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Dead by Morning (Rituals of the Night Book 1) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 380 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Luna is smart and a bit of a geek and outsider at her high school. Her best (and only) friend is Violet who has a crush on Chance, the charming golden boy of the school. However, Chance only has eyes for Luna, maybe because she is so vehemently uninterested in him. Chance schemes and uses Luna's father, David, to wiggle his way into her life, ingratiating himself so that Luna must date him and go to the next dance. Chance also gets the popular girls in school to help Luna with a dress and to befriend her.
However, Chance is more than just a pretty face. Several girls in the school are missing and Chance has used his Ted Bundy-like appeal to cover his involvement. Then Chance starts to invade Luna's dreams.
There are a lot of twists in this story which kept me reading and not wanting to put the book down. If you like Steven King's Carrie and books of that time, you'll enjoy reading Dead by Morning.
The author presents realistic teenagers who can't make convincing arguments and go through on plans that don't make much sense (that's a good thing, in case you can't tell). But I still found it a little frustrating that the main character, Luna, never goes ahead and calls the police to tell them that she suspects who the killer is. I guess this happens in a lot of crime thrillers where you just want to yell at MC, "Call the police already!" In such instances, you need to step back and think about what the MC knows versus what you the reader knows; then it might make sense why the police aren't called. Even so, at some point in this book, Luna has seen quite a number of things that would make a certain boy a strong suspect in a murder case ... but she just figures the police won't do anything no matter what she tells them. I know the author doesn't want to sabotage the kind of story she wants to tell, but I still found it frustrating.
Stephen King's influence can definitely be felt thanks to some supernatural elements in the story, and there's a character who happens to know all about these elements and what to expect from them. For some reason, Luna doesn't find it odd that he knows these things, and she never questions him about it. There's a small explanation at the end of the story, but it's not enough to excuse a weak story narrative.
And finally, there's a certain house that seems to have no grownups. High school students just do as they please there which includes driving to places and answering the door. I'm sure the idea is that the parents are off at work during the day, but still, there's simply no mention of them at all. Even when two police officers show up, they don't ask if there are grownups around.
I gave the book three stars because I did find it gripping at times, and the villain is truly, horribly evil. It also had a narrative flow that was easy to read and follow.
Now spoilers (don't read enless you've read the book or plan to and don't care for spoilers
* the whole satanic thing going on, I feel like she dropped this element completely
(Or maybe not this could be explained in a sequel) (also as a person whose read the satanic bible and not a satanists I would like to point out actual satanist don't do this)
This is a good book and is scary. I hope she writes diffrent books and created a sequel. She has a lot of talent.
Luna is a senior in high school and anything but popular. For the most part her classmates avoid her except for the stunning, most handsome boy in school, Chance. For reason's Luna can't fathom Chance begins to turn up wherever Luna happens to be. Unlike her fellow female classmates, Chance creeps Luna out. She rebuffs his advances but he continues to shadow her, eventually stalking her. Chance starts displaying odd behaviors. He even gets Luna in trouble with her dad who takes Chance's side and forces Luna to go out with him. The more time Luna spends around Chance the more evil she sees in him. She loathes him and can't seem to get him out of her life. Then she begins to have nightmares about him. Soon she learns from friends that are having similar Chance nightmares, that a place called DreamWorld exists and things that happen there can leave a mark in reality.
A couple of high school girls come up missing. One is found dead and Luna suspects Chance is behind these horrible incidents due to some clues she found when he forced her to go to his home. Is she right? Is Chance a murder? Or is he just a misunderstood high school boy with a crush on a girl who hates him?
I found the book riveting. It had a good pace, well developed characters and great twists and turns. You felt the heroine might never come out on top, yet you're rooting for her the whole time.