“They used to burn girls like you at the stake.”
Halcyon is the first book I have read by Rio Youers and it definitely did not let me down. I chose to not research this book before going into it because I have just started really enjoying going into books blind! I am sure this trend will come and go for me, but at this time, I am enjoying just opening a book that has been selected as one I may enjoy and seeing where it takes me. And this book took me all the way to Halcyon, “a beautiful island in the middle of Lake Ontario―a self-sustaining community made up of people who want to live without fear, crime, or greed. Halcyon is run by Valerie Kemp, aka Mother Moon, benevolent and altruistic on the outside, but hiding an unimaginable darkness inside. She has dedicated her life to the pursuit of Glam Moon, a place of eternal beauty and healing. And she believes the pathway there can only be found at the end of pleasure.”
I was instantly drawn to Edith Lovegrove, the 10-year old daughter who suffers night terrors that are somehow connected to real life tragedies, terrorist attacks, and mass murders. There are things happening in this book that Edith has to see that we are all seeing in real life. I love that Youers did that because it helped strengthen the connection I was already forming. I did expect this supernatural element to the book, and this is the first of a handful that are all connected somehow. I am glad Youers went this route. I got a slight Firestarter vibe from it? A little girl and someone wants her for a darker purpose. Could just be me!
Mother Moon seems to be this almost celestial, carefree woman with no worries and no troubles on the surface. But dang, this woman is DARK and SECRETIVE with a past made me cringe and writhe around. Her persona reminds me (for some odd reason that I cannot begin to fully explain) of Stahma Tarr from Defiance if anyone ever watched that show. There is something just so charismatic, regal, poised, and darkly seductive about her. I guess that’s why she is so successful at what she’s doing.
When we start discovering more and more about Halcyon, Mother Moon, Glam Moon, her “cult” leaders (I use quotes because no one ever calls it a cult, but as a reader I can’t help but think that is exactly what is going on over there), etc… the pages started flying and I was gasping here and there and never knew how far someone was going to go for their purpose or to stay shrouded in mystery.
What I wanted more of:
1. Calm Dumas and her Miyagi-esque teachings. I really enjoyed the character and would have liked to see more involvement with her and the Lovegrove family.
2. Alyssa. She was a character that really had me on the fence a couple times and I wish she and her connection with Martin had been explored a little deeper.
3. Creepy ass people wearing animal masks doing creepy ass things!
I am giving this book 5 stars and I think it is going to end up on my top 10 favorite books of 2018! Thanks to the author and St. Martin’s Press for sending me and my fellow Night Worms review copies in exchange for an honest review!