Branches and stones, daggers and bones, They locked the Beast away.
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.
In this Gothic tale of small-town secrets, several teens, each defined by a significant loss, must work together despite old family tensions to defeat an ancient evil that lurks in the shadows and preys on the unwary. When 17-year-old Violet Saunders, still reeling from her sister's death, moves to the Upstate New York community of Four Paths, she soon discovers that her family is descended from one of the four town founders, and, like those before her, she has inherited dangerous magical abilities, which she must learn to control via ritual if she ever wants to leave. Along with Justin Hawthorne, who hides his lack of powers; Harper Carlisle, who lost a hand in the Gray, the beast's prison; and angry Isaac Sullivan, whose ritual destroyed his family, Violet delves into Four Path's mysteries, eager to stop the evil before it claims more victims. In this creepy debut, Herman imbues her setting with a claustrophobic atmosphere filled with intrigue. While the small-town setting and intertwined magic-wielding families may feel familiar, Herman creates distinct characters and an appealing mystery with an imminent sense of betrayal and tragedy that will keep readers awaiting the next volume. Ages 12 up.
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Just getting back into the swing of reading and this book was perfect for that. It’s got great descriptions and really immerses you into the world it has built. The twists keep coming and though there are full moments, it all pays off. I would recommend this to anyone.