Lyla is caught between two worlds. The isolated Community that she grew up in and the outside world that she’s navigating for the very first time. The outsiders call the Community a cult, but Pioneer miraculously survived a shooting that should have killed him. Are the faithful members right to stay true to his message? Is this just a test of faith? One thing is for sure: the Community will do anything to bring Lyla back to the fold. Trapped in a spider’s web of deception, will Lyla detect the sticky threads tightening around her before it’s too late? She’ll have to unravel the mystery of what Pioneer and the Community are truly up to if she wants to survive.
Suspenseful and chilling, Astray is Amy Christine Parker’s nerve-fraying sequel to Gated. This fast-paced psychological thriller is masterfully plotted and sure to leave goose bumps. Perfect for fans of creepy YA thrillers and contemporary fiction alike.
Description taken from Goodreads.
Amy Christine Parker has done it again.
In Gated, Parker blew me away with her characters and the way that she showed me, as a reader, how brainwashing and convincing that cults can be. In GATED, I got to see Lyla’s struggle and the things she went through in order to realize what a psycho Pioneer really is, and through her format and masterful storytelling Parker was able to make me feel what Lyla felt. Now, in ASTRAY, she talks about Lyla’s self-conflict and I could not ask for a better sequel.
In terms of characters, I LOVED THEM. I really liked the way that Cody is such a sweet character in both GATED and ASTRAY without being stupid. Both he and Lyla were multi-layered characters and I felt like I saw a lot more dimensions of them in ASTRAY than I did in GATED. In addition to that, Parker takes advantage of her reader’s emotions by using Lyla’s friends (who are still under the influence of Pioneer) and Pioneer himself, against her. This book is twisted in the very best way.
Parker really got into my head with this story and showed me even more of what she could do, and what Lyla can do. I thought that Lyla truly grew over the course of this story and everything came together. Parker truly scared me to death with this story. By definition, this book is one of the best thrillers/cult stories I’ve ever read. I hope to see a lot more work from Parker in the future.
Overall, this book was just as good–and better–than GATED. Fans will definitely not be disappointed, and I was blown away by the way that Parker takes such great advantage of her plot, characters and the good and bad of the world she’s created. Fantastic book. 4.3 stars.
pg count for the hardback: 352
Series: Gated #2