* * *
Damaged. Deceptive. Dangerous. Darling. Are they labels or a warning? The answer could cost Sera everything.
Murder, justice, and revenge were so not a part of the plan when Sera set out on her senior camping trip. After all, hiking through the woods is supposed to be safe and uneventful.
Then one morning the group wakes up groggy, confused, and with words scrawled on their wrists: Damaged. Deceptive. Dangerous. Darling. Their supplies? Destroyed. Half their group? Gone. Their chaperone? Unconscious. Worst of all, they find four dolls acting out a murder—dolls dressed just like them.
Suddenly it's clear; they're being hunted. And with the only positive word on her wrist, Sera falls under suspicion…
Source: advance e-galley provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review
One Was Lost is really my worst nightmare come true. First off, camping is so not me so that's part one of the horror. Second, being stuck in the middle of nowhere in inclement weather split off from your group. See? Nightmare! That's the mess that Sera and company find themselves in. They wake up the next morning after going through a night of torrential rain and lack of food to discover that their camp has been destroyed and their personal belongings are missing. With their group leader passed out and unresponsive, the four teens in this group have to fend for themselves and find a way back to civilization. They're barely just understanding that they're unwitting participants in some elaborate game that has dire consequences. And since they're in the middle of the woods cut off from the world, they have to depend on each other while at the same time watching their backs. No one is free of suspicion and who knows what else is in store for them.
The action takes place from the get go and there's no relenting. Richards sets up the pieces well revealing vital bits of information at the right time. I felt just as frantic and helpless as Sera and her friends until they started putting the puzzle together. The only drawback for me were certain scenes where I felt the tension building only to be stalled because of how Sera's reaction to those few moments were described. I simply felt the flow was interrupted, however, that didn't stop me from being caught up in the mystery as a whole. The most intriguing aspect of One Was Lost is how each one of the four characters starts to behave once they fall under closer scrutiny. Suspicion does ugly things to your head and everyone's response could be an important clue.
One Was Lost is a perfect choice if you're in the mood for an outdoor, at-the-mercy-of-the-elements-with-a-maniac-on-the-loose story!