I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Missing by Kelley Armstrong
Genres: Thriller, YA
Published by Crown Books for Young Readers on April 18, 2017
Source: the library
Buy on Amazon
Also by this author: Omens, Wild Justice, Sea of Shadows, Visions, The Masked Truth, City of the Lost, Forest of Ruin, Betrayals, A Darkness Absolute, Indigo, Rituals, The Unquiet Past, This Fallen Prey, Stolen, Rough Justice, Dime Store Magic, Industrial Magic, Haunted, Broken, Dark Screams: Volume Nine, No Humans Involved,, Waking the Witch, Portents, Alone in the Wild, Watcher in the Woods
A standalone thriller for Young Adult readers based in Reeve’s End, Kentucky.
I do love that initial hook with Winter knowing exactly what’s going on and what she wants. Ain’t nuthin’ gonna stand in her way! It quickly starts down the scary path, though, with Winter’s rescue and the preternatural events that follow her.
Armstrong uses first person protagonist point-of-view from Winter’s perspective, as we evade that pack of wild dogs, but discover lost arrows, retrieved arrows, laid out arrows. It’s a terrifying stalker, coming through the woods. Mocking. Laughing. Murdering. In the woods that Winter considers hers.
Armstrong heightens the tension by using present tense in short sentences to convey the horror, the drama, the tension. The fact that no one believes Winter only adds to the horror. Add in the misdirection, the reactions of Winter’s dad, all those presumptions, and it did keep me on edge.
On the negative side, it’s too clichéd with the idiot sheriff and Jude and Lennon’s and Winter’s poor family situations. I don’t know if Armstrong didn’t work the story as well as it could have been because it’s intended for YA readers or… I don’t know. It was a good concept. Just…kind of annoying that it was so chopped and juvenile with these overworked stereotypes.
Add in all that whining from Winter about Jude protecting her. Oy.
Where the story really falls apart is the overall missing. That list Winter insists on writing up. Sure, Edie seems to be missing. And??? Why does this make Winter want to make up a list of missing people? What makes her think this could be a key? I’m not getting it. Armstrong did not make this believable for me.
It’s lucky for that boy that Winter has picked up some skills, working for Doc Southcott. Someone needs to get him into the warm and dress his wounds.
But it seems that Lennon has brought more to Winter’s door than his battered self…
Winter Crane comes from the wrong side of the tracks in the worst town, and she aims to get out. Bert, a.k.a., Robbie Crane, is her deadbeat, alcoholic father. Mom died when Winter was seven. Cadence is her older sister who took off a year ago.
Edie Greene is/was Winter’s best friend from a hill folk family. She left two months ago to pursue her dream of high fashion design. Granny and Pappy Greene raised Edie.
Lennon and Jude are brothers, brilliant and talented, who were adopted by a wealthy family. Peter Bishop is a Kentucky congressman; Elysse is his rich, controlled wife. Kendrick is Elysse’s long-estranged brother. Roscoe is part of the family’s security team. Maria is the cook. Clive Wilson. Mr Cleaver was Jude’s history teacher. Matthew Lowe and Annie had been Jude and Lennon’s parents who died in a car accident. Betty is their biological grandmother.
In Reeve’s End
Doc Southcott is the town physician for whom Winter works. Mrs Southcott is his nurse. Robson’s Pharma is the local pharmacy owned by Mr Robson. Tanner Robson is his cute son who’s plans to study pharmacology. Mrs Dermody is the librarian. Mikey is a gamer. Garrett is hoping for a football scholarship. Colton had been Cadence’s boyfriend whose family owns a pot farm. Miz Reid is one of the Cranes’ neighbors. The missing include Marty Lawson, Tanya Tate, and Susie McCall whose dad, Owen McCall, is a pot farmer.
Sheriff Ronald Slate is the loser cop; his son, Eli, and son-in-law are deputies. The wives are clerical help and the night dispatcher who doesn’t feel the need to be available.
The abandoned dogs went wild and are led by One-Eye and Alanna who is the alpha bitch…just like her namesake at school, Reject is the pack omega, Flea, Scar, and Mange.
The Cover and Title
The cover is browns and white. The browns of autumn leaves through which Winter, her blue eyes so bright, is peeking. All the text is in white, from the author’s name centered at the top with the tiny info blurb below it. The title spans the center, vertically and horizontally, repeating itself, for the title is the clue, the Missing.