Beware of the woods and the dark, dank deep.
He’ll follow you home, and he won’t let you sleep.
Who are the Sawkill Girls?
Marion: the new girl. Awkward and plain, steady and dependable. Weighed down by tragedy and hungry for love she’s sure she’ll never find.
Zoey: the pariah. Luckless and lonely, hurting but hiding it. Aching with grief and dreaming of vanished girls. Maybe she’s broken—or maybe everyone else is.
Val: the queen bee. Gorgeous and privileged, ruthless and regal. Words like silk and eyes like knives, a heart made of secrets and a mouth full of lies.
Their stories come together on the island of Sawkill Rock, where gleaming horses graze in rolling pastures and cold waves crash against black cliffs. Where kids whisper the legend of an insidious monster at parties and around campfires.
Where girls have been disappearing for decades, stolen away by a ravenous evil no one has dared to fight… until now.
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books
Published: October 2nd 2018
Graphic Murder, Violence, Gore, Grief, Parental/Sexual Abuse, Animal Death, Acephobia, Mentions of Suicide Attempts
This book was a powerful force. Did I figure out the whole book 20% in? Yeah, but that didn’t make me any less nervous for these characters and have my heart racing at the climax.
Sawkill Island has an issue of girls going missing without their bodies ever being found. Some suspect it to be a legend called The Collector, who feasts on these girls, to build his strength. Three girls try to figure out what could be killing these girls and if he’s working with someone.
“Tragedy had touched Sawkill, again and again and again, but after each girl’s disappearance, once a respectable amount of time had passed, everyone seemed to stop caring.”
This is a very atmospheric, gruesome read. We’re on this island with all of these girls going missing and no one really giving it any mind? It had a very claustrophobic feel to it; I could imagine vividly that I was there with our characters looking for these girls, trying to figure out their secrets. And with the focus on this mystery, this is a slow moving book.
But this story’s center is grief, losing a lost one, having agency over your own body, how women are pitted against each other and the strength women can find in each other. It’s powerful, it’s raw and it’s intense.
“Girls hunger. And we’re taught, from the moment our brains can take it, that there isn’t enough food for us all.”
Zoey seems to be a fan favorite and honestly? I saw so much of myself in her. Not looking at the fact that she’s a black, ace, possibly bi girl, but she was the logical thinking one of the three. I felt her grief over her friend, I just… connected with her a lot. And she was Bad Ass. No joke.
Speaking on the ace rep— as someone who ID’s as such, it was done really well? It was authentic and the conversations it brought up and not just with her ex, felt great. It made me a happy camper.
Val was one I was not expecting to like and through the majority of the book, I didn’t. Did I at times empathize with her? Yes, she’s been through a lot. But as the story went on, she became so deeply complex, I couldn’t help but root and genuinely like her. A lot of her scenes are gruesome and hurt my heart and made me really uncomfortable, but that just made me feel for the girl even more.
Marion was probably the weakest link in this book. That and the romance. It’s not that I didn’t like her— she was just fine. There was just a lot of instalove going around and I get it: Grief and intense emotions played a huge roll here, but it came to the point where she was blinded by this love? There were so many obvious clues set in front of her, such blatant transparency, it made her look willfully ignorant. There’s also the fact that she’s the least developed of the three and she pulled a very acephobic comment that hurt me personally. Yes, it was challenged and she apologized, but that shit hurt.
I actually wasn’t expecting a romance in this one
let alone two and… while one I felt was kind of unnecessary in it’s rapid ascension and development, I get it. It was so nice seeing an f/f relationship at the forefront of the story. And I appreciated more how sex positive this was? How the author managed to have a sex scene and have it vivid enough to know what’s happening, yet vague enough to not be too graphic? Am I making sense?
But Grayson and Zoey were my heart. The conversations. The loyalty. The love. They were just so pure and beautiful T_T.
Yet I did have an issue with the overlying theme of all men are shit— with the exclusion of Grayson because he was damn near perfect. It was kind of derivable. There wasn’t much substance to The Hand of Light
a really shitty organization name btw being this evil conglomerate other than we think women are weak‘— it felt very simplistic and textbook definition to the whole misogynistic message that was being used.
This is definitely a book that instilled a quiet fear in me. For of being a women in a sexist world…. and of course the Collector. I could see myself coming back to this when the weather cools and the creepy crawlies come out— this deserves all the hype it’s getting.