But Casey decided to stay anyway, to work as a detective alongside her new boyfriend and the town's sheriff, Eric Dalton. Fresh off solving a series of grisly murders, Casey and Deputy Will Anders get stranded in a blizzard while they're tracking a runner from the town. Seeking shelter in a cave, they stumble across a woman who's been imprisoned in a deep well. Nicole Chavez--whom everybody thought had run away from town and died in the woods more than a year earlier--is alive. Barely. But she can't identify her captor: she's never seen his face.
Was she taken by one of the hostiles who inhabit the wilderness around the town? Or is Casey facing something even worse? In a town where everyone lies about their past and lives under assumed identities, it's very easy to hide your true nature...
The second book in the Casey Duncan/Rockton series, and I really like how we are dropped back into the story a few months later. We get the chance to find out how Casey and Eric are doing in their relationship, what's been happening in town, and solve some more mysteries about both Rockton and what is happening in the forest around them.
What I Liked:
Strong Female Characters:
I'm a big fan of Armstrong's female protagonists. She always does a great job created different dynamic characters in her series, including a strong female lead. I've liked Casey since "City of the Lost" because of her intelligence, her acceptance of the trauma from her past, and the way that she continues to grow. Besides Casey, the other women in this incredibly small town are all really interesting. Nicole has been held captive for over a year, and she still shows so much courage. Diana is incredibly vindictive and yet, we see how her compassion for Nicole is genuine (still don't like her though). Even secondary characters like Isabel, Val, and Petra give us a lot to look forward to in future books.
This series is proving to be pretty entertaining! I like getting to know more about the Settlers and Hostiles in the areas around Rockton, and getting the chance to meet more characters in Rockton. I'm particularly liking Jacob's storyline and I'm interested to see how Armstrong includes him in future books. Although there is definitely a "this isn't possible" feel to this whole series, I don't mind it because the stories are really fun to read about. Armstrong always does a great job selling me on her books, whether they are paranormal, fantasy, or contemporary.
Interesting Relationship Dynamics:
I'm really liking the relationship between Casey and Eric. Armstrong never has her characters rush into relationships or marriage; unlike other romance novels, her relationships are about the couple being together, not about needing to end a series with a proposal. In this series, we're really seeing how Eric is learning how to be in a relationship with Casey (really, his first relationship ever) and how Casey is learning to trust and rely on someone else. I love the changes between Eric personal and professional personas and how they are able to juggle the difference between work and private life. I can't wait to see where they go next!
This is a great series at this point; I like where Armstrong is moving the storyline in each book and the character development that we're seeing. I'm also really interested to figure out some of the "big" secrets that Rockton is hiding and really want to know if all of these characters are going to make it to the end of the series (Armstrong never has a problem killing off characters).
FINAL RATING: 4/5
Hi, I'm Alexandra! I love reading (largely YA fiction, but sometimes I'll read "adult" books), playing board games, Nutella, and binge-watching TV shows on Netflix with my husband.
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