“I want you to have big dreams, big goals. I want you to strive to achieve them. But I don't want to see you beating yourself up every time you make a mistake.”
Maya lives in a very secluded research town in Canada, her father is a park ranger and so Maya has always grown up around animals, she feels a connection with them and the outdoors. After her best friend mysteriously drowned, things started changing for Maya, she knew it was no accident but hasn't been able to discover the truth and now she is starting to realise that this small town holds more secrets than she could have imagined.
This book is set in the same world as Armstrong's Darkest Power series and so you should probably read those first before moving onto this one as you wont get the hints dropped unless you have.
I loved this book, Maya is a great female lead, I loved her connection to the Mountain Lions and nature in general, I'd love to be able to experience the freedom Maya feels when exploring the forest. She is funny and loyal but she has her flaws, she can be quick to judge and doesn't forgive people easily. I think what I liked about her the most is that she was able to stand up for herself, she didn't run to her friends for help at the first hint of a crisis but she also knew when she should. She didn't want to accept who is was at first, or what she would turn in to but I liked her rational approach, she didn't freak out, she sorted through the facts and knew what Rafe was telling her was the truth.
Rafe, even though at the beginning I was unsure about him, I thought he would be your typical bad boy turned good, he actually surprised me at the end. Everything he does, he does for his sister and even though he does really like Maya, he is honest about why he came to find her but I think my heart belongs to Daniel, he was sweet and kind, always looking out for Maya but you can see he has a temper and I think I know where this story is going to take these characters. The rest of the support cast seem really well rounded, this is what Armstrong does best, create real characters, whose emotions and reactions seem plausible given the situation they are in.
Even though this book ended on a cliff hanger, its set so much up for the next book, I can't wait to dive in. Its full of mystery and intrigue, what's really going on at that research lab and what really happened to Maya's friend? Whilst its not face paced, Armstrong builds the world and the characters superbly well and leaves you wanting more.