Booklist Reviews 2015 February #1
After her father's death, Lauren is stunned to discover that John Reardon wasn't his real name; in fact, the man she knew was a fiction, and the real man is buried in a shadowy past. Following a tantalizing clue, Lauren finds herself in Gideon, a small town that feels like it's living in the past, a town with dark secrets and, Lauren hopes, the key to solving the mystery of her father and of her own past. This is the kind of novel Ira Levin might have written, a story of magic, mystery, danger, and a town that seems like it's been cut off from modern society. It's the author's first novel, and it shows: the writing is a little clunky here and there; the characters (especially some of Gideon's residents) feel a bit familiar, as though we've seen versions of them in other people's novels; and some of the dialogue might benefit from a rigorous editing. But overall it's still an engaging and suspenseful story, and should appeal to fans of the horror/fantasy genre. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.
LJ Reviews 2014 December #1
The death of her father sets Lauren Reardon on a collision course with a family legacy in this dark blend of fantasy and horror. Finding a strange book with a faded photograph tucked inside, Lauren realizes her father hid his past in a small, isolated Illinois town called Gideon. When she impulsively drives across the country to see Gideon for herself, she encounters hostile locals and the diabolical influence of long-dead Nicholas Blaine, who believes Lauren is the key to winning his way back to this world. VERDICT With the pacing of a thriller, this debut supernatural tale does a solid job of portraying the menace of small-town evil. While the demonic figure of Blaine is scary, the petty viciousness of the townsfolk is even more chilling. This will appeal to fans of books such as Katherine Howe's The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane or Deborah Harkness's A Discovery of Witches.[Page 76]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
PW Reviews 2014 November #4
In this impressive dark fantasy debut, witches are anything but cardboard embodiments of good and evil. They are modern, yet plagued by a 200-year-old curse; they are sometimes untrained and unaware, but still have incredible power flowing in their veins. Lauren Reardon thought she was a perfectly normal person, until her father's death revealed her family connection to the witches from the tiny town of Gideon, Ill., who are tasked with keeping demons from entering this world. After John Reardon's death, uncanny and frightening events start Lauren on a trip to find her roots, along with the power to combat an evil spirit that has terrorized Gideon since 1836. Crisp and shiveringly disturbing prose, a solid plot, and well-developed characters all make for a deeply satisfying read. Agent: Jennifer Jackson, Donald Maass Agency. (Jan.)[Page ]. Copyright 2014 PWxyz LLC