Review of Shadows Wake by Robyn LaRue
Overview from www.barnesandnoble.com: Gold Hill is a peaceful place with a dark secret and forgotten calling. In ancient times, a native tribe trapped evil inside the mountain. That prison is now weakened, and the tribal blood line responsible for its maintenance is dangerously diluted. One girl and her friends are all that stand between the mountain demon and the outside world.
Lillian, a social outcast with secrets of her own, will learn about love, friendship, and loyalty, but can she save Gold Hill and all she holds dear?
And if she does, can she then save herself?
Shadows Wake is a coming of age story with supernatural elements and is set in historical 1952.
Once again I will review a lesser known author after at least two weeks of interviewing NYT Best-Selling Authors. I came across Robyn LaRue, author of Shadows Wake, on Twitter, the same way I have met at least one other author whose work I have reviewed on this blog. I am not really sure exactly how we met but I wanted to explain that as well as get the whole self-disclosure thing out of the way.
Ms. LaRue gave me a copy of her book for review on this blog and I believe it is her first. Her genre is the Thriller genre which is interesting but not my favorite so imagine my surprise when I start reading only to find out that it takes place in 1952. Thus it could also be considered Historical Fiction which is my favorite. And I really like the way she combines it.
Lillian, a young teenager with a bad reputation, is our main character. She lives in Northern California and is not well-liked in town but not because of anything she’s actually done. It is her family name that provides her with her undeserved reputation. That and the fact that she lives above a bar with her uncle since her parents are both dead and her grandfather is in prison.
Lately Lillian’s life has been changing in ways that she can’t entirely understand. A bear dies near the famous mine/mountain and Lillian is determined to tag along with some other students to find out what exactly is going on up there.
Along the way, she manages to make friends with one of the town’s most popular girls and two other guys. They decide to meet at the mountain to try to see if it might be the thing that is causing all the nightmares they have been having as well as figure out if it is the reason for the angst and anger among the townsfolk.
The story has its set of twists and turns but most of them are different from the ones I am used to seeing in thrillers. The evil lies beneath the surface of the mountain. There are some scary characters but we get the sense that the mountain is behind their behavior and perhaps there is not some kind of sinister plot to sell the land cheap or murder someone who is standing in someone else’s way. But what is this evil?
I can only suggest that you read it for yourself to find out. I don’t like to give spoilers in my reviews, especially those with a mystery so I won’t tell you what it is. But it is definitely worth reading. The characters are well-drawn, the writing is good, and the story is not what you’d expect. Plus, I loved reading more about life in the 1950’s and did I mention that it is overall a good, clean read? Well, it is.
Contains: some violence