieces together, I can appreciate an intense, slow-burning build-up to a larger and more meaningful revelation.
I really only have two issues with the book: I thought the writing was a little uneven, but I'm hopeful Ms. Bach's style and execution will improve with each book; and I can't say that I was a fan of the abrupt, stop in the middle of the action ending. Especially because I was reading on my Kindle app and was so into the story that I didn't realize I was at the end until it smacked me in the face. Then I had to go back a couple of times to see if my file was missing pages! But it wasn't, and now of course I'm going to have to read the next book to find out what happens!
Overall, it's a great story and a good start to a promising new series--dramatic, mysterious, and scary, with rich characterization and an interesting mix of Wiccan, Native American, and lycanthropic mythology and ideology. I really enjoyed it and I'm looking forward to the next book. Highly recommended for fans of paranormal YA.
My Rating: 4 Stars out of 5
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