Ahoy there me mateys! Though this log’s focus is on sci-fi, fantasy, and young adult, this Captain does have broader reading tastes. So occasionally I will share some novels that I enjoyed that are off the charts (a non sci-fi, fantasy, or young adult novel), as it were. I received this thriller eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. If ye haven’t read the first book in this series, city of the lost, then ye might want to skip this post and go read the first book. Worth the read. If ye keep reading this log then ye have been forewarned and continue at yer own peril . . .
this fallen prey (Kelley Armstrong)
Title: this fallen prey
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Publisher: Macmillian/Minotaur Books – Established in 1999, Minotaur is a premier publisher in the bestselling category of crime fiction.
Publication Date: TODAY!!! (hardcover/e-book)
I love Kelley Armstrong! I discovered her through her young adult book, sea of shadows, and she became me most read author of 2016. I have read the first two books of this series and was excited to continue me foray into Rockton.
This novel continues the adventures of Rockton’s detective, Casey Duncan. For those who be adventurous and are readin’ this post having not read the previous books, Rockton is an off-the-grid town in the Yukon. People pay a council to spend time in this town to hide from their pasts. Some flee domestic abuse. Some flee other more unsavory problems. Suffice to say, the town is not an idyllic wonderland.
Casey has survived a lot of hard times in her short period in Rockton and yet has transitioned rather well overall. The town has settled down, to the best of its ability, and Casey’s content to live in the moment and enjoy her newfound solace. But then the council drops an unannounced problem into town in the form of an accused serial killer, bound and gagged. The council decrees that Casey and Sheriff Dalton must ensure this man’s survival for 6 months until other arrangements can be made. That is not a request. His going to prison is not an option. And with this unexpected arrival, Casey’s yet again in a world of trouble.
I found this setup to be rather ingenious. There are a lot of known dangers in Rockton and tons of less than stellar inhabitants. I wondered how the author was goin’ to up the ante in this installment. Throw a supposed serial killer in the pot, stir, and shake up. I loved that the town is so not prepared to contain an actual known menace. I love the citizens’ take on the situation. I loved Casey’s ambivalence about their charge. Is this man an actual killer or is someone taking advantage of the council and thus Casey?
The first third of the book was an absolute delight. Then me enjoyment began to wane. This for me was the weakest of the three novels so far. While the setup was fabulous, the execution was a bit silly, to be honest. Too much of the novel was wandering in the forest and making small but seemingly pointless forays back to Rockton.
What action did happen in the forest was a bit too comical. I mean, how many fierce, dangerous (and usually shy) animals can try to kill Casey in a sequence? Too many. How many bullets can fly and magically not kill the strategic characters. Too many. How many awesome residents of Rockton were seemingly brought in to help the situation and then weren’t actually utilized? Too many.
I didn’t hate the novel and certainly loved certain elements of it. But the first book was great and the second book took elements of the town and flipped them upside down – to great effect. The stories also were concluded satisfactorily even if elements from book one popped into book two. Book three ends on a rather unsatisfying cliffhanger. I did like revisiting Rockton and Casey and there are some new people that I want more information about. I shall still read the next one in the series. I just hope it turns out as well as books one and two did.
So lastly . . .
Thank you Macmillian/Minotaur Books!
Netgalley has this to say about the novel:
Casey Duncan is about to face her toughest job as police detective in Rockton yet.
When Casey first arrived at the off-the-grid town, an isolated community built as a haven for people running from their pasts, she had no idea what to expect, with no cell phones, no internet, no mail, and no way of getting in or out without the town council’s approval. She certainly didn’t expect to be the homicide detective on two separate cases or to begin a romantic relationship with her boss. But the very last thing she expected was for the council to drop a dangerous criminal into their midst without a plan to keep him imprisoned, and to keep others safe.
Of course Oliver Brady claims he’s being set up. But the longer Brady stays in town, the more things start to go wrong. When evidence comes to light that someone inside Rockton might be working as his accomplice, helping him to escape, Casey races to figure out who exactly Brady is and what crimes he’s truly responsible for committing.
In the next page-turning entry in Kelley Armstrong’s gripping series, life in Rockton is about to get even more dangerous.
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Previous Log Entries for this Author
sea of shadows- book 1 (Captain’s Log – Young Adult Fantasy)
empires of the night -book 2 (Captain’s Log – Young Adult Fantasy)
forest of ruin – book 3 (Captain’s Log – Young Adult Fantasy)
the masked truth (Captain’s Log – Young Adult Thriller)
missing (On the Horizon – Young Adult Thriller eArc)
city of the lost – book 1 (Off the Charts – Thriller/Crime Novel)
a darkness absolute – book 2 (Off the Charts and on the Horizon – Thriller/Crime Novel Arc)