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Title: Wicked Little Deeds
Author: Kat Ellis
Published: 5th of August 2021 – Penguin
Format: Digital (NetGalley eARC) – 400 pages
Hello Hello! How are you?
Today’s post is my stop on the #UltimateBlogTour organised by the amazing Dave from @The_WriteReads for Wicked Little Deeds by Kat Ellis, a book that had me whizzing through its pages! Keep on reading for my full thoughts on this book.
Thank you so much to Dave for letting me take part in this blog tour, and to the author, publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, all opinions are my own.
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…
Trigger warnings: death of parents (mentioned and relieved), death (violent and gory), revenge, hate, hallucinations, drugs, grief and loss, fire.
Wicked Little Deeds by Kat Ellis is a YA horror thriller, and the second Kat Ellis book I have read. I read Harrow Lake last year and it just wasn’t for me, but Wicked Little Deeds was so different, and I enjoyed it so much more because of the more actual mystery side it had with the murders and secrets!
I have been getting into horror and back into mysteries and thrillers in the last little while, and this one was a really great YA book that had me turning the pages quickly to find out what was going on. And I have to say, I did not see that ending coming!
This book, just like Harrow Lake, is set in a small rural town, this time called Burden Falls. I like books set in small towns, especially the darker ones because they have such a present atmosphere, and I usually really enjoy them.
While we don’t get to see much about the town itself, I have to say that Thorn Manor and the legends surrounding it definitely weighed heavy and made the town feel really spooky. I like that this book was set in the cold months because it made it feel even more ominous and thriller-y.
Ava: Ava is the main character of this book and a character I immediately felt for but also liked a lot. She doesn’t come across as moody or perpetually pissed off like a lot of teenagers do in YA books. She has gone through such horrors in the last year – which are actually not over for her – but she remains resilient and I have to say she is really brave. I would have run screaming at just a glimpse of some of the things she lived through. I liked her a lot and was rooting for her to figure out whodunnit!
Ava’s friends: We don’t get that much of an insight into her friends, but I had mixed feelings towards Ford, whereas I liked Daphne and Carla a lot more, even though I still didn’t like them. I did not like Ford’s character one bit, and I think it was because he seemed to not care about Ava at all, but I wasn’t too bothered about her other friends because I was so invested in Ava herself!
Ava’s family: We only meet Ava’s uncle and his wife, because the rest of her family have died, but you get a really big sense of how important the Thorns were. And it definitely seems like they were hiding their fair share of secrets. I’m not one for family secrets as plot devices, but some things we found out had me going “Ooooh!”
The Millers: I have to say that I hated the Millers at first, but then they grew on me. I don’t want to say anything because I’m probably edging towards spoiler territory, but I do just want to say that I really like the way it turned out for one of the Millers. The Millers and the Thorns definitely gave me War of the Roses vibes for some reason, ahaha!
Death, murder, and mysteries galore: As I have been getting back into mystery books in the last while, I really liked how this book started out with dead bodies, murder and lots of questions raised. I usually prefer seeing the mystery from the eyes of the police and seeing all their investigation, but here, I also really enjoyed seeing Ava trying to piece things together. I have to mention that the murders and bodies are described in quite a lot of detail, and it does get quite gory, so be aware of that if that’s something you struggle with it in books.
A really dark and spooky atmosphere: If you know me, you know I love some great atmosphere in books, and this one delivered. I like how dark and horror-y it got, I was starting to get a bit scared there. I’m apparently not very scared by books anymore (I’ve realised this while reading Stephen King books and being fairly okay too), but I definitely felt chills at points in the story! I loved how spooky it got and the whole question around a supernatural reason, it had me guessing until the last pages!
Dealing with grief and loss: If you are sensitive to this or have lost loved ones, I would advise you to maybe not pick up this book because it does go into quite some detail. I lost my father when I was 18, so I totally understood and identified with Ava and what she was going through, from losing her parents and reliving the moment in her dreams nearly every night. She came across as very real because of how raw her emotions were, and not covering them up, so I did find it realistic.
Is it real? Or is it supernatural? This is one of the bits of the book that I really enjoyed and I just kept wondering where the story was going – but not in a bad way at all! I liked how uncertain everything was, even right up to the last page and I liked how there was just a little bit more to this story than what it would seem! This was a great addition in my opinion and added a lot of spookiness to the book.
MY THOUGHTS AND RATING
Overall, this was a really engaging and enjoyable YA horror thriller, and one I enjoyed reading. We’ve had weird rainy weather here in the days I’ve been reading it, and I have to say this is the perfect book for rainy, stormy, dark and cloudy times!
I found the pace really good in this book and I liked that the chapters were short because I kept thinking “Just one more chapter” and I got through the book really quickly! I also really liked the author’s writing style here, it was not jarring or weird, so if you were not a fan of Harrow Lake, I would definitely recommend checking this book out, because it was completely different on all levels.
I gave this book 4 stars (full ASPECTS rating below) and I enjoyed it a lot, and it kept me guessing, questioning things and trying to piece things together along with Ava. I liked Ava and Dominic, they were both very realistic and believable characters. I will be reading more YA horrors/thrillers after this because I thought the atmosphere was great!
If you like dark, atmospheric YA horror thrillers which have a bit more going on than bodies cropping up and murderers always one step in front, if you like realistic characters with real emotions you can identify to, and don’t mind questions of grief, the subject of death, quite a bit of gore and any other triggers I mentioned, then I think you would definitely enjoy this book. I recommend it to readers of mysteries, thrillers, horrors, YA, and spooky books!
Once again, thank you to Dave, the author and the publisher for the chance to take part on this tour and read this book, it definitely made me want to venture more into spooky and dark reads!
That’s all for now, I hope you enjoyed this post, see you soon, stay safe,
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – KAT ELLIS
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.
Kat’s Links: Website – Facebook – Instagram – Twitter – Goodreads – Tumblr – YouTube
Atmosphere – 7
Start – 6
Pacing – 7
Ending – 8
Characters – 7
Theme – 7
Style – 7
Total = 49
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If you would like to purchase this book, you can find it here: Amazon UK – Amazon FR – Amazon US – AbeBooks – The Book Depository – Audible FR – Waterstones – Barnes and Noble – Audible UK – Blackwell’s – Wordery
Great review Ellie! I was meant to start this yesterday but got side tracked with another book 😂 I’m definitely starting this up when I get home now though.
Thank you! I hope you end up liking it and can’t wait to read your thoughts!
Lovely review, Ellie! I just started this last night. I’m really enjoying it so far.
Thank you! Hope you love it Gina, can’t wait to read your thoughts!
I agree that this book handled grief pretty well and was definitely atmospheric. Great review!