Town from Hell (Dagger and Brimstone, Book 1)

Young Adult

PARANORMAL/HORROR:  At age seventeen, Racer already has a bad reputation. His girlfriend’s parents even forbid her from hanging out with him anymore. But that’s not about to stop said girlfriend, Arloe, from running away with Racer for the summer. They travel to an abandoned town in Nevada, where they hope no one will catch them. Unfortunately, the town they end up in isn’t the idyllic place they dreamt of spending their summer – it’s filled with people ranging from slightly crazy to completely insane, and everyone keeps secrets. As they discover more about the town, and about themselves, they figure out they too may be keeping secrets…dangerous, deadly secrets. 

The suspense in "Town from Hell" built up slowly, and it took a while for the genuinely freaky things to start happening, which allowed the reader to speculate for themselves as to what was going on, and made the book that much scarier. By the time it’s revealed what evil is stalking the town, the story and pacing already put the reader on the edge of their seat. 

Full of surprises, this series starter was a roller-coaster of action, and once it started looking good again for the characters, they got yanked back into the horror, keeping the reader involved at every twist and turn. Despite being fast-paced and heavy on the plot, the book also leaves room for character development, and both Racer and Arloe go through a lot of growth from the start of the book to the end. Bring on Dagger and Brimstone Book two!

Majanka Verstraete