Welcome to my stop on the TBR and Beyond Tours Book Tour for Burden Falls by Kat Ellis. It’ll start to feel like a pattern, but Burden Falls just sounded so good and I knew I had to read and review it for the tour. Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom to see the tour schedule for other content creators.
Thank you to Kat Ellis and Dial Books|Penguin Young Readers for providing me with an ARC for this review
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.
About The Book
Title: Burden Falls
Author: Kat Ellis
Publisher: Dial Books | Penguin Young Readers
Publishing Date: August 24th, 2021
Page Length: 304
Age Range: YA
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.
Rep: Queer, Black, Latinx
Content Warning: 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.
Burden Falls felt like a horror set in a small town, actually I imagined it close to a small town near me that has a bunch of apple orchards in the area. Ellis was able to provide this small town feel, with its own Lore that felt routed and believable. Despite there not being many settings, the ones we do venture into felt confined and creepy – only adding to this glorious spooky atmosphere.
Ava is our main character and the only perspective we get. Mainly staying in present day, with the odd flashback to important events, we learn as Ava learns and believe what Ava believes. In this haunting mystery, we start questioning what’s happening to Ava, and whether or not we can trust what she’s seeing. I loved the trickle of haunting images that we are exposed to through Ava, having me question whether or not there was a supernatural element to the book. I loved this element of questioning – it had me trusting no one, including our main character. Ava as a character was interesting, although not one I will likely remember for long. She loves art and aspires to illustrate her own graphic novels (LOVE). We focus mainly on the mystery and the history of her family/town so we don’t learn much about the side characters’ backstory. In the end, I was left wondering about things mentioned here and there about a side character because they were never explained – Ava never questioned anything more about it. This is fine, since this wasn’t the point of this story, but I was still left wondering.
This ended up being more gorey than I had originally anticipated, but I loved what was there. I felt the gore kept with the Lore and provided higher stakes. Although detailed, it didn’t provide more than what was needed to visualize the scene.
I was genuinely surprised by the reveal in this one. I trusted no one by the end, but did not see this coming at all!
If you’re wanting something creepy and haunted this Fall, then I highly recommend Burden Falls. The twists were surprising and the haunting elements left me questioning everything. I’ll definitely be keeping on eye out for more of Ellis’ work and plan to grab Harrow Lake soon!