Sunday, October 16, 2016

Review: "One Was Lost" by Natalie D. Richards

Damaged. Deceptive. Dangerous. Darling. Are they labels or a warning? The answer could cost Sera everything. Murder, justice, and revenge were so not a part of the plan when Sera set out on her senior camping trip. After all, hiking through the woods is supposed to be safe and uneventful. Then one morning the group wakes up groggy, confused, and with words scrawled on their wrists: Damaged. Deceptive. Dangerous. Darling. Their supplies? Destroyed. Half their group? Gone. Their chaperone? Unconscious. Worst of all, they find four dolls acting out a murder—dolls dressed just like them. Suddenly it's clear; they're being hunted. And with the only positive word on her wrist, Sera falls under suspicion…

Many thanks to Sourcebooks Fire (via Netgalley) for the free review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

This is the perfect time to read this book, right around Halloween! I mean, what's scarier than being stuck out in the woods with no connection to the outside world? Trust me, I've been there, done that, and it's scary enough without throwing some murderous psychopath into the mix. Add a mysterious killer into the plot, and we're talking some serious heebie jeebies!

"One Was Lost" had me fully in its grip for the few short days I was reading it. I was completely enthralled, and felt this real urgency to figure out what the heck was going on with this group of teenagers and their teacher wilderness guides. The author only lets us in on Sera's point of view, and this really works with keeping the suspense high. Sera does not know who in her group she can trust, if anyone, and the only person I was convinced was not the killer was Sera herself. Everyone, and I mean everyone, was suspect! And yet I still ended up surprised by the outcome, so all my suspicions were wrong, and I love it when that happens!

The characterization in this book was quite interesting to me. Early on, we find out that Sera had a bit of a "thing" going on with Lucas, one of the boys on this wilderness adventure. It's obvious that Sera now feels extremely uncomfortable around Lucas, but it takes a while before the reasons behind her feelings are revealed. Again, the suspense was killing me! I needed to find out what the story was behind their relationship, or lack thereof, and that is a big part of what kept me steadily turning the pages. I have to admit I was somewhat disappointed when I found out why Sera wanted to keep away from Lucas - her reasoning did not make much sense to me. It felt like she took somebody else's completely different situation and applied it to her own, letting it dictate how she should behave, even though the two situations weren't really related. I think this is one area of the story that could have been better explained or developed.

Aside from Sera, there are three other students that we get to know to some extent.  Lucas is obviously the "love interest", for lack of a better term, but can he be trusted? I wanted to believe he was a good guy, but I wasn't always entirely sure. Jude and Emily round out the group, but these are people that Sera only knows by reputation. Again, Sera was not sure whether or not she could trust them either, and likewise, they didn't trust her either. It was interesting to see how Sera's perceptions of all these side characters changed throughout the book. I think being thrown into a life or death situation with others forces a strong bond, and nobody else will ever be able to know exactly what you went through except for the people who were right there alongside of you.

My only other problem with "One Was Lost" came at the end, and this seems to happen to me quite often with thriller/suspense type reads. I just wasn't completely convinced that the killer's motivations were authentic. I can't really get into much more detail without spoilers, so I'll just have to leave it at that, but otherwise, "One Was Lost" was a  unique, exciting adventure that I won't soon forget!

My rating:

1 comment:

  1. Sounds delightfully creepy, Roxy! A shame about the romance, but at least the mystery was exciting enough to keep you entertained! I'll have to check this out. Wonderful review! :)