I would like to thank the author for providing me a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This story is on the shorter length, just over 100 pages but it's full steam ahead from the get-go. Do not think you will read this book in interludes, not going to happen. It sucked me right in and before I knew it, I was on the last page. Written from one POV, Chira's, it makes for a great mystery because you don't get to know what's going on in anyone else's head.
What kept this from being a 5 star was that it was such a short story that parts of the story got expedited instead of being allowed to brew slowly and come to fruition on its due time. One minute your one place, the next you are somewhere completely different, which caused me to do a bit of rereading to adjust my feel of the scenery and situations. The whole Shadow Maven persona is touched on but I felt that more should have been put into it. You learn about it but than it's more in the background where it should have been more in the forefront. This is just the first story of more to come and it felt like the author desperately wanted to get it out to go further with the characters which I didn't really mind, because I've already felt a connection with the characters.
The intertwining of the different layers of this story worked very well. You got to learn more about the characters without having to take time away from the mystery at hand. The tragedies were played out well, emotions rung true, and the continuing action was a big bonus. There was definitely a character that was hinted on but no story really grew from which makes me wonder if the author will be touching on this person and bringing bits and pieces of him in as the series goes on. The budding friendship of Chira and Ben is full of wit and an attraction that can't be denied.
Now this book centers around a haunting, rumors, suicides, missing girls, kidnapping, assaults and more. The person behind it all is a well kept secret, until it's time to know. I think that readers 15+ are who this book is for. Those younger may find themselves with even more questions and parents may not take well to the questions they may ask. Having said that, I also feel that this book would interest readers of any gender.
I look forward to reading more of this series and will anxiously await news of books to come.