From its creepy town mascot to the story of its cursed waterfall, Burden Falls is a small town dripping with superstition. Ava Thorn knows this well – since the horrific accident she witnessed a year ago, she’s been plagued by nightmares.
But when someone close to her is brutally murdered and Ava is the primary suspect, she starts to wonder if the legends surrounding the town are more fact than fiction.
Whatever secrets Burden Falls is hiding, there’s a killer on the loose, and they have a vendetta against the Thorns…
Wicked Little Deeds (or Burden Falls, if you are in the US) by Kat Ellis gave me all the chills and many thrills. An atmospheric YA horror and mystery tale, the novel quickly pulled me in with its folklore, supernatural elements, and a surprising who-done-it.
What I Loved
I loved the folklore of Dead-Eye Sadie created for the novel. It fits perfectly in the story, and it gave me goosebumps that lasted long after I finished reading. Using folklore took the atmosphere to a whole new creepy level, making the book down impossible as the story unfolds.
I also loved how a group of teens chased and recorded shows about local superstitions and everything that goes bump in the night. I usually enjoy when a book stays focused as this one did, but I would have loved seeing more of the show they created, as the making of it and the content intrigued me almost as much as the main story.
The characters were a little too teen initially, but that quickly changed as the stakes grew higher and higher, and overall, I thought they were very well-developed and had very complex and defining backstories. There was nothing superficial about even the briefest of support characters. Ava is a walking tragedy as she tries to process and cope with her parents’ untimely death and, later, the deaths of those around her. She feels cursed, and it is understandable and believable the way it unfolds. Nic is broody but observant. He is probably the most stereotypical hero-ish character, but still, he is my favorite as his maturity quickly steals the show and controls the story.
The murder mystery is another highly compelling thread. I suspected correctly as there was something off there, but I did not come even close to figuring out why. The reason for the murders made me sad, considering all that was done. And that ending! Of course, I finished the book late at night, and the ending is so impactful that it made it very difficult for me to go to sleep!
To Read or Not to Read
If you are looking for a YA Horror Thriller with a good mystery and a strong atmospheric quality, you must pick up the latest novel by Kat Ellis today!
Kat Ellis is a young adult author whose novels include Wicked Little Deeds/Burden Falls (August 2021), Harrow Lake (July 2020), Purge (September 2016), Breaker (May 2016), and Blackfin Sky (May 2014). She is a fan of all things horror and sci-fi, and a keen explorer of ruins, castles and cemeteries – all of which are plentiful in North Wales, where Kat lives with her husband.
You can find out more about Kat at http://www.katelliswrites.com or connect with her on social media.
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