Series Review: Small Town by Jessica Edwards

aka the series that keeps you coming back for more.

 


 

 

 

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One night, everything changes for eighteen year old Alice. 
When the full moon invades Small Town, where a young innocent Alice Smith is ending her shift at the diner, she comes face to face with a big terrifying wolf. 
When the wolf attacks Alice and runs away, leaving only a single bite, she has no idea what troubles lie ahead of her. 
Could it have been that she was at the wrong place at the wrong time or the opposite? 
When the school’s most frightening gang becomes interested in her, they will do anything to find out the truth behind Alice, especially their leader, Ryder King. 
Alice wants nothing to do with Ryder but when the time comes, Ryder could be the only one who can help her survive….

 

It starts off crazy(!), with our main character being attacked by a rogue alpha. Oh child, I was hooked from there! Every paranormal/shifter story that starts with a rogue alpha never ends well for the rest of the townsfolk, and this one was no exception.

 

Anna is then thrust into a world within her world, with no time to adjust to this new reality because someone is going around killing innocent townsfolk. Is this plotline new? No, but the execution is done well enough that that doesn’t matter.

 

In the beginning, I was not sure that I liked any of the characters, but as the story progressed I became so invested in the investigation that I didn’t care if I didn’t have a favorite.

 

Why were these very specific people targetted? Could the killer be someone we’d already met? A part of Ryder’s inner circle, or some unnamed townie? Will Anna ever learn to be one with her wolf?

 

Then bam! Cliffhanger to end all cliffhangers.

 

 

 

 

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With her mother now gone and her father’s still a no show, Alice is unprotected, vulnerable and alone. 
How will she manage to survive without her mother’s protection? Who was responsible for it? Is Alice the murderer’s next target? If so, who will protect her? 
With the murderer still on the loose in Small Town, Alice must be prepared to confront the dangers around her in order to keep those close to her safe again, but can she do it after the heartbreak, betrayal and the loss she has already endured?

 

 

*name redacted* is a predator (sexual and emotional, among others). That’s all I’ll say about that. Oh, and all adults in these books are incompetent. UGH!

 

Now that that’s off of my chest, let’s talk about book 2. So, we’ve found our killer’s real target: Anna. Still no clue whodunnit though.

 

The angst between Anna and Silver was understandable I guess: two hormonal teenage girls focused on the same boy, one booted out for the other. Yikes. I wished that it didn’t have to be like that, but…such is life sometimes. If this isn’t your cup of tea, don’t worry, it doesn’t get much pagetime as Anna is so focused on learning how to control her wolf and find out who killed her mother that she barely looks Silver’s way. Plus Silver is pretty good at pulling disappearing acts, only being mentioned when someone notices that she’s not around.

 

Child, when we got confirmation of who the killer and rogue Alpha is/are, I was fistpumping because I had figured it out. Yes, I’m one of those weird people that get happy when they figure out the plotline (it’s even better when I have to work for it though). Now, it was time for Team Anna to prove it.

 

Big fight scene, a death and a major injury. Plus there’s a character introduction. But, bam! Cliffhanger bishes.

 

 

 

 

 

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The last thing Alice expected to see that night, was her father. 
The man himself who abandoned Alice, when she was only just a newborn.
It’s the first time, Mark Smith has seen his daughter in eighteen years, but he has no idea the reason why he’s been brought back to Small Town, and back into his daughter’s life. 
Will Alice be able to forgive her father for the pain and suffering he has caused all those years ago, or will she put her feeling’s aside, and focus on killing the murderer of Small Town instead?

 

TW: rape, talk about suicidal/depressive episodes, physical/emotional abuse.

 

We now know for sure who the killer is, but still no way to prove their guilt. Gah! I felt Anna’s frustration in this situation. Especially since Ryder and Max insisted on treating her like a fragile flower, not giving her the chance to defend herself or even letting her in on the plan. Obviously, that works out well…right?

 

 

I personally would not have let *name redacted* leave my sight, especially not so soon after discovering their treachery.

 

I don’t know if I agree with Alice’s decision to shut Mark out. Yes, he was an absent parent, but he deserves to know what happened to his wife. He’s bound to find out anyway, why not be the one to tell him? Be hurt, but don’t lose sight of rationality. Like, now is the PERFECT time to find out why he left, which she always wondered, and yet…

 

A lot of the time I couldn’t relate to the characters’ reactions. Things that I would let slide causes a huge blowout, and then times when I would throw down, nothing. This is especially true for Alice. I did finally understand why Silver became the person that she did. A tragic situation only made worse by poor decisions.

 

The last 75 pages or so weren’t my favorite, the feud between Max and Ryder became tiresome. Plus Alice gets mad at the wolves for not listening to Max’s side of the story, yet it’s what she’s doing with Mark. Girl!

 

Buuuuut, the final fight scene redeems it for me. And that cliffhanger!!!! Hello! It made me count the weeks until I could read book 4. (The mark of a good series in my honest opinion. It has staying power.)

 

 

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It’s my fault she died a year ago. 
It’s my fault I went out to the woods that night.
It’s my fault that her family suffered. 
And it’s my fault Kellan’s heart remains broken. 
She’s the reason why I can’t go on with my life.
She’s the reason why I can’t sleep at night. 
She’s the reason why I relive that night in my nightmares. 
And she’s the reason why her brother wants me dead.

 

 

Truth starts off exactly where Chasing the Alpha ends off and I’m even more confused this time around. Like, where did homegirl’s memories go? Or is this some kind of ruse to catch Max off-guard? What’s happening here?! Am I right to be worried for Max? All these questions had me fighting myself because all I wanted to do was skip ahead to get some clarity. It also made me wonder if this was Jessica’s way of introducing new mythical characters (witches/fairies) maybe?

 

What I did discover in book four was the fact that Ryder’s parents are awful! Even more so than when we learned that they blamed him for Anna’s death and basically disowned him. What kind of people could do something like that? Well the kind that we see here ( when you get to that point you’ll understand).

 

And, if you guessed cliffhanger, you’d be right! Gaaaah! What even?!!

 


 

CHARACTERS:

What I can definitely add as a positive to Edwards’ series is the fact that the characters have stayed true to themselves all throughout. I can appreciate the continuity because logically a person doesn’t change drastically over such a short time span (the books take place over a series of weeks).

 

Alice wasn’t my favorite character, but what surprised me was the fact that Max, who I started off hating and mistrusting, ended up being my most liked. I wanted more of his story/POV, which I got with book four (where is part two Jessica???? Don’t rush, but…hurry!) Unfortunately, he ends up making the same types of questionable decisions as Alice. Why won’t these characters learn to communicate? Quit withholding information and your lives would be so much easier.

 

The adults could use some work, Ryder could use a chill pill and Kellan could get some more airtime. Bane too, I guess.

 

PLOT:

These books were fast reads, that kept me engaged and constantly ready to reach for the next book in the series. The plot wasn’t overinvolved, so you don’t need to think too hard about what’s happening, but that’s perfectly okay. The fact that you needed to solve a murder and find a way to get justice for all those dead people was more than enough.

 

 

CRITIQUES:

There were the typical pitfalls of self-publishing which can be forgiven because when we’re our own editors we tend to miss things: specifically pacing and grammatical errors.

You know that trope where characters fail to communicate and thus causes everything to escalate beyond all control? This is that in series form, so if you cannot stand that trope please bear that in mind.

 

What I’m hoping for in TRUTH Part 2: Closure.

 

 

 


TL;DR

If you love paranormal romances, a bit of a whodunnit mystery and teens saving their own damn selves, pick these books up. If you can’t stand poor communication between your characters and sometimes questionable decision making, maybe give the first one a peek and decide if it’s worth it.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Dee ^_^

 

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