Wait—is that Dominic?
The figure tilts its head, neck-snap quick, and I fall still.
That’s definitely not Dominic. It’s Sadie.
Burden Falls by Kat Ellis is a young adult horror novel releasing today, August 24th! I am so excited to participate in TBR and Beyond’s book tour. Check out the other stops here.
Content Warnings: strong elements of horror; in particular, there is some gore (relating to blood and eyes), death of 2 parents, gaslighting , and several deaths/dead bodies on-page.
Riverdale meets Stephen King in the terrifying new thriller from the author of Harrow Lake.
The town of Burden Falls drips with superstition, from rumors of its cursed waterfall to Dead-Eyed Sadie, the disturbing specter who haunts it. Ava Thorn grew up right beside the falls, and since a horrific accident killed her parents a year ago, she’s been plagued by nightmares in which Sadie comes calling—nightmares so chilling, Ava feels as if she’ll never wake up. But when someone close to Ava is brutally murdered and she’s the primary suspect, she begins to wonder if the stories might be more than legends—and if the ghost haunting her dreams might be terrifyingly real. Whatever secrets Burden Falls is hiding, there’s a killer on the loose . . . with a vendetta against the Thorns.
I loved it everything about Burden Falls. Burden Falls is an eerie read that is the perfect spooky book to kick off the fall season. Burden Falls is my first book by Kat Ellis, but definitely not my last.
I am a sucker for apple themed things and a small town with a dark history, Ellis deliver that and much more. Ghost, news clippings, a little gore, thrills, and a budding romance—what more could a YA lover ask for? I enjoyed the mystery and thrill around what exactly is haunting Ava. Is it a vengeful spirit or something more?
Ava, the main character, is going through a lot her senior year. She recently lost her parents, her was home sold to a rival family, and now she is the a possible suspect for multiple murders. She navigates the grief of the loss of her parents and life she loved as she slowly looses grip of reality around her. Ava becomes engulfed with nightmares haunted by Sadie.
Speaking of Sadie, or Dead-Eyed Sadie. She was one of my favorite things about Burden Falls. I enjoyed Ava’s possessiveness of Sadie and the tale as a whole. At one point Ava says she feels as if Sadie is a ghost that is handed down through the Thorn family but also a warning danger is on the way. The whole scene freaked me out, more so as Ava is haunted by the gouged eyed images. Overall Sadie gave me major Grudge girl vibes. Sadie’s story ran as deep as Ava’s family ties to the town. Like most legends go, Dead-Eyed Sadie is rooted in some truth. As unfortunate events continue to unfold, Ava is not alone in the growing fear Sadie might have a part to play. Adding yet twist to Burden Falls.
I enjoyed Ava’s journey in trying to unravel who the true killer was. If you enjoy a good crime as much as I do, you will be questioning everything and everyone—Ava included. Ellis left enough doubt for me to truly be unsure of what exactly was going on in Burden Falls.
Burden Falls is a serious page turner, if you enjoy mystery, thrillers, horror, and of course YA this book if for you.
It was so difficult to narrow down my favorite quotes to five, but I did it. Below are my favorite quotes from Burden Falls.
The nightmare is fresh on my tongue, trying to slither its way down my throat to wrap around my heart.Ava
I’m still a Bloody Thorn. And there’s no goddamn ghost watching me.Ava
Even if it feels like there’s something not quite right—not quite natural— about this whole thing. But if Sadie is real…Ava
Every family has shitty parts to their history, and ours is no different. Maybe it’s better to let the dead read, and try to get on with livingUncle Ty
A scar handed down from one generation to the nextDominic
About the Author
Kat Ellis is the author of young adult novels Harrow Lake, Purge, Breaker, and Blackfin Sky, as well as a novella within the Three Strikes collection titled The Twins of Blackfin.
Kat studied English with Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University, then spent several years working in local government communications and IT.
When she is not writing, Kat can usually be found exploring ruins and cemeteries with her camera. She is an active blogger, instagrammer and tweeter, and is represented by Molly Ker Hawn at The Bent Agency.
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All thoughts are mine and mine alone. Thank you for reading!