After the death of her sister, seventeen-year-old Violet Saunders finds herself dragged to Four Paths, New York. Violet may be a newcomer, but she soon learns her mother isn’t: They belong to one of the revered founding families of the town, where stone bells hang above every doorway and danger lurks in the depths of the woods. Justin Hawthorne’s bloodline has protected Four Paths for generations from the Gray-a lifeless dimension that imprisons a brutal monster. After Justin fails to inherit his family’s powers, his mother is determined to keep this humiliation a secret. But Justin can’t let go of the future he was promised and the town he swore to protect. Ever since Harper Carlisle lost her hand to an accident that left her stranded in the Gray for days, she has vowed revenge on the person who abandoned her: Justin Hawthorne. There are ripples of dissent in Four Paths, and Harper seizes an opportunity to take down the Hawthornes and change her destiny-to what extent, even she doesn’t yet know. The Gray is growing stronger every day, and its victims are piling up. When Violet accidentally unleashes the monster, all three must band together with the other Founders to unearth the dark truths behind their families’ abilities… before the Gray devours them all.
It’s really no secret how much I was looking forward to this book. It’s been in multiple blog posts and I talk about it all the time over on Twitter. I was absolutely thrilled when I was able to get an ARC and have the chance to review it early! I was nervous I was going to hate it or it would be something I wasn’t a fan of, but I was worried for no reason. This book blew away my expectations. It wasn’t what I thought it was going to be, but it was still something that is amazing, spectacular, and so so good.
This has already been said by a lot of other people, but the atmosphere of this book is something to admire. You feel like you’re in a foggy small town, surrounded by a forest with a monster inside wanting to rip you apart. It was very fitting I read this book during some foggy days, but it was so easy to slip into this world, to put myself in Four Paths.
The name ‘disaster children’ is very fitting haha. I love Justin, Harper, Violet, and Isaac so much. They all have their issues and none of them are perfect, but there is something so lovable about them. They make mistakes and their feelings are messy. They’re human and I loved seeing that in them. There were also so many other characters. But it wasn’t hard to figure out who was who or who was doing what, which I really appreciated.
I think one of my favorite parts about this book was how emotions were handled. Every main character has their own struggles and their own, metaphorical this time, demons to fight. And they are laid bare to them, they acknowledge them, and look at them head on. They talk about them and try and find the best way to cope. It doesn’t always works and that’s alright, but it was so special so see the recognition of hard feelings and healthy (most of the time) ways of dealing with them.
There were so many casually queer characters that it made my heart soar. I think books that focus on sexuality are really important, but I also love books where it’s just mention a few times, kind of in passing. It’s a unique sort of acceptance to me and I loved seeing it.
LETS TALK ABOUT THOSE SWORDS YES. Yes, I freaking adored that badass fencing character. And that one scene, oh heck yes. I can’t wait to hopefully see more of this in the next book!
The story takes so many twists. They are so subtle and so slipped in under the surface. You are given all the puzzle pieces lined up, but you get the satisfying job of clicking them all together. They mysteries are laid out in such a way that keeps you in the dark, while also giving you enough information to start to piece together ideas of your own. Yes, I know that sounds weird.
Oh! There is also a super cool cat companion!
The writing was good. I wanted to drop everything and just keep reading a lot of times. This book is something to behold and I’m so glad it was written. I definitely, definitely recommend checking out. I cannot wait for the second book for more of the Gray and the disaster children!
Thank you for reading!