Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Not a Good Addition to the Series: Alone in the Wild by Kelley Armstrong

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Not a Good Addition to the Series: Alone in the Wild by Kelley Armstrong
Alone in the Wild
Kelley Armstrong
Series: Rockton #5
Genre: Adult, Mystery, Survival
Publication date: February 4th, 2020
by Minotaur Books

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In #1 New York Times bestseller Kelley Armstrong's latest thriller, the hidden town of Rockton is about to face a challenge none of them saw coming: a baby.

Every season in Rockton seems to bring a new challenge. At least that's what Detective Casey Duncan has felt since she decided to call this place home. Between all the secretive residents, the sometimes-hostile settlers outside, and the surrounding wilderness, there's always something to worry about.

While on a much needed camping vacation with her boyfriend, Sheriff Eric Dalton, Casey hears a baby crying in the woods. The sound leads them to a tragic scene: a woman buried under the snow, murdered, a baby still alive in her arms.

A town that doesn’t let anyone in under the age of eighteen, Rockton must take care of its youngest resident yet while solving another murder and finding out where the baby came from - and whether she's better off where she is.

#1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong again delivers an engaging, tense thriller set in perhaps the most interesting town in all of contemporary crime fiction.
-A copy was provided by Minotaur Books for review-

I’ve been a longtime fan of Kelley Armstrong and in particular love her mysteries. While I didn’t pick up City of the Lost as soon as it came out, when I did, I was unsurprisingly sucked into this new world Armstrong had crafted. Since picking up book 1, I’ve consistently kept up with the series and eagerly anticipated every new installment. So, I was very very excited to dive into Alone in the Wild. There were a lot of exciting things that happened in the Watcher in the Woods and I was looking forward to seeing how Armstrong would deal with those threads. I ended up being pretty disappointed. It isn’t that Alone in the Wild is inherently a bad book on its own but its not a good installment in this series.

We ended book 4 with a lot of speculation on what the council was up to. Alone in the Wild doesn’t focus on any of that at all and instead dismisses most of the theories it was hinting at in the last book. I thought we were headed towards a bigger, darker secret but NOPE. Alone in the Wild is all about babies. Casey is suddenly angsting about whether or not she wants to have babies. Erik is pretty chill and doesn’t seem to care much about anything even though Casey thinks he is all worked up. I did not sign up for a book that is all about babies. Especially in a mystery series!!!!!

Because Erik and Casey spend most of this book out of town, we also don’t get to hang out with any of our fav secondary characters. There were several key introductions that took place in the last installment and I was really hoping we’d actually get to see more of these characters and they’d be further developed but that also did not happen.

The only really noteworthy thing this book does is expand the world a little bit as we get to meet groups of people we haven’t met before. I appreciated that but still really don’t like the way Armstrong talks about the so-called ‘savages.’ 

I honestly don’t remember if this happens as much in the previous books but there was so much repetitive information being shared and I am convinced it’s because I read an unfinished copy. Like 20% of the book is just Armstrong repeating information from the previous books. I appreciated it at first but it became really annoying after a while.

My whole review has been me nitpicking about all the details but I do think that if you’re also a fan of the series, the book is probably worth the read. It’s not the best book in the series by a long shot but Casey (baby stuff aside) is still Casey and Erik is still Erik and together they make a good team. The ‘mystery’ is not as intriguing but it’s fun to follow along with. 

Overall, Alone in the Wild is not really a good addition to the series but of course, like any committed fan, I’ll be back for future installments and hope we find out some NITTY GRITTY SECRETS about the council.

2.5 Stars
2.5 Hot Espressos

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Rashika has been tired since 2013. There are very few things that spark joy for her besides a nice cup of tea, warm, baked goods, good books and good TV shows. She is here to pile onto your giant TBRs and to-watch lists. Offer her a cookie and she might be nice to you.

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