Published: October 13th 2015 by Doubleday Canada
Source: Overdrive Ebook & Audiobook Library
Genre: Young Adult, Thriller, Contemporary
Summary: 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.
Spoiler Free Review:
I’ve read the first two books of Kelley Armstrong’s Age of Legends trilogy and thoroughly enjoyed both of them. Kelley Armstrong has written fantasy and I was very excited to see what her stand alone thriller had to offer. Her thriller was even better than I expected and I actually enjoyed better than her fantasy trilogy. The story was so engrossing, intense, and emotional all at once.
We are introduced to Riley Vasquez, traumatized by the murder of the couple she was babysitting for. I always find it interesting to read from a main character(s) who is dealing with a mental illness or PTSD. Every character goes through hardships, and for Riley it wasn’t just the PTSD, it was also the guilt she was feeling. It was also fun to read about a “cop’s daughter.” Riley and her father were very close and I related to her since my dad and I are also very close. Riley was also resourceful, especially when the hostage was taking place. Even so, she still had her inner turmoil and panic.
Max Cross is the second main character and his chapters were written in the third person. At first, it seemed strange transitioning from first person to third, but it was honestly so intriguing to read from his perspective. When we first meet Max, he seems like a arrogant, witty, British bloke. To read from Max’s point of view was really nothing I had ever read before. Max has a mental illness that he is suffering from and it is so fascinating to read about it. It’s like a war inside his brain. Kelley Armstrong depicted so beautifully, and it felt so real. You see to sides of Max and it is so interesting to see how he really feels in the inside. Even with this struggle, I still loved Max and his character. He was so full of wit and sarcasm and you even come to love his strange puns. There were still times when I felt there was so many layers to him, and I found myself doubting him. Kelley Armstrong weaved such a wonderful, complicated character that I loved the second he was introduced.
I found the plot to be unexpectedly very messed up. We are thrown into a hostage situation which I have never read about before. I never knew how a hostage situation worked but this one went in all sorts of directions. I was at the edge of my seat the whole time, terrified that the situation was just getting worse and worse page by page. Highlight for Spoiler: Might I also mention Armstrong’s ability to kill off so many characters? I honestly did not expect so many deaths. You really didn’t know who to trust and it felt like each character was just surprising you with their true nature.
Max and Riley’s friendship was so lighthearted and funny in comparison to the darkness of the story. They really were so supportive and loyal towards one another. I really appreciated their friendship build up. In the end, they were very much adorable. I also loved the rest of the therapy group, Maria, Brienne, and Aaron (except for Gideon, he was a bit of an asshole). My one downfall of the book was the ending. Although the ending was very satisfying, especially the last chapter, it was also rushed. I really wanted to know more about how the crime was settled.
Overall, I highly recommend this stand alone thriller. It was most definitely “right as rain.” 😉
- “Right as rain. Just a temporary glitch in our evening. Haven’t you ever been taken hostage before?”