Book Review: Missing by Kelley Armstrong

Posted February 13, 2019 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 3 Comments

Book Review: Missing by Kelley Armstrong

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
Pages: 380
Format: eBook
Source: the library

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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, Otherworld Secrets, Wherever She Goes, "The Case of the Half-Demon Spy", "Truth & Consequences", "Territorial", "Escape", "Adventurer", Otherworld Chills, A Stranger in Town, "Bargain", Hex on the Beach, "Recruit", "Checkmate", "Framed"

A standalone thriller for Young Adult readers based in Reeve’s End, Kentucky.

My Take

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.

The Story

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…

The Characters

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.

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3 responses to “Book Review: Missing by Kelley Armstrong

  1. My last Armstrong novel left me wanting to love it but not getting there. This sounds like the same thing. I wonder if some of these authors are on a deadline and forced to release the book before it’s ready, or…

    • There have been a number of those novels lately. Stories that feel forced to meet that deadline you mentioned, Sherry. Although, some of them could be because the author is bored and wants to move but the publisher holds them to that contract. Sad, really. You’d think the editors would push a bit to keep the interest and excitement up.

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