Mayhem

The book did have the 80’s vibe going for it, with that Stranger Things children-run-free-and-save-the-world scenario, with a little The Craft thrown in.

READ IF YOU…

  • Enjoy magical realism
  • Want an older teen read
  • Are fine with domestic abuse
  • Want a serial killer book

TitleMayhem | Author: Estelle LaureRating: 3/5

Mayhem Brayburn and her mother, Roxy, are escaping Mayhem’s abusive stepfather. The mother-daughter pair go to California, which Roxy left when Mayhem’s father died after falling/jumping off a cliff. Roxy’s never been to California, that she can remember, and soon finds herself meeting family she didn’t know, including her mother’s twin sister.

But it’s not all family and warmth in California. No, there’s a serial killer on the loose, and Mayhem is heir to magical blood.

I found the book confusing: Mayhem’s family has the ability to see auras, I think, but also feel people’s thoughts. And because of this, they seem to act as vigilantes, taking out the bad guy when they come across them.

Or so I think.

It was hard for me to follow exactly what the situation is, but that may be due more to the magical realism than the writing itself.

Then there’s the water. Special cave water runs near Roxy’s family home, and that water gives her family their magic. But it can also give others that magic, too, but because they don’t have the right family blood, anyone who isn’t related to Roxy and drinks the water seems to fall ill or die if they don’t keep drinking the water.

Or so I think.

The book did have the 80’s vibe going for it, with that Stranger Things children-run-free-and-save-the-world scenario, with a little The Craft thrown in. That I enjoyed. But there was also something missing in the narrative that left me feeling displaced and a little let down. It was as if I kept expecting something more to show up, to happen, rather than what actually did.

Overall, a unique read, with threads that beg to be pulled apart more, revealing more of a storyline.

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