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Lucy Acosta's mother died when she was three. Growing up in a Victorian mansion in the middle of the woods with her cold, distant father, she explored the dark hallways of the estate with her cousin, Margaret. They're inseparable—a family.   When her aunt Penelope, the only mother she's ever known, tragically disappears while walking in the woods surrounding their estate, L Lucy Acosta's mother died when she was three. Growing up in a Victorian mansion in the middle of the woods with her cold, distant father, she explored the dark hallways of the estate with her cousin, Margaret. They're inseparable—a family.   When her aunt Penelope, the only mother she's ever known, tragically disappears while walking in the woods surrounding their estate, Lucy finds herself devastated and alone. Margaret has been spending a lot of time in the attic. She claims she can hear her dead mother's voice whispering from the walls. Emotionally shut out by her father, Lucy watches helplessly as her cousin's sanity slowly unravels. But when she begins hearing voices herself, Lucy finds herself confronting an ancient and deadly legacy that has marked the women in her family for generations.


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Lucy Acosta's mother died when she was three. Growing up in a Victorian mansion in the middle of the woods with her cold, distant father, she explored the dark hallways of the estate with her cousin, Margaret. They're inseparable—a family.   When her aunt Penelope, the only mother she's ever known, tragically disappears while walking in the woods surrounding their estate, L Lucy Acosta's mother died when she was three. Growing up in a Victorian mansion in the middle of the woods with her cold, distant father, she explored the dark hallways of the estate with her cousin, Margaret. They're inseparable—a family.   When her aunt Penelope, the only mother she's ever known, tragically disappears while walking in the woods surrounding their estate, Lucy finds herself devastated and alone. Margaret has been spending a lot of time in the attic. She claims she can hear her dead mother's voice whispering from the walls. Emotionally shut out by her father, Lucy watches helplessly as her cousin's sanity slowly unravels. But when she begins hearing voices herself, Lucy finds herself confronting an ancient and deadly legacy that has marked the women in her family for generations.

30 review for The Women in the Walls

  1. 5 out of 5

    Maja (The Nocturnal Library)

    The Women in the Walls is a mildly disappointing sophomore novel by Amy Lukavics, author of Daughters Unto Devils. It delivers all the things one expects from such a read – the deep atmosphere, the chilling moments, the compelling paranormal mystery – but it proves lacking in terms of substance, characterization or any real depth of emotion. When Lucy’s beloved aunt goes missing, strange things start happening in her house. The cook commits suicide, her cousin Margaret is talking to walls, and he The Women in the Walls is a mildly disappointing sophomore novel by Amy Lukavics, author of Daughters Unto Devils. It delivers all the things one expects from such a read – the deep atmosphere, the chilling moments, the compelling paranormal mystery – but it proves lacking in terms of substance, characterization or any real depth of emotion. When Lucy’s beloved aunt goes missing, strange things start happening in her house. The cook commits suicide, her cousin Margaret is talking to walls, and her aloof father lies about reporting her aunt missing to the authorities. Lucy herself is struggling to come to terms with her aunt’s disappearance. Prone to self-harm since she was a kid, she constantly fights the desire to hurt herself to the point of leaving scars. As a protagonist, Lucy inspires neither confidence nor affection. In fact, her personality is very difficult to pinpoint or describe. She always appears too whiny, forever on the verge of tears, and her lack of action and her cowardice are enough to annoy and disappoint even the most patient reader. Mostly we are told things about her, but never shown enough to believe. We are told that she often feels awful enough to cut herself deeply, but those feelings never reach us. We are told that she and Margaret are best friends, but their bond never manifests. If anything, it’s clear that Margaret barely tolerates Lucy and that jealously long ago destroyed any real connection the girls might have had. It needs to be said that Lukavics does an excellent job scaring the living daylights out of us. Her writing is very evocative when it needs to be and she is capable of provoking real fear and disgust. In terms of pacing, however, she leaves us with too many problems to count. Things happen at the beginning and at the very end. The whole middle part of the book seems like a filler we could have done without. The revelations, such as they are, all happen in the final pages. Unfortunately by that point, we are mostly uninterested in Lucy or her fate. The novel’s contemporary setting is also quite confusing. The (admittedly odd) values of Lucy’s family, their behavior and their way of life, all seem to belong to a historical setting, perhaps early 20th century. The bits of contemporary life that were thrown in haphazardly were somewhat jarring. The Women in the Walls leaves us with a somewhat bland taste in our mouths, made more tolerable by Lukavics’ potential, which can be read as a promise of better things to come. With some work on characterization and pacing, her next novel, The Ravenous, might turn out to be a much better read.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Stacee

    I’ve been a fan of Amy Lukavic’s words since I heard Gretchen McNeil talk about Daughter Unto Devils. I devoured and loved that book and was eagerly awaiting new words. Being in Lucy’s head is sort of a trip. She’s a cutter and slightly suicidal and it was difficult at times to read what she was going through. Throw in a weird estate and hearing voices and you’ve got yourself an unstable and unreliable narrator, which is one of my favorite things. There is a lot of history and backstory to the sit I’ve been a fan of Amy Lukavic’s words since I heard Gretchen McNeil talk about Daughter Unto Devils. I devoured and loved that book and was eagerly awaiting new words. Being in Lucy’s head is sort of a trip. She’s a cutter and slightly suicidal and it was difficult at times to read what she was going through. Throw in a weird estate and hearing voices and you’ve got yourself an unstable and unreliable narrator, which is one of my favorite things. There is a lot of history and backstory to the situation and that’s where I started to get a bit lost. I wasn’t sure about the time period the book was set in: some scenes it felt like it was the early 1900s, but then someone would talk about leggings or using the internet. I also felt like we didn’t get the entire explanation…and that’s probably what kept me from giving it 5 stars. Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed this story and the ending, but I definitely wanted a lot more out of the last 50 or so pages. **Huge thanks to Harlequin Teen and Edelweiss for providing the arc in exchange for an honest review**

  3. 4 out of 5

    Latasha

    It hurts to be dead. Wow, that was something. The mystery of the story kept me reading. What was going on? I had some guesses and I was right on some of them. I like this one better than Nightingale.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    I wish I had more positive things to say about this novel. Lucy is a highly uninteresting and bland main character. She cuts herself, she misses her cousin and best friend, Margaret, and…? That's about it for her character. There's more going on around her family, but we spend lots of time in Lucy's head, and, sorry, she was just an insufferable bore. There wasn't even any real depth to why she self-harmed or was depressed (if she was depressed?). Equally, we hear that Margaret was Lucy's best fr I wish I had more positive things to say about this novel. Lucy is a highly uninteresting and bland main character. She cuts herself, she misses her cousin and best friend, Margaret, and…? That's about it for her character. There's more going on around her family, but we spend lots of time in Lucy's head, and, sorry, she was just an insufferable bore. There wasn't even any real depth to why she self-harmed or was depressed (if she was depressed?). Equally, we hear that Margaret was Lucy's best friend, but because the story begins where Margaret is deep into weird alley, and we don't get any real depth to their relationship except Margaret, too, generally being an unlikeable hissy creep. The only thing resembling an insight into her self-harming manner is that her father is in some kind of cult…which does nothing more sinister for 95% of the book than having elaborate dinner parties. I wish I was joking. To be fair to Lukavics, she does try to build up to a high level that there is something MORE going on with all those suited creepers, but she doesn't actually imply anything like what that might be until the very end. In Rosemary's Baby, it is CONSTANTLY hinted (as in actual hints, not just Lucy being like "and then Kent shot a strange look in Gregory's direction"). Like, by the ending, we feel we already know everything we need to know abut the cult. However, for this complaint & for the beginning of the novel, I felt that Lukavics had gone about trying to fix her pacing problem in the wrong way. To be fair, somebody dies on the first page; somebody then disappears on the 3rd page. In Harlequin's extremely large-spaced two chapters, someone has committed suicide, someone has vanished, someone's family is clearly insane, and Margaret has already been clarified as a complete nut job. We have essentially also learned anything we will ever find out about the main characters and their families. A lot of information is info-dumped, but it felt incredibly breathless and jerky. The overall murky feeling is compounded by the bizarre use of time period. This definitely felt like it would've worked better as a period setting. Lucy's thought processes, and her family's obsession with the "club" (the aforementioned dining club) seemed very much like a product of an earlier time. I get that the anachronistic feeling with regards to the Acostas social status, name, and stiff upper lip might have been intentional, but I felt like it wasn't developed well enough or really given enough bite to feel significant. It's something I would have bought a lot easier at any time from the early 1900s-1950s. Also, the rigid attempts not to date it at all feel bizarre and difficult to read, such as Lucy asking Margaret if she wants to watch "sitcoms, to cheer [her] up"? Or Lucy creeping up to Vanessa, the maid's daughter, near the climax and asking her if she's "an expert on search engines"? I mean, who the fuck says something like that in modern day? (And do Acostas, these people obsessed with their appearance, really wear "leggings"?) Then the brakes are largely slammed on. Part of me wonders if Amy Lukavics believes that the climax is in fact where we should learn all relevant information, and not a moment before? Because, while I couldn't say that the first 100-150 pages were pointless, or completely slow/empty (as you know I found Daughters unto Devils, the same author's overall stronger debut), I felt that a slower exposure of relevant information would've done wonders for the novel. So much of what was built up in the first 200 pages felt meaningless by the time we reached the twisty climax. So many things that felt like they should have been important were just forgotten.Why did Walter the cook kill himself, if he did indeed kill himself? What did the club know about Penelope's involvement with the villains as opposed to her involvement with them? Was Lucy's mother involved in anything evil that happened? Was it at all relevant that (view spoiler)[Felix was in love with Penelope, or Penelope was in love with Felix, or whatever way round that all happened? (hide spoiler)] Why did (view spoiler)[Penelope leave her blades in Margaret's bedroom for Lucy to find? (hide spoiler)] This is worsened by the fact that the climax is easily the best part of the book. Unfortunately, there almost feels like there are too many twists that were simply not prepared for; this includes, but is not limited to, the questions I posed above. (All of which, even those under spoiler tags, are intended to be vague enough not to spoil the book, but the spoilers definitely reveal more of the plot.) The main villain is introduced on about page 200 and never, as far as I can tell, hinted at before that, and their entire backstory is dumped through a strange fuzzy Internet search. While this gets 2 stars for providing us with a genuinely exciting and unique climax, I also deducted points for largely wasting what seemed like a great idea by weighting too much importance on the (very) brief climax, rather than spreading the information more evenly, naturally, and yes, creepily (!) throughout the book. Still, I skim-read the first 150 ish pages when they bored me, because I knew that Lukavics would pull it out at the climax, like she did in Daughters. Nevertheless, sadly, I was amused by the fact that this book ends with a woman vomiting up a great deal (and I'll gladly give her that: Luakvics can write one hell of a visceral scare when she wants to), because that seemed to just about summarise the climax for me. After an incredibly leisurely start (it seems hard to describe a first 3/4 that involves two suicides like that, but in terms of what is plot relevant, there's very little), and frankly, a not all that creepy one either, it rushes into a huge climax. Despite having several BIG twists, this felt too rushed to have true impact and too disconnected from the previous angst. Also, to have the main villain congratulating Lucy on her unusual strength was probably intended to be a twist, but as she spent the entire book whining about how horrible her life was, how strange everything was, without doing anything much about it and, when it was finally time to do something about it, roping people into her not very developed or multifaceted "quest" (read: one Google search) into her house. Still, I'm anticipating Lukavics' third, The Ravenous, greatly. Not because I'm a glutton for punishment, but because there is something - something - which still fascinates me about her books. I think it's a wealth of untapped potential, and her ability to create really, really great horror set pieces when she puts her mind to it. However, too often, this book lagged and dragged and felt more like a chore than a thrill ride.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Keira Drake

    SPOILER-FREE REVIEW! I got an ARC of this book at #BEA16...I waited in line for it. :) All right. I am admittedly a bit of a whiny baby when it comes to horror--I'm easily scared, startled, creeped out, and I sleep with a light on (even though I'm *cough* years old). But don't let my peek-between-my-fingers-ness fool you. This book is: 1. Disturbing 2. Brilliant 3. Beautifully plotted 4. Grotesque 5. Compelling 6. SATISFYING Amy Lukavics understands how to slowly unravel a mystery in a way that will keep SPOILER-FREE REVIEW! I got an ARC of this book at #BEA16...I waited in line for it. :) All right. I am admittedly a bit of a whiny baby when it comes to horror--I'm easily scared, startled, creeped out, and I sleep with a light on (even though I'm *cough* years old). But don't let my peek-between-my-fingers-ness fool you. This book is: 1. Disturbing 2. Brilliant 3. Beautifully plotted 4. Grotesque 5. Compelling 6. SATISFYING Amy Lukavics understands how to slowly unravel a mystery in a way that will keep you reading AND surprise you. This isn't the sort of story you can "figure out," because right at around the halfway point, Amy starts messing with your brain in huge ways, and her mastery of horror will have you cringing and feeling uncomfortable. And that's what great horror is, in my opinion: it's not necessarily about gore (although you'll certainly find a little of that here), it's about being **disturbed.** I haven't read Amy's first book, but I can't wait to do so. I loved this book. I think you will, too. :)

  6. 4 out of 5

    Book Riot Community

    Read a horror novel, I thought. It’s close to Halloween, I thought. It’ll be fun, I thought. Women in the Walls follows a girl on a giant, haunted estate who begins to hear voices in the walls after her aunt vanishes in the woods and her cousin goes mad. I spent the entire book hoping that Lukavics would surprise me with a quasi-happy ending, but nope. Slam the book shut before the final few pages and imagine your own happy ending, because Women in the Walls is terrifying and you will not sleep Read a horror novel, I thought. It’s close to Halloween, I thought. It’ll be fun, I thought. Women in the Walls follows a girl on a giant, haunted estate who begins to hear voices in the walls after her aunt vanishes in the woods and her cousin goes mad. I spent the entire book hoping that Lukavics would surprise me with a quasi-happy ending, but nope. Slam the book shut before the final few pages and imagine your own happy ending, because Women in the Walls is terrifying and you will not sleep that night. — Nicole Brinkley from The Best Books We Read In October 2016: http://bookriot.com/2016/10/31/riot-r...

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly Antill

    I didn't think this book was too bad when I started reading it however the closer to the ending I got the less I liked it. The characters and setting definitely could have used some more development. But most of all the motivation for the action of any of the characters needed more explanation. I also felt like the author relied too heavily on graphic violence to evoke fear. However, instead of being scared I was just grossed out. In the end, there were too many question not enough answers. It w I didn't think this book was too bad when I started reading it however the closer to the ending I got the less I liked it. The characters and setting definitely could have used some more development. But most of all the motivation for the action of any of the characters needed more explanation. I also felt like the author relied too heavily on graphic violence to evoke fear. However, instead of being scared I was just grossed out. In the end, there were too many question not enough answers. It was like it was an outline of what could have been an interesting story.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Neil (or bleed)

    Actual rating: 2.5 It was okay. It only became interesting on the last part, sadly.

  9. 4 out of 5

    AziaMinor

    Overall Rating : B- "People can be happy and sad at the same time...Sometime the sad parts just spiral out of control." Jesus don't read this at night! My heart pounded from beginning to end and that ending....whew!!😱 The characters definitely needed some fine tuning and the plot had some major holes here but the creep factor was intense and made up for it. Stay safe and dont trust voices in the wall people!! Overall Rating : B- "People can be happy and sad at the same time...Sometime the sad parts just spiral out of control." Jesus don't read this at night! My heart pounded from beginning to end and that ending....whew!!😱 The characters definitely needed some fine tuning and the plot had some major holes here but the creep factor was intense and made up for it. Stay safe and dont trust voices in the wall people!!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lolly's Library

    This is my first experience of Lukavics, who's apparently gotten high praise for her first novel, Daughters Unto Devils. Judging by her second novel, either the first was a fluke or her writing is highly overrated because my reaction upon finishing The Women in the Walls was: Meh. Seriously, I have no idea what Lukavics was trying to express with her story: the physical manifestation of psychological trauma? Genuine paranormal experiences? Neither angle succeeded. Lucy, the protagonist, through w This is my first experience of Lukavics, who's apparently gotten high praise for her first novel, Daughters Unto Devils. Judging by her second novel, either the first was a fluke or her writing is highly overrated because my reaction upon finishing The Women in the Walls was: Meh. Seriously, I have no idea what Lukavics was trying to express with her story: the physical manifestation of psychological trauma? Genuine paranormal experiences? Neither angle succeeded. Lucy, the protagonist, through whose first person P.O.V. we watch the story unfold, is a cipher, a bland bowl of oatmeal whom engenders no sympathy from the reader and no interest in her fate. She cuts herself to deal with stress... Ooh, she's damaged goods! We are given no deeper meaning to her behavior, no actual psychological depth as to why she cuts herself beyond the facile and shallow glossy-woman's-magazine-article explanation. As someone who used to cut herself, I was offended reading "Lucy's" thoughts and processes concerning the issue. A big problem with the novel was the determination to not mention any specific time period. We're given to understand it's set sometime in our current time, but that's the problem: the modern setting doesn't suit the mood Lukavics was trying to set up. I knew exactly what she was trying to mimic, the atmosphere of Roman Polanski, of Rosemary's Baby, the sense of a timeless "now," but by using such anachronistic (and frankly ridiculous) phrases like "watching sitcoms" and asking about "search engines" (things no one, certainly not teenagers today, say) simply highlights the bizarre aspect. Had Lukavics been brave enough to set her story back in, say, 1952, the timeless nature she was trying to achieve would've actually come across. Even worse, once we get past the endless dinner parties which are meant to be sinister and are the grand setup for the climax, the actual ending is baffling and deflating. The wet rag Lucy, who'd finally developed some courage, reverts back to her earlier, spineless self and it's just so... pointless. Nothing in the first parts of the book explain why the ending is necessary, even after the (what I consider ironic) praise the villain heaps upon Lucy, telling her Lucy's been chosen for her strength. Which I thought was just the biggest hoot considering all Lucy does throughout the book is whine, whimper, hide, look bewildered, and generally act in the opposite manner of a strong person. In the end, I found the book to be disjointed, poorly plotted, and 100% not scary at all. This is one case where I can say I could write a better horror tale and I suck at writing horror.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Allison

    SO I downed this and DAUGHTERS UNTO DEVILS (the author's first novel) back-to-back last night and this morning. DAUGHTERS was better, imo, but this was still perfectly creepy and enjoyable. Loved all the twists towards the end. A great mix of psychological terror and splashy gore!

  12. 4 out of 5

    destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]

    set aside @ 15% I'm intrigued by this, but it needs to go back to the library and I'm not in the mood for it right now, so I'll check it back out another time!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie

    “The girl lives in a beautiful dollhouse made of stone, […] But underneath her shining plastic smile, there are only screams.” Lucy Acosta lives in her family’s estate, home-schooled, with only her cousin Margaret for company. Her father is a constant absence but her Aunt Penelope is their main caretaker. After Walter, the cook, commits suicide, her Aunt Penelope walks into the woods and disappears without a trace, and Margaret says she’s hearing voices in the walls, Lucy has no one to turn t “The girl lives in a beautiful dollhouse made of stone, […] But underneath her shining plastic smile, there are only screams.” Lucy Acosta lives in her family’s estate, home-schooled, with only her cousin Margaret for company. Her father is a constant absence but her Aunt Penelope is their main caretaker. After Walter, the cook, commits suicide, her Aunt Penelope walks into the woods and disappears without a trace, and Margaret says she’s hearing voices in the walls, Lucy has no one to turn to. Lucy’s hold on her mental stability is fragile and her answer to hardship is to sequester herself in her room with a razor. She begins to realize though that no one else seems to grasp the seriousness of the issues going on and that it’s up to her alone to battle whatever evil resides within her home. With a blurb essentially guaranteeing you sleepless nights, the story unfortunately felt lifeless, causing the intended terror to be nothing more than a distant mirage. The characters appear as mere caricatures without any solid background development to help the reader feel sympathetic to their plight. The lack of backstory is an enormous issue too with a complete lack of “connecting dots” that are clearly meant to be make this story more mysterious but ends up just not making sense half the time. What seemed to be a Gothic Victorian period piece ended up being the modern equivalent when the slang being used (“That promise sure lasted a hot minute.”) and the random sprinkling of curse words were taken into account. I really wish I had more nice things to say about this because I was genuinely excited for this story, alas, I wasn’t impressed by much until the very end and by then it was merely too little, too late. Combining the uncertainty of your own sanity (The Yellow Wallpaper) with a gothic mansion and paranormal entities (The Haunting of Hill House), The Women in the Walls had potential to terrify but fell short of hitting the mark. I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea

    Not too sure how I feel about this book. I heard amazing things about Daughters Unto Devils, which I still want to read, but I feel like this book may have suffered from being the sophomore book. The story is a classic creepy old mansion where you hear voices so that's pretty hard to mess up. I was looking for a quick horror read for the month of October and this somewhat satisfied the craving but left me wanting. My first issue with this book was that you could never grasp what time period this Not too sure how I feel about this book. I heard amazing things about Daughters Unto Devils, which I still want to read, but I feel like this book may have suffered from being the sophomore book. The story is a classic creepy old mansion where you hear voices so that's pretty hard to mess up. I was looking for a quick horror read for the month of October and this somewhat satisfied the craving but left me wanting. My first issue with this book was that you could never grasp what time period this was set in. I know that it is supposed to be modern day because of how the girls talk and dress but it reads like it could be set in a Victorian mansion in the 1800s. I believe this was intentional so that the story seems somewhat timeless and to give it the old gothic horror vibe but it just confused me and took me out of the story rather than immersed me in an old-timey feeling horror story. Why didn't the girls have cell phones or access to a social life (or any life outside of the estate) but could drop the f-bomb like it was nothing? I think it would have been better had it actually been set in the 1800s as the timeline is not super significant. I also was somewhat bothered by pretty much all of the main characters, I know I was supposed to be but this being a horror story I would have liked to feel some connection to someone before they get murdered to increase the shock value. They all had their faults but there wasn't much that was endearing. Complaints aside this was a solid Halloween one sitting read. The suspense held out until the end and kept me reading. And if you are having doubts about continuing on with the story stick it out for the less than 300 pages A) because come on, it's short, I believe in you and B) the end scene is spectacularly gruesome. It's not often that we get gross out horror in the YA world and this is a rare gem that doesn't hold back on the gory details. The ending definitely made up for the slow build. Would I read again? No. Will I check out all her future books? Definitely.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Shaina

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This was nice, eerie and riddled with MADNESS... BWAHAHA! So, to me, it was perfect for our madness and insanity themed read at HA this month. It didn't take me long to read it bc things kept getting darker and more kooky as the pages turned. I was having eye problems, but I kept taking little breaks and trying to get back to it's mystery. Before this , i had been off books and reading about a week, maybe more; so I was ready to jump into a spooky read! I loved this read, which was very gothic a This was nice, eerie and riddled with MADNESS... BWAHAHA! So, to me, it was perfect for our madness and insanity themed read at HA this month. It didn't take me long to read it bc things kept getting darker and more kooky as the pages turned. I was having eye problems, but I kept taking little breaks and trying to get back to it's mystery. Before this , i had been off books and reading about a week, maybe more; so I was ready to jump into a spooky read! I loved this read, which was very gothic and seemed both modern and yet stuck back in time, as well. I was constantly trying to judge the ages of The MCs and the time period, but it turns out in a story like this, tims didn't really matter. This was my first A. Lukavics read and the ending was powerful, though I will warn that it is, in some ways, abrupt. It is a dark story where hope can come and go faster than a voice on the wind.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Chung

    Every time I think I've learned my lesson I haven't. I wrote a review hit save and it got stuck in the save universe of death. Sigh.... Well my emotional steam for this review is gone. I'll try to do my best to summarize what I said in the first review. This second creation by Amy Lukavics was not as strong as her first. I though 'Daughters Unto Devils' was a fantastic read. There was plenty of thrill and mystery with the first book and what got me so excited to pick up this second one. Unfortun Every time I think I've learned my lesson I haven't. I wrote a review hit save and it got stuck in the save universe of death. Sigh.... Well my emotional steam for this review is gone. I'll try to do my best to summarize what I said in the first review. This second creation by Amy Lukavics was not as strong as her first. I though 'Daughters Unto Devils' was a fantastic read. There was plenty of thrill and mystery with the first book and what got me so excited to pick up this second one. Unfortunately it did not hold up to my expectations. Giving this "sequel", second book to be released by Amy Lukavics a 3 star rating. 'The Women in the Walls' is a horror mystery so I can only say so much without spoilers. Lucy Acosta has been raised with an entitled and privileged life. She lives in a historic estate. They are apart of a prestigious country club. What Lucy doesn't know is something is weirdly off. Like why her home is the only place the country club congregates. When Lucy was little she loved dressing up for all the parties her home hosted. Now as a teen she is over it. With the disappearance of her beloved Aunt, Lucy is starting to question everything, including why her father cares so much about the stupid club and why after what her family is going through, he is still trying to win them over. The book started off really slow. I mean savagely slow. Nothing happens until a little after the half way mark and when something finally does happen... I lost interest. The climax, the great twist was predictable and the ending was a let down. I was really hoping for a different outcome. Overall the book was just alright. I'm hoping this second book was suffering from "second book syndrome" and the next book Amy writes will win back my heart. I have faith in her imagination and will continue to read her books in the future.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Robin Bonne

    The Women in the Walls promises to be a creepy gothic horror. I really wanted to love this book, and there are a few wonderfully creepy scenes, such as the first time the protagonist hears a voice in the wall. Many of the elements are there, such as a haunted house, a strange family dynamic, a nefarious club, a cemetery in the woods, and death. Though the themes of this book fit the genre, they never came together for me to rave about it. The main character, Lucy, keeps having the same thoughts, The Women in the Walls promises to be a creepy gothic horror. I really wanted to love this book, and there are a few wonderfully creepy scenes, such as the first time the protagonist hears a voice in the wall. Many of the elements are there, such as a haunted house, a strange family dynamic, a nefarious club, a cemetery in the woods, and death. Though the themes of this book fit the genre, they never came together for me to rave about it. The main character, Lucy, keeps having the same thoughts, and the same conversations with her family. She keeps wondering what her cousin knows about her aunt’s disappearance that she doesn’t, over and over. She has weird conversations with her father where he denies her accusations, talks about upholding their reputation to the club, and then dismisses her, over and over. Ahhh! I’d think I accidentally skipped back a few pages because of how similar the conversations were. I disliked when the protagonist would remember a scene from a few pages ago, rehashing what happened. Yes, I remember the incident and the protagonist’s reaction to it since I only read it ten minutes ago. The similarities got repetitive. There was even a time she rehashed the gore scene, which didn’t have the same impact, and felt redundant the second time around. Overall, I’d recommend this to a fan of the genre, since there are some spooky bits. If another one of this author’s books crossed my path, I’d read it.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Greg at 2 Book Lovers Reviews

    *4.5 Stars Amy Lukavics has a knack for grabbing my attention. As soon as I finished reading the first chapter, I told my wife to grab the sample and just try to resist. The Women in the Walls reminded me of Barney Stinson’s Get Psyched mixed tape, it grabs you and never lets you down. Lukavics created a curious cast of characters. We follow Lucy Acosta throughout the story. She is one screwed up cookie, but may very well be the most “normal” character in the book. This point of view worked except *4.5 Stars Amy Lukavics has a knack for grabbing my attention. As soon as I finished reading the first chapter, I told my wife to grab the sample and just try to resist. The Women in the Walls reminded me of Barney Stinson’s Get Psyched mixed tape, it grabs you and never lets you down. Lukavics created a curious cast of characters. We follow Lucy Acosta throughout the story. She is one screwed up cookie, but may very well be the most “normal” character in the book. This point of view worked exceptionally well for me; the mystery unravelled as Lucy discovered the secrets of her family home. The supporting cast added to the insanity surrounding the Acosta family. This is my second venture into the twisted mind of Amy Lukavics. I’m starting to wonder if, like M. Night Shyamalan, she likes to put her own little twists into the closing moments of her books. I love how she ends her books, will they all leave me like this? I’ll have to do some more reading to know for sure. Technically, The Women in the Walls is classified as a YA book. I know that I’m not their target market; I just refuse to limit my reading to any one particular genre. There are so many incredible authors out there, spread over all of the genres, why should I limit my own options? Explore other genres, you never know what you just might find.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ideally.Portia

    Last year, I had the extreme pleasure of reading Amy Lukavics debut horror novel, Daughter Unto Devils (you can read my review here). It was chilling and bloody and everything I always wanted from YA horror. I have desperately craved another book from her. It feels like I have just been sitting around waiting so impatiently for all of these fall horror books to come out. I can read horror year round, publisher people. Not just near Halloween. Thanks. The Women in the Walls is dreadful. In the bes Last year, I had the extreme pleasure of reading Amy Lukavics debut horror novel, Daughter Unto Devils (you can read my review here). It was chilling and bloody and everything I always wanted from YA horror. I have desperately craved another book from her. It feels like I have just been sitting around waiting so impatiently for all of these fall horror books to come out. I can read horror year round, publisher people. Not just near Halloween. Thanks. The Women in the Walls is dreadful. In the best possible way. I mean, it is horror. That sense of dread is vital to a good story. Lukavics has managed to capture that feel with ease in not one, but now two books. It is unsettling. It goes places you don’t expect. It gets weird. It gets bloody… What impresses me the most is that she creates these intense, thrilling stories without any romance. No love interest. Literally zero, especially in this book. (Her first book had a tiny smidgen. Teeny tiny.) I met her at ALA, and during a panel they asked if the authors felt a love story was necessary, and I love that she said no. I love that she is aware that a million other things could be going on, and that we don’t always need that boy hero to help save (or destroy) the day. Also, she’s really pretty. And vulgar. #ladycrush The book touches lightly on some social issues, concerning Lucy in particular. At times it seems unnecessary, and that may be the only thing that bothered me about the book, only because it wasn’t something that seemed necessary for the story. But I didn’t dislike it so much that I wouldn’t still give this book 5 stars. What I really enjoy is how the story creeps towards the end. It is strangely short, but yet it feels like it was a long story. Does that make sense? Who knows. Also, I can’t exactly place the time period, it is just so disconnected from the outside world that you cant exactly place it. Which I assume may have been intentional. Either way, I kind of like that. My favorite thing about this book is the end. The way she ended this is my favorite kind of ending. If you really want to know what Im talking about, read this: View Spoiler », but it will spoil some of the fun. So beware. Lukavics has easily become a “I will read their grocery list” author for me. I hope she continues to pump out these gory, chilling, creepy, dreadful stories. This is exactly what YA horror needs! To see the original review, or more of my reviews (and some other awesome ladies reviews!) check out No BS Book Reviews!!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Rashika (is tired)

    ***This review has also been posted on Xpresso Reads I literally don’t know how to start this review because there are a lot of things to say but they can all just be covered with a big NO. There is potential in this book but it’s all potential that is unrealized. From the spoilt MC who is a cardboard cutout to the world building, this book is just lacking. It isn’t BAD but it isn’t GOOD which is especially disappointing because I was really looking forward to reading this book. The MC was a c ***This review has also been posted on Xpresso Reads I literally don’t know how to start this review because there are a lot of things to say but they can all just be covered with a big NO. There is potential in this book but it’s all potential that is unrealized. From the spoilt MC who is a cardboard cutout to the world building, this book is just lacking. It isn’t BAD but it isn’t GOOD which is especially disappointing because I was really looking forward to reading this book. The MC was a clear let down but I was really upset that the MC’s cutting is not at all talked about in ways that isn’t a character trait. It’s used as a description of the MC in the way an adjective might be used. There are some interesting relationships that I could have gotten behind but all of them are toxic. There are bad parents, bad friends and there is no positive relationship in the book. I get it, this is not the kind of book you’d read if you wanted cuteness but that doesn’t mean that literally everything has to be awful in the book. It doesn't make sense, in my opinion, for every single thing to suck with no positive things in sight. On top of that the entire synopsis is a giant spoiler for the book. It takes 2/3rd of the novel for something to happen and that is way too long given how short the book is. This also meant that all the cool things that actually happened in the last 1/3rd were rushed and just make me ask more questions. To sum up this very short review, I am not entirely sure I would recommend this to anyone unless they were looking for a quick read with some scary but not a whole lot of substance. It might work for some readers but unfortunately did not do much for this one. Note that I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

  21. 4 out of 5

    K.

    Trigger warnings: suicide, self harm/cutting, mental health, death of a parent, death of a family member, disappearance of a family member, gore, violence, blood, shitty parenting. Okay, here's the thing. This cover? Is amazing. And the blurb sounded GREAT. So I was super excited that I'd finally found something for the kids who love romance-free horror books. Unfortunately, it was a confusing hot mess. It starts with a suicide, and then only a couple of pages later we're treated to the protagon Trigger warnings: suicide, self harm/cutting, mental health, death of a parent, death of a family member, disappearance of a family member, gore, violence, blood, shitty parenting. Okay, here's the thing. This cover? Is amazing. And the blurb sounded GREAT. So I was super excited that I'd finally found something for the kids who love romance-free horror books. Unfortunately, it was a confusing hot mess. It starts with a suicide, and then only a couple of pages later we're treated to the protagonist self harming. And if it had served a purpose in the story, that would have been one thing. But IT DIDN'T. It was literally just...dumped in there. No explanation. No seeking help. Her cousin knows that Lucy self harms and does nothing. It just...yeah. Everything about the mental health side of things rubbed me up the wrong way. There's a lot of the story that just features Lucy wandering around the house. There's, like, no real sense of when it's supposed to be set, because there are very few mentions of technology. Lucy never leaves the house. She has no friends. She and her cousin barely get along. As a protagonist, she's very isolated and it made it difficult to like her or care about what she was experiencing. Add in a story that was utterly confusing and that had an incredibly abrupt ending? No thanks. Nothing is ever actually explained in any detail, it's just.........THERE. You know? And given the way that the story ends, I needed answers. And I got none. Sigh.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

    Oooooh what a great book! Creepy, weird, just plain great. The author is now one of my new favs! I am now seeking out all of her books. I had been looking for a new horror to thrill me, because lately I just haven't found it. Until now that is. I highly recommend to people who love a good ghost story or to horror lovers in general!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ariel

    "Walter the cook killed himself in his little bedroom downstairs, just a few hours after saying good-night." That is the first sentence in the book and it lets you know right off the bat that you are in for one creepy ride. I had previously read this author's other book Daughters Unto Devils, and while it was not perfect I liked that the story was a kind of Little House on the Prairie horror novel. This book started out creepily enough but the pacing was not good. A family composed of a father, "Walter the cook killed himself in his little bedroom downstairs, just a few hours after saying good-night." That is the first sentence in the book and it lets you know right off the bat that you are in for one creepy ride. I had previously read this author's other book Daughters Unto Devils, and while it was not perfect I liked that the story was a kind of Little House on the Prairie horror novel. This book started out creepily enough but the pacing was not good. A family composed of a father, aunt, and two cousins lives in a remote Victorian mansion. First the cook kills himself and then the aunt goes on a walk and disappears. The walls begin to talk to the cousins and then a lot of really bad things happen. I don't know where to begin to fix this. The underlying story was good but the book dragged in the middle and too much happened at once in the end. I think this author might do better out of the YA genre. She has really good ideas but can't seem to fully develop them in the confines of a short YA novel. Also she really likes to curse which seems odd in a book aimed at young readers. The horror things are really horrifying. The author definitely knows how to write a dark story but it feels choppy and not fully cooked. I would still be interested in checking out her next book because I like how her mind works. A bonus point awarded for working in a Harry Potter reference.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Paige (Illegal in 3 Countries)

    See more of my reviews on The YA Kitten! My copy was an ARC I got while at ALA Annual 2016 in Orlando. Diversity: 1 – Tokenism Racial-Ethnic: 0 QUILTBAG: 0 Disability: 2 (Lucy self-harms) Intersectionality: 0 A few days ago, I was at the local used bookstore with my best friend and I found a copy of Daughter Unto Devils. I’d read the book and loved it; she hadn’t. Meanwhile, she’d already gotten to The Women in the Walls and was terrified by it when I hadn’t even gotten to read it yet. Naturally, I pe See more of my reviews on The YA Kitten! My copy was an ARC I got while at ALA Annual 2016 in Orlando. Diversity: 1 – Tokenism Racial-Ethnic: 0 QUILTBAG: 0 Disability: 2 (Lucy self-harms) Intersectionality: 0 A few days ago, I was at the local used bookstore with my best friend and I found a copy of Daughter Unto Devils. I’d read the book and loved it; she hadn’t. Meanwhile, she’d already gotten to The Women in the Walls and was terrified by it when I hadn’t even gotten to read it yet. Naturally, I peer pressured her into buying it and happened to pull The Women in the Walls out of my TBR jar the very next day. Reader, for how much I enjoyed my previous experience reading a novel from Amy Lukavics, I am disappoint. For all I’m about to criticize, I did like it enough to read almost the entire novel in a single day. Maybe it’s due to the story and Lucy’s palpable desperation to find out what happened to her aunt Penelope and later to her cousin Margaret. Maybe it was my expectations for the book based on my fond memories of Daughter Unto Devils. Whatever the case, I kept coming back to the story all day no matter how many times I picked it up and put it back down. So Lucy, Margaret, Penelope, and Lucy’s father all live in a massive Victorian mansion and it’s important to keep Their Reputation as Acostas impeccable as well as host dinner parties for this country club full of awful people. Why? BECAUSE. The house is supposed to invoke a feeling of both too little space (because the girls rarely leave the house) and too much space (so few people living in such a massive, empty home), but it doesn’t quite manage either. Things get a bit spooky once the house starts talking to Lucy, but that doesn’t happen until the second half of the novel. It sounds like a historical Gothic horror novel when I describe it above, right? Well, this is set in modern times. The girls make references to watching sitcoms and use modern speech. Had The Women in the Walls fully embraced Gothic horror and been set in the past, I think it would have made the novel much stronger. Instead, it feels like a halfhearted attempt. After 180-200 pages of little incidents, characters who inspire little emotion from the reader, and vaguely spooky Just Not Right moments that don’t do much of anything for the reader, the ending brings an explosion of strangeness with multiple dots you can’t quite connect to form the picture you’re supposed to. Its vague ending leaves things open for a sequel, but I’m not sure if this is a novel I’d want a sequel to. I just don’t know what happened? Daughter Unto Devils had everything I could have asked for, but The Women in the Walls left me wanting and also in need of a reread of the former. THE ANTS. THE BLOODY HOUSE. THE NIGHTMARES!!! To go back to the intro for a sec, lord help my best friend if The Women in the Walls terrified her because Daughter Unto Devils is going to make her even more pregnancy-phobic than she already is. I anticipate a call from her where she screams at me because it’s scary and how dare I peer pressure her into reading it. I’M AN EXCELLENT FRIEND, I SWEAR. Anyway, The Women in the Walls failed me, but I’m definitely here for Lukavics’s next YA novel The Ravenous. Its premise ensures the horror will be built on the characters and I’ve got a very good feeling about it.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Dawnie

    I was so excited for this book! Because it sounded like just up my alley! A spooky supernatural/paranormal story that involves mysterious deaths and a daughter that has to figure it out all on her own? perfect for me! So i was really excited and could not wait to read this! And was sadly completely disappointed. Its not that this book is horrible. Its just that its not good. It is a mediocre book that started out pretty good and ends -in my option- really terrible. The writing was okay, but it the I was so excited for this book! Because it sounded like just up my alley! A spooky supernatural/paranormal story that involves mysterious deaths and a daughter that has to figure it out all on her own? perfect for me! So i was really excited and could not wait to read this! And was sadly completely disappointed. Its not that this book is horrible. Its just that its not good. It is a mediocre book that started out pretty good and ends -in my option- really terrible. The writing was okay, but it the Dialogues where pretty bad to me - very boring and sometimes drawn out and sometimes completely unnecessary and sometimes just completely overdone and dramatized! The characters were okay, but completely uninspired and underdeveloped as well as left completely uninteresting to the reader. The Main character was very self absorbed and self loving and seemed mostly care for herself and not very much about anything else. And i did not really understand how that happened. But then on the next page all of a sudden she does something that shows that she is not completely self absorb and can care about someone else, which makes me wonder why for most of the book she seems to care only about how she feels, what she does, what is happening to her. I also hated the really cut out and already overdone "bad parents" characterization. And in this book it was done in a very illogical way that made no sense to me at all! The rest of the characters where very jumpy as well. Either they seemed to care less about what is happening or they were completely unreasonably emotional in some kind of way (for example, extremely angry in a way that made very little sense to me). also can someone please explain to me why a grown person doesn’t automatically call the police when they work somewhere where people go missing or end up dead? The overall plot idea is great but it is left completely lacking and basically is left hanging uselessly and open ended as if the author had no idea where she wanted to go with it all and just gave up in the end. There really wasn't a lot of explanation, or background given. And at the beginning that was okay, because the main character has no idea what is going on and have no problem reading around half a book and really not understanding what is going on, if the main character is working on figuring it out and the he/she does it is explained. BUT this book doesn't explain. The author starts with a small explanation, but then jumps to a different topic and somehow seemed to have forgotten that the explanation was never actually done? Or maybe i just didn't get it? And the ending was just bad, in my option. And by bad i mean it was completely uninspired and boring and to me felt like the author wanted to finish the book but had no idea at all how she could do it at that point of the story so she just wrote a bunch of complete nonsense and made it paranormal and ta-da: ending! But if any of you read this book and want to explain why the heck the book ending happened as it did? Please feel free, because honestly? I did not get it. To me all that happened (view spoiler)[ the murdering of the father? Why? How? What the heck? And what is it with that stupid race through the house instead of just leaving the fucking house? and then the killing of Penelope? Made no sense to me! At all! It was brutal and "horror" but to me made no sense at all. I also don't understand why Lucy can't just leave the house. What is a house ghost/thing going since it apparently can't leave the house and everyone else in the house is dead? And what the heck was the club stuff? What had the club to do with anything? They were the "followers"? but why? And just... i don't get it? (hide spoiler)] And on top of all of all that the synopsis on the back of the book spoils at least half the book! Which for this type of book and writing? Not what you want! So all in all? This book was a big disappointment to me.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Beth (YA Books Central)

    Creepy old mansion with strange, curious people makes the perfect mix for a chilling YA Horror story...... The Women In The Walls is the perfect read for the fall and in preparation for Halloween. The Women In The Walls is intensely creepy, deeply disturbing, and the perfect psychological thriller. The whole setting of the book is dark and mysterious and just when you think you know what is happening....Be ready...because you don't. and that cover....SERIOUSLY! How creepily awesome is that cover? Creepy old mansion with strange, curious people makes the perfect mix for a chilling YA Horror story...... The Women In The Walls is the perfect read for the fall and in preparation for Halloween. The Women In The Walls is intensely creepy, deeply disturbing, and the perfect psychological thriller. The whole setting of the book is dark and mysterious and just when you think you know what is happening....Be ready...because you don't. and that cover....SERIOUSLY! How creepily awesome is that cover? An old mansion sitting back in the fog with The Women In The Walls written as though it is dripping with blood....Ummmm YES!!!!!!! Lucy Acosta lives with her family in the Acosta mansion. Her mother passed away at a young age and she has been raised by her father and aunt. She has an cousin named Margaret that also lives with them and Lucy has grown up with her and thinks of her as a sister. Lucy and Margaret have never ventured far from home. Both girls are home-schooled and when they are not doing school work they play within the old mansion or out in the grounds of the land. "The girl lives in a beautiful dollhouse made of stone, I wrote one time in my diary when I was young, my handwriting shaky but sure. But underneath her shining plastic smile, there are only screams." One afternoon Lucy watches her Aunt Penelope walk into the woods late at night and never come back. This odd occurrence begins a series of strange events among the Acosta house. From this point on Lucy experiences changes with the people she loves and realizes that something dark and evil is happening within their home. Lucy must figure out the truth behind what is really going on in her home before it is too late and the evil takes over..... "Some of us die afraid, my mind whispers, shaky at the knowledge, desperate for release from it. Some of us die in awful, unexpected ways." The Women In The Walls is not for the faint of heart and at times can be very gruesome and horrifying... I recommend this book to true Horror genre fans who aren't afraid of a little blood and evil apparitions. Amy Lukavics really knows how to dig into the heart of a story and take the reader on a horrific journey that will stay with you long after reading the last page. Her writing is emotional, deep, and yet very thought provoking. I love that her characters all seem to have scars and yet by the end of the story are able to overcome their issues and truly....face ...their...fears.....

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Bea

    I skimmed through the reviews of this book and this one seems like it's a polarizing read. Either you find the Lucy character boring and insufferable or you connect with her. Either you like the fact that the book is a bit anachronistic or you're confused about time and place setting. Etc, etc. For me, I really, really enjoyed this horror novel. I didn't find Lucy a whiny main character; I found her to be a fairly realistic portrayal of a confused young girl who is grappling with grief, loss, an I skimmed through the reviews of this book and this one seems like it's a polarizing read. Either you find the Lucy character boring and insufferable or you connect with her. Either you like the fact that the book is a bit anachronistic or you're confused about time and place setting. Etc, etc. For me, I really, really enjoyed this horror novel. I didn't find Lucy a whiny main character; I found her to be a fairly realistic portrayal of a confused young girl who is grappling with grief, loss, and an overbearing father. I loved the Gothic elements of superstitious, supernatural activity occurring in an old estate, along with all the heightened emotions and villainous male characters. Things happened that I didn't expect, and I loved the gore and shock of the last act; I was expecting something grand to happen because of all the build-up, and that ending did not let me down. A brief comment on the ending that I'll put under a spoiler cut: (view spoiler)[I was so worried there was going to be some "AND ALL THESE TERRIBLE THINGS HAPPENED BECAUSE SHE WAS MENTALLY ILL!!!!" kind of conclusion -- I hate that kind of ableist crap -- and thank god there was none of that. (hide spoiler)] I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway so it was an uncorrected proof, and even so, there were minimal mistakes in the text. Content warning for self-harm, as the MC is a cutter.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Grace

    Review originally posted on my blog: https://quirkyandpeculiar.wordpress.c... Actual rating 3.5 stars This book really surprised me. I didn’t really know what to think about this book before reading it and I had gotten it for free from Yallfest as part of blind book date thing so I honestly didn’t know anything about it. But it was filled with good and bad. I’m going to start with the bad. The first thing that I didn’t really like was that character development. I know it’s hard in 278 pages to dev Review originally posted on my blog: https://quirkyandpeculiar.wordpress.c... Actual rating 3.5 stars This book really surprised me. I didn’t really know what to think about this book before reading it and I had gotten it for free from Yallfest as part of blind book date thing so I honestly didn’t know anything about it. But it was filled with good and bad. I’m going to start with the bad. The first thing that I didn’t really like was that character development. I know it’s hard in 278 pages to develop full characters and completely tell a story but I didn’t feel any connection to the main character, Lucy, or really any of the side characters. They were there and that was fine but there was nothing made me want to keep reading from their point of view. I also was not a big fan of the writing style. The first person narrative from Lucy’s point of view made it hard to connect with her but it did get a little better as the book progressed. There was nothing wrong with how Lukavics writes but I think this had to do more with the little character development that made the narrative feel off. Then there was the pacing which was horrible to me. I know that horror is supposed to build up the big climaxing moment at the end but the first 200 pages were really slow. They weren’t uninteresting because some creepy things happened but since none of it gave me a creepy or eerie feeling or scared me in anyway I found a big chunk of the book kind of boring. But I did LOVE the last 50 or so pages. When everything finally picked up it left me with a wtf feeling and I loved that. The last portion of the book was filled with everything I wanted it to be filled with I just wished it had come out sooner rather than later. I also loved that it felt like women had a strong role throughout. Without saying any spoilers it felt as though these women were powerful in their own right and had a nice feeling of empowerment to it. Probably my favorite thing about this book was the lack of romance. There is literately no romance. I loved how refreshing it is to read a YA book that doesn’t have a romance in it. But I also saw that there was a small hint or two at a possible love interest if things had gone differently. However they didn’t and I really liked not having a romance added into this complicated and creepy story. Overall I really enjoyed this book even though it was really slow at the beginning. The ending and nonexistent romance made it a pretty great read.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Woodbury

    DAUGHTERS UNTO DEVILS was one of my favorite books of 2015, a horror novel that was basically an exercise in pacing and suspense with a hefty helping of straight up creepy. So obviously I was very excited for Amy Lukavics' second novel. THE WOMEN IN THE WALLS is very readable and has an out-of-time element that leaves you a little off kilter in a way that I enjoyed. But it's just a pretty good horror novel. I know, I'm damning with faint praise. If I hadn't read Lukavics' first novel I would've DAUGHTERS UNTO DEVILS was one of my favorite books of 2015, a horror novel that was basically an exercise in pacing and suspense with a hefty helping of straight up creepy. So obviously I was very excited for Amy Lukavics' second novel. THE WOMEN IN THE WALLS is very readable and has an out-of-time element that leaves you a little off kilter in a way that I enjoyed. But it's just a pretty good horror novel. I know, I'm damning with faint praise. If I hadn't read Lukavics' first novel I would've been perfectly happy with this one. But knowing what she's capable of, it was hard for me to really enjoy. I admit I read with an overly critical eye. The book feels rushed. The dynamic between Lucy, her father, her cousin Margaret, and her Aunt Penelope is crucial to nearly every element of the story but we don't have any real understanding of their relationships until the book is nearly over. The first few pages of the book are the best part, but the level of creepy isn't sustained throughout the book. The story starts very quickly, and the initial priority is definitely to give us a sense of place and the feeling that something is wrong. But we don't get to develop a realistic understanding of who Lucy is or what her life is like. The sinister elements that gradually become more notable and more sinister are also things that stay mostly in the background until they become important. I wish there had been a few well done scenes at the beginning that established more effectively who these characters are. Pacing is kind of all over the place. I wanted more chapter breaks. It felt like everything ran together. I couldn't develop a sense of time, which made it difficult to build suspense. It seemed like she wanted a kind of dreamy feeling, but it didn't work well for me. Lukavics doesn't shy away from gore and a lot of her best scary scenes are visceral and gross in a very effective way. To me this felt like one of those second books that is written on a deadline so they can get it out not long after the first. I still think Lukavics is really talented and I want to read more horror from her, but I also want her to take her time and make the next one really spectacular.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Stacy Fetters

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. And now you're thinking... I hope thats sheperds pie in my knickers! Dark and twisted novel that I kind of seen coming. It sucks when you can figure out most of the murderous plot. Here I was blaming all the men and it was the ladies. Damn you!! Blogger JT got this personally signed for me at Ala Orlando! Some elements of this book make you think of other horror themed movies. What pops into my head the most often is The Omen. "It's all for you Damien! It's all for you." And bam right out the windo And now you're thinking... I hope thats sheperds pie in my knickers! Dark and twisted novel that I kind of seen coming. It sucks when you can figure out most of the murderous plot. Here I was blaming all the men and it was the ladies. Damn you!! Blogger JT got this personally signed for me at Ala Orlando! Some elements of this book make you think of other horror themed movies. What pops into my head the most often is The Omen. "It's all for you Damien! It's all for you." And bam right out the window. Growing up in the middle of nowhere in a giant mansion with an asshole of a father is never a spectacular time and Lucy's life is no different. At the age of three her mother dies and in moves her Aunt Penelope and her daughter Margaret. Lucy looks up to Penelope like shes her mother and it leaves Margaret in the dust. Growing up together they act more like sisters. One day Penelope walks out into the woods and never returns. Devastation comes to the Acosta family and Margaret starts to lose her mind. Lucy's dad is all about keeping the Acosta name high in value and only cares about his high class virtue of the prestigious country club. God forbid disappearances and madness get in the way of him living the high life. Slowly Margaret finds comfort in the attic and believes the voices shes hearing is her mothers voice. The scratching on the walls starts to drive her insane. Lucy tries all she can to help, but it might be too late and she begins to hear the same voices. A legacy is one to uphold in the Acosta family and dont you forget. Now hurry up along and don't forget to swallow those teeth. Interesting for the most part and at its peak it sunk like the Titanic. Going back and forth trying to decipher what the voices really want was a hell of a chase. For people who love horror, it was plain as day and a kick to the shin. Being YA horror, this is the creepiest and most gruesome one to date. Surprising that they would consider this ya, that is until the teenage girls talk about cutting and thats when it becomes a teen fest. Still a good leadway to what I hope becomes horror ya central.

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