A paranormal mystery about what happens when a whole town goes missing.
Davy Ribault and Merrill Poulnot have had a fight, a bad one. Which would be fine if Davy hadn’t left so early in the morning without leaving a note—and if the entire population of Kraven Island hadn’t vanished from their homes while he was gone. Now Davy is left trying to figure out what happened—and whether Rawson Steele, the handsome “big-city stranger” who recently swooped into town, has anything to do with it. Meanwhile, Merrill, her vulnerable brother, Ned, her domineering father, and just about everyone else in their town have been transported to a mysterious, featureless desert town that could be anywhere, or nowhere. Reed’s (Son of Destruction, 2014, etc.) premise has plenty of eerie promise, and her decision to show both sides of this missing persons mystery adds an unsettling new dimension to the tale. But mysteries need clues to keep readers going, and Reed waits far too long to let her characters learn anything about what’s happened. Davy at least tries to figure things out; the missing townspeople spend most of the book just thinking about taking action. There’s real, raw emotion here, centered around the experience of having a loved one go missing, the idea that “the one you lost and never find lives on forever.” The problem is the plot, which leaves its characters with plenty to want but not much to do about it.
An intriguing, but ultimately underdeveloped, premise that doesn’t pay off.