The story was compelling, all the way through, and this is a bit of a lengthy read at just over 400 pages. It held my interest far more than I initially expected, and I truly found myself enjoying every moment of this read. And, yes, there were several parts where I had to suspend disbelief, and some parts where the characters acted in such a way that I couldn’t see it happening as the author wrote it if this had taken place outside of a fantasy environment; such as when thirteen-year-old characters suddenly take themselves out of school and fly from one side of the United States to the other, with no plans on when they might return.
They are able to purchase airline tickets, make it through security, and their parents never enter the story wondering where their kids might have wandered off to, even though they’ve been gone for several months. And there is an almost constant introduction of new characters, all of whom seem to be aware of what’s going on in this world of witches, magic, and people whose bodies have been possessed by the spirits of the long-since-dead residents of Roseway, a small suburb outside of Seattle. But that’s part of what makes this story such a good read! The entire story reads like one of those teen/young adult fantasy-adventure television shows.
Though, as the author warned me, there are some darker parts, and the amount of times large quantities of blood are mentioned in the story is fairly often, it really isn’t that dark. Gory, gruesome, unpleasant at times, sure. But there was nothing alarming or disturbing. Yes, there were mentions of abuse, both physical and sexual, but those were mostly passing references and not described in shocking detail. Trust me, I’ve read books that provided such graphic descriptions of these types of events that I couldn’t continue reading. This book goes nowhere near that level.
I think the part that I loved most is how the author always came up with clever ways to keep the story moving forward at every part where it felt like it was about to reach a climax, or where a less creative story may have become stalled or dry. Lambert truly has a gift of creating genuinely enjoyable plot twists, and I found myself smiling with enjoyment when the story took yet another turn. And to have done this at the age Lambert was when she wrote the book made it all that much better.
The way the author made the book both gloomy and charming at the same time speaks of an author who has true talent. I am very much looking forward to reading the next book in this series, and any other stories that this author might pen in the future. My overall rating for this book is 4.5 stars!