Today is my stop on the TBR & Beyond Tours blog tour for The Wicked Unseen by Gigi Griffis, and I’m bringing you a review of the book. I’d actually already requested & been approved for this book through NetGalley prior to joining the tour, but hadn’t gotten around to reading it yet. I wish I’d read it sooner.
I received this book for free from NetGalley to facilitate my review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Random House Children's Books on 06/20/2023
Genres: Young Adult Fiction / Horror, Young Adult Fiction / Mystery
Amazon US // Barnes & Noble // IndieBound
The new girl in town is having trouble fitting into a community that believes there’s a secret Satanic cult conducting rituals in the woods. When her crush goes missing, she starts to wonder if the town’s obsession with evil isn’t covering up something far worse. Perfect for fans of Fear Street!
To say sixteen-year-old Audre doesn’t fit in would be the understatement of the century. She’s a city kid who’s found herself in a rural town. The only girl at school who’d rather kiss a girl than a boy. Not to mention that the whole town believes there’s a secret Satanic cult conducting rituals in the nearby woods–and Audre is a born skeptic.
When the preacher’s daughter and Audre’s secret crush, Elle, goes missing on Halloween weekend, the town is quick to point fingers–in Audre’s direction. While they harass Audre’s family for being newcomers and nonbelievers, Audre realizes she might be the only person here who can find her friend.
The deeper she goes, though, the weirder it gets. What happened to Elle–and is the evil this town is hiding really what Audre thinks it is?
Content Warning: satanic cult, racism, sexism, police brutality and mistreatment, abuse from religious officials
If you have religious trauma, this may not be the book for you. If you are a believer, this book may tick you off or it could cause you to take a long look in the mirror. This book is a work of fiction, but it rings of some horrible truths – truths I’ve experienced in my own life.
There are things that happen in this book that sound fantastical, like they couldn’t be real. But there are versions of these things that are, in fact, real. In fact, the author has a note at the end of the book to give the reader insight into what is and isn’t real.
With the exception of Audre’s sexual orientation, she could be me. I don’t believe the way that others do. I listen to “devil music” and I’m sarcastic and spooky. As you can tell, I love her.
I’m also very fond of Elle. She couldn’t be more different from me, but she questions what she’s told when others say they know God’s will for her. I like that about her.
I like that David is a Christian but that he is one of the ones who knows that zealots like those in this book are a problem.
The plot for this book drew me in and kept me wanting to read. In fact, I started the book at 2pm and finished at 9:30pm the same night… I just paused to run to the grocery store and have dinner. It’s a great story, fast paced and easy to follow.
The twists that come up aren’t ones you’ll see coming. In fact a major twist that happened never once occurred to me until it happened. That’s a sign of a great horror book.
I gave this book four stars because it was a great read and a great ride from beginning to end. I highly recommend it to anyone wanting a YA horror novel.