Candace “Candy” Pickens has been obsessed with the swamp lore of her tiny Louisiana town for…forever. Name any ghostly swamp figure and Candy will recite the entire tale in a way that will curl your toes and send chills up your spine.
That doesn’t mean Candy’s a believer, however. But with swamp haunts appearing around town every day, a suspicious new family in town, and her own mind starting to betray her, Candy must come to terms with the one piece of swamp lore she’s never heard before. It’s a tale that’s more truth than myth, and may hold all the answers…and its roots are in Candy’s own family tree.
Sequel to Beware the Wild, this story focuses on Sterling’s best friend Candy, the one who was immune to Shine. Candy is a confident, headstrong girl, the kind who has been brought up on stories but chooses to enjoy them, not believe them. She has the same disbelief towards the Craven Curse – a phenomenon that happens in her family of one descendant in a generation being born when another dies. After the events of the last book, she is a bit frustrated that everybody can see the new ghosts but not she. Since the ghosts are connected to the Shine and she is able to dispel them, she thinks that is the one thing setting her apart from the rest of the town.
The arrival of the King family certainly adds drama to the plot. Their wanting to use her on the paranormal footage they are gathering, as well as her recently diagnosed sterility, both add to Candy’s alienation. She feels isolated and burdened with her heritage, and the story is her coming to terms with that. Her friends Sterling and Abigail are her rocks, and how the dynamic between them changes is well-written. While the story was certainly different and interesting, I did not like the pacing of this book either. It was too slow, and almost everything of importance happens in the last quarter of the book. Not to mention the characters seem to be a bit inconsistent, or maybe their realization is. Either way, I did not enjoy this book as much as I would have.
Received a free galley from HarperTeen, via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.
Quotes I liked:
What I didn’t know until right this very minute was how growing up happens in little surges. We grow up in moments—when we encounter such stupidities in ourselves that our only choice is to grow past them or into them. Maybe that’s why some kids grow up too fast and others not at all.
Give me a high-impact love that makes me stronger than I already am. Or give me nothing at all.
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