Saturday, July 1, 2023

NetGalley ARC | Teen Killers At Large


I received a free digital ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: All the stars forever and ever and ever AGAIN ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

NOTE: Sparks tweeted recently that, as a pre-order incentive, readers can snag a copy of the "best parts" of the story from Erik's point of view. This novella will not be for sale and once At Large comes out, it will be gone. You can get a copy for yourself by showing proof of preorder purchase or library hold/request. I DM-ed Sparks on Twitter to show a screenshot of my preorder and I am so excited for the novella because I love Erik in what is probably a pretty unhealthy way. 

Before I dive into this review, if you have not read my reviews of the first two books, check them out HERE. I fell in love with these characters in April of 2022 and have waited not-so-patiently for this gem to arrive. It has been a loooooong wait, but so worth it.

Now that that's out of the way...

WHAT A FUCKING ROLLER COASTER! I could not put this book down and binged it in maybe two and a half hours. I almost threw up from the stress or had a heart attack or sobbed - several times. Sparks had me questioning EVERYONE's loyalty. Even the most loyal of loyal, and if you have read the books you know who that is. If not, I don't want to say and be accused of spoiling the story. I know in the past I have gone into deep details and warned of spoilers, but there will be none here because this book deserves to be discovered in its entirety (the whole series does, actually).

In the final installment of the Teen Killers Club, book three picks up right where book two left off. Signal's conviction is now being called into question as authorities revisit her case. With the exception of Erik, who is still on the run, Signal and her fellow club members are under house arrest at the Desai compound, as Sonny and his son Aarush are working toward a future where the Wylie-Stanton Index no longer is used to classify felons. Or so we think.

You see, someone inside the house is sabotaging Signal's team and thwarting attempts to clear her name. The footage of Janeane confessing that was captured in book two has been erased, and the thumb drive containing the back-up goes missing. If the footage is not found, Signal is going back to prison - along with all of her friends.

In order to figure out what's going on, Signal needs Erik's help. The problem is, everyone wants a piece of him and Signal would definitely get lost in the shuffle if Erik was captured. When they were on the run together in book two, Signal and Erik became infamous as a modern day Bonnie and Clyde of sorts (without murders, though). Camp is desperate to get him back to finish the injections they started (to turn him into the ultimate assassin), and the police want to throw him in jail for life not only for the murders he supposedly committed, but more importantly for evading them for so long and making them look like fools.

Erik himself is desperate for two things - Signal, and his freedom. But his need to get and stay free dominates his focus and Signal tries repeatedly to get him to turn himself in and testify about camp. This makes complete sense, no matter how much he loves Signal, because he has never been free. He went from being homeschooled, to living in a psych facility, to being turned over to camp. More than once, he asks Signal to just run away with him, disappear and never be found. But her loyalty to their friends won't allow her to do this. Erik wants, just once, for someone to choose him first. Signal wants to, but can't abandon the rest of the club. They've been through too much together, love each other too much, for her to just leave them behind.

This whole series is addictive and Sparks is one of my must-read, favorite authors. It was such a wild ride and Sparks was not kidding when she tweeted about it being even bigger than the first two. The action was fast-paced and kept me on the edge of my seat because I truly could not figure out who the mole was inside the house - but it's someone who was working with Skye to keep Signal and Erik apart.

I have a deep love for all of the characters (especially Nobody), but I felt really connected to Jada. She really had her time to shine and held her own in the chaos. This was so important, given her history and the reason she was at camp in the first place. We also find out how Dennis the non-menace (called so by his fellow campers because he is the only one who has not actually killed anyone) ended up with a Class A verification. Even though Troy died in book one, his and Kurt reason for being at camp is explored thoroughly and is important to the overall story.

It took me quite a while be able to put this review together. I didn't want the story to be over and I think there is so much left to explore. The story was chaotic and all over the place in the very best way. I never knew what was going to happen next. Everyone was suspicious at one point or another, and I was so mad at Javier for a long time. I cheered for Jada constantly, was broken-hearted for Nobody when she and Amy broke up, could not figure out what the fuck Kurt was doing, and needed Signal and Erik to end up together. I also would not have minded one bit if Erik beat the living daylights out of Aarush. The way he spoke to Signal and treated her in this book was so terrible and I wanted to strangle him.

I don't want this to be the end and I know it is incredibly rude to demand more work from an author - especially when the current book is not even published yet. But this can't be the end and I refuse to say goodbye to these characters who I love SO much. It was such a beautiful nightmare of a ride and I loved every fucking minute of it.

Highly, highly, highly recommended.


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