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RECKONING by Heidi Lang


From the Whispering Pines series, volume 3

by Heidi Lang & Kati Bartkowski

Pub Date: Sept. 6th, 2022
ISBN: 978-1-66590-808-5
Publisher: McElderry

After the events of Infestation (2021), the town’s conspiracy deepens into new dangers.

Rae, Caden, and Vivienne emerged victorious against the bugs—but that doesn’t mean they won the internship competition to get to go on a top-secret mission. When a new, deadly threat strikes close to home, they want to join forces with friends on the other team; however, said friends are missing. In this third Whispering Pines installment, backstories are mined (Caden’s family history with the Other Place, the mystery of Rae’s missing father, and the nature of Vivienne’s curse) and connected into a twisted net of plotlines. The fast-paced action propels the characters through revelations and uneasy team-ups with Green On!’s untrustworthy Patrick and Caden’s enigmatic older brother, Aiden. Throughout, there’s a constant sense of buildup to the larger stakes. The more immediate stakes are just as delightful, with new monsters out for blood. The backstories and histories of the various mysteries make the monsters feel like a natural development rather than standard sequel one-upmanship. The answers the characters finally get are hard fought and well earned, and the ending lull offers them no true relief—especially since readers will see a major cliffhanger waiting in the wings for the next volume. Aside from occasional surnames implying ethnic diversity, most human characters present White.

A cosmic blend of magical monsters and scary science as frightening as it is fun.

(Horror. 8-13)