Review by Booklist Review
*Starred Review* On Sawkill Rock, girls disappear. Not that many, and it's not that strange; the island, with its slick cliffs and dark waters, can be treacherous. Still, the people of Sawkill tell campfire stories about a hungry monster a monster that, for three girls, is about to become sharply real. Marion arrives on Sawkill Rock grieving her father's death. Plain, reliable Marion holds what's left of her family together, but when her sister vanishes, Marion begins hearing ominous warnings. Zoey's police-chief father has been unable to find Sawkill's missing girls, and Zoey's been obsessed ever since her best friend disappeared seven months ago. When the disappearances accelerate, Zoey starts to dig, unearthing more than she believed possible. Then there are the Mortimer women: Sawkill royalty who raise prizewinning horses. They are beautiful and influential, and Val is no exception. But the Mortimer women harbor a dark power, and as it grows stronger, Val must decide if she's going to give in to it or fight. Through this dank, atmospheric, and genuinely frightening narrative, Legrand weaves powerful threads about the dangerous journey of growing up female. In a world where monsters linger at the edges, this is an intensely character-driven story about girls who support each other, girls who betray each other, and girls who love each other in many complicated ways. Strange, eerie, and unforgettable.--Reagan, Maggie Copyright 2010 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
An idyllic island hides a deadly secret in this atmospheric, Gothic-flavored chiller, which mingles elements of dark fairy tales and outright horror. Sawkill Rock is home to lush forests, rocky cliffs, marvelous horses, and the Mortimer women, who have lived there for generations. Marion Althouse, 16, recently lost her father and has just arrived on the island with her older sister, Charlotte, and their mother. Marion soon befriends the police chief's daughter, Zoey Harlow, and, to Zoey's chagrin, seems to be getting close to the beautiful schemer Val Mortimer, matriarch Lucy's daughter. When Charlotte goes missing, Marion discovers that 23 girls have disappeared in the past century and a half, including Zoey's best friend. It seems that something inhuman lives in Sawkill Rock's dense woods, immortalized in the grisly urban legend of the Collector, and the young women, each with an extraordinary emerging power, may be able to vanquish it- if they don't destroy each other first. Sure to win Legrand (Winterspell) plenty of new fans, this tale, which includes an asexual character and a beautifully wrought queer romance, focuses on the power of female friendship and what it means to pit women against one another in fiction and in life. Ages 14-up. Agent: Victoria Marini, Irene Goodman Agency. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review
Gr 9 Up-Girls have gone missing on Sawkill Island for so long that the wealthy residents have learned to carry on with a stiff upper lip when it happens. As the disappearances ramp up, three local girls with close ties to the missing young women, and varying degrees of intimacy with a sinister presence on the island, start to take action. Prickly Zoey and dreamy Marion have had loved ones disappear, and their investigations lead to queen bee Val, whose family is involved in a dark cycle she can't seem to break. Legrand's lush and pensive prose matches the murky, dangerous, and beautiful island setting, and shifting perspective among the three protagonists keeps things clipping along. When the truth of what's terrorizing the island gets out in the open, things move from a shadowy mystery to a full-on war between good and evil, with three strong teens at the center. Val's story is especially well done, unspeakably creepy and hopeless, with a spark at the center that will keep readers rooting for her. Several queer relationships lift this otherwise dark, loamy horror story into the light. -VERDICT Rich and earthy horror for readers who wanted Laura Ruby's Bone Gap to be a little scarier make this an essential purchase.-Beth McIntyre, Madison Public Library, WI © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Horn Book Review
Sawkill Rock is an idyllic-seeming island--where young women disappear. Marion's family moves to Sawkill after her father's death, and shortly thereafter, her sister vanishes. Marion and two island girls, Val and Zoey, are pulled into the discomfiting mystery. All three characters are compelling, and readers will be unnerved and horrified as they get closer to the truth. (c) Copyright 2019. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
For generations girls have gone missing on Sawkill Island, their bodies never found.Sawkill is right out of a dream: beautiful, rich people on a beautiful island, full of beautiful horses. It's seemingly perfect....Children tell stories of the Collector. Nothing more than a boogie man to scare each other around campfires, but to three young women, Marion, Zoey, and Val, he is very much real as they begin to understand their terrifying roles in what is really happening on their island. Val is the beautiful blonde, popular but with a dark secret. Marion is the new girl in towndark-haired and plain, the white girl is recovering from the death of her father. Zoey, African-American and asexual, is the daughter of the police chief, with black curls highlighted with orange. She too is mourning a loss: Her best friend was the most recent girl to go missing, and Zoey has a theory about what happened. While the relationships (romantic and platonic) seem to develop a bit too quickly, readers will enjoy the fast-paced narrative and creepy feel of this book, part spine-chilling horror story and part coming-of-age lesbian romance. There is a feminist message in the way the girls refuse to be manipulated by those with ulterior motives, banding together to fight the monster. If you are looking for something to scare you awake at night, this is the book for you. (Horror. 14-adult) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.