Monday, July 24, 2023

Book Review | Naramauke

Rating: Do you really need to ask? ALL THE FUCKING STARS FOREVER!

Note: As mentioned in my recent NetGalley ARC review of Teen Killers at Large, Naramauke is Teen Killers Club told from Erik's point of view.  It is ONLY available if you email proof of pre-order or library request to Sparks at And it will only be available until At Large is published on October 10th, 2023.

Also: You MUST read Teen Killers Club first, and you should also probably read Teen Killers in Love as well. You can read Naramauke before Teen Killers at Large.

And: Here is my double review of TKC and In Love, if you have not read them yet.

Okay...NOW the fun stuff.

The fun stuff being an absolute gut-wrenching book because it made Erik so vulnerable and human. I mean, for me personally, Erik was always #1. Sparks' lit agent confirmed on Twitter at one point that this might make me a psychopath as well. I'm okay with that.

But it would be very easy I think for some readers to dismiss him as manipulative and evil, even after book two.

Apparently I have a type though, because I was Team Erik from the start, and I am STILL pissed at Javier for some stuff that happened in At Large. But MORE pissed now, because of Erik's insights from Naramauke.

So, yes, Naramauke is the best-parts of TKC because we learn SO much about Erik, from his own mind, which is not nearly as unreliable as one would think if they only read the books from Signal's perspective. In fact, Erik is not unreliable at all. He is very aware of who he is and everything is very black and white for him.

I love that we got to see important glimpses of other characters also, particularly Troy and Javier. SO SO important. There were conversations and events that Signal never knew about, but were critical to how Erik developed, and for readers to see how he constantly protected her. We also see more viciousness from Dave and Kate and it makes sense that they, too, are former campers.

Something I really loved was Erik's assessment of all the others. He is the original Class A, so each of these kids shares some aspect of his personality. I really liked when he came to understand how so-and-so shared this characteristic with him. It was really helpful to understand the others better. I know what you're thinking - they're all murderers, why does it matter that we understand them?

But it DOES matter. Despite all testing as Class As, they are still drastically different. No one is a carbon copy of Erik, nor are they copies of one another.

Then there's Signal. Designated a Class A in part for the brutal decapitation/murder of her best friend (there are several data points used to assess Class As, not only their crimes), despite Erik's 100% certainty that she innocent. He is determined to prove this, because Erik believes it will get the Wylie-Stanton thrown out and he can finally be free.

If you are wondering (and someone on Insta asked Sparks about this, so I know readers are), with the help of Naramauke you will be able to figure out the answers to the scavenger hunt the group was given during Color Wars in book one. The clues were as follows:

Find the camper...
1. ...who wet the bed until they were 13.
2. ...whose first kiss was their stepbrother.
3. ...who never had a visitor in prison.
4. ...with the lowest Class A score.
5. ...who doesn't remember murdering someone.
6. ...who grew up in a trailer park.
7. ...who parent gave them 3rd degree burns.
8. ...whose Wylie-Stanton result led to the bullying and suicide of their younger sibling.

I won't give the answers because that's spoiler-y-ish, I feel like anyway, but I did ask Sparks if my guesses were correct. They were, yay! But you have to read all four books yourself to find the answers.

NOW I am about to lay down ONE actual spoiler, and hopefully by spacing it out, your eyes won't read it by accident if you don't want ANY spoilers at all. Scroll fast, there's a spoiler start and spoiler end designation so you know when it is done.


Turns out, Erik is not a psychopath.


I mentioned that this book was gut-wrenching, and I mean it. We find out things that happened to Erik when he was younger, things that are absolutely devastating. In book two Signal discovers Erik's journal at his childhood home and she says to him after reading it that it is so clear that he loved his mom with his whole heart. This makes me even more sad for him, and all the trauma he endured; it turns out he IS the good guy - something even Erik repeatedly says he is not, throughout the trilogy.

I really loved seeing his feelings for Signal evolve as he realized he COULD feel love, he could care and do the right thing. It has nothing to do with him being unworthy before, this is not a white-washing to make Erik suddenly okay to like. He is still the Erik he has always been. But perspective matters big time and this novella is so crucial in further understanding how Erik's mind works.

Gaining those insights into Erik's beautifully terrifying mind - his childhood, early teen years, his relationship with both his mom and older brother Skye - felt like it wrapped the entire story up very well - despite it not being the final book, but a different perspective on book one.

I am not ready to say goodbye to these characters. AT ALL. I know it is rude to tell authors what they should write. And I am so excited for Sparks' next book coming in 2024, The Merciless King of Moore High, but I am hoping that some day we get one more look at the Teen Killers Club.



  1. Isn't it exciting to find a book/series that you really love and can connect to?

    1. Yes! I am bummed that it is over but it is one I go back to reread over and over - something I rarely do.

  2. Off-topic, but (in the area of children's/ya books), this week I'm posting reviews of books I read in the 1990s, especially those which were PUBLISHED in the 1990s. Would be interested in knowing what series/books you remember from that period besides Wayside School.

    1. I read every book in the Baby Sitters Club series, all the mysteries, diaries, Little Sisters books, etc. I also read Goosebumps and started on Fear Street pretty early, probably in middle school. Christopher Pike books also. Tuck Everlasting remains an all-time favorite, and any Roald Dahl.

  3. So now I'm curious what I''ll think of Erik. Can I be a sociopath too? Ha Seriously though- okay I'm skimming the end of this a bit so not to spoil myself too much, since I'm gonna start these. Thanx for letting me know about these!

    1. Maybe! You can take a test for it, lol. I love Erik. I can't wait to hear what you think!

  4. I seriously wish there was more fan art out there. I would love to see drawings of Erik and Signal. I wonder if I could commission someone?

    1. Same!! I bet there would be artists you could commission. I would love to see artwork that depicts them more closely to how the book describes them, as opposed to the covers. Erik is described as having dark blond hair but it definitely looks black on book two and three.


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