It is no secret that I love, love, loved the first book in this series, "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea". The southern charm and creepy characters immediately won me over. This theme continues in book two, but the southern influence is slightly more understated due to the fact that majority of this book takes place on the road, moving between states as Vi goes hunting for the Redding boys.
One of the things I loved most about this book was the language. Settings are described in a poetic fashion, allowing the reader to feel like they are right there with Vi standing on the sea shore or running through a dark woodland area at night. Little details like the origami animals River gave to Vi before he left, and the way Sunshine and her parents argue in book quotes lend a whimsical feel to the story that you don't often find. The imagery immediately reminded me of "We Were Liars" by E. Lockhart, so if you are a fan of that book you will definitely enjoy this series immensely.
While the first book focused on the sheer terror of what the Redding boys are capable of, this second book focuses on developing the characters and the relationships between them. River and Vi are compelling in book one, but the way the author was able to take that relationship, complicate it, and turn it completely on its head was impressive. All of the characters, from the Redding boys to Vi to Sunshine, are given extra depth and really shine.
The twist at the end of the book, while completely unexpected, did not feel like a cop out to me at all. If anything, it showcased yet again the author's ability to take what appears to be a rather one dimensional character and give them many complex facets, forcing the reader to see them through a completely different light whether they want to or not.
I am so very sad to see this series end, but I was excited to see on Goodreads that April Genevieve Tucholke will be releasing a new book in 2015, and another in 2016. Her characters and prose are absolutely addictive, and I am looking forward to see how she evolves as an author with these new stories and what she has in store for us next.