Title: Go Hunt Me by Kelly deVos
Genre: Young Adult, Horror
For Dracula lovers and fans of Diana Urban’s All Your Twisted Secrets, this spine-tingling thriller follows seven horror buffs as their dream trip to a remote Romanian castle turns into a nightmare when they begin to be killed one by one.
Alex Rush is ready for the trip of a lifetime.
She and her friends have made some creepily awesome films together throughout high school, so with only a few months left before they go their separate ways for college, they’re determined to make the best one yet: an epic short film that reimagines the story of Dracula, filmed on location at a remote castle in Romania.
But when they get there, it’s not quite the majestic setting they planned for. Menacing weapons line the walls, the twisted halls are easy to get lost in, and with no connection to the outside world, the group is unexpectedly off the grid. After just a few hours spent under its roof, Alex and her friends have no trouble imagining how this dark, terrifying castle inspired one of the most enduring horror novels of all time.
Only soon they no longer have to use their imaginations to understand the location’s terrifying history—just as they get the film’s first shot rolling, one of Alex’s friends disappears, and she’s nearly certain she saw a cloaked stranger lurking in the shadows. As more members of the group begin to meet an untimely demise, Alex is desperate to stop the bloodshed, even if it means facing a monster she never thought would be let loose.
Content warnings: Some discussion of sexual harassments and abuse, death, violence, gore
Rating: 5 Stars
When I got the chance to be a part of this blog tour I jumped at it since Go Hunt Me was a really hyped release I have been looking forward too and it sounds like something I am going to love. The opening to Go Hunt Me was amazing as we are introduced to Alex in the hospital after her friends have been killed at Castle Prahova in Romania but we don’t know how and why. We then jump backwards in time and realise that Alex was filming a short film in order to get into her dream school alongside her boyfriend, Jax and the numerous friends in Reagan and Kenna. On Halloween night they are preparing for a party but the others decide to surprise Alex by secretly filming some of her short film before the party kicks off but they unintentionally scare the living daylights out of her. I really liked the dynamics between the friend group and how they are helping each other out and I can’t wait for them to travel to Romania and for the horror elements to really take off.
As we approach the ¼ mark in the novel, we are less than 2 months from the events that land Alex in the hospital and we are still getting to know her and her friends. We can see that Alex is struggling at home since her father is fighting cancer the family business has suffered meaning Alex’s sister has had to give on her dreams of dancing because they can’t afford it but Alex refuses to. However, when she and Jax check their admissions letters they learn that Jax has been accepted while Alex has been waitlisted which usually means she isn’t going to get in which is heart-breaking since she has worked so hard for this. After meeting a famous actress in the bathroom they decide to start a fundraiser for a student movie but Alex admits in the present that was a mistake from the very beginning and I want to know why. Alex and her friends start a fundraiser to make the film better and submit it to film festivals in the hopes of getting Alex into the college of her dreams but things get even crazier when the actress, Catrinel Bloom offers them the chance to film in Romania and Alex knows they are going to accept. We also learn in the present that the fundraiser ends up making over half a million dollars but by the time they figured out where the money came from someone stole it so it seems like we are in for a wild ride now.
As we cross the ¼ mark in the novel, we are now less than a week from the events that get Alex injured and her friends killed and I can’t wait to see what happened in Romania. The group eventually convince their parents to let them go since Catrinel is coming with them and they will have an adult with them. However, moments after landing in Romania Catrinel ditches them and Jax admits it is because she is going to rehab in Switzerland and that was the plan all along and he deceived everyone so they are now heading to Castle Prahova alone when they learn that their money has been stolen. Only one or two of the group are making a big deal of that right now since they are going to look into it when they get to the castle anyway but Alex is worried being in a foreign country not speaking the language and having no one there to guide them but it is her last chance to get into film school so she needs to do it. I really like the dynamics between the friends but there seems to be some tension between Jax and Reagan since Jax is dating Alex and Reagan seems to have feelings for her which is confusing Alex even if she doesn’t say it out loud. The boys also seem to be hiding something else which could potentially lead to people getting injured and Alex makes a point to ask Jax about it later.
As we approach the halfway mark in the novel, the group have arrived at the castle which is just as creepy and atmospheric as they were promised. After arriving at the castle and getting settled in some of the group immediately begin to feel like something is wrong with the place and I agree. Kenna and some of the others seem unnaturally interested in the money that went missing and there also seems to be something off with their host, Raul Stoica. In the present we learn that he might be connected to an international drug dealer and art thief but the most interesting thing now is how Keena seems to know Raul and why she is lying to the group about things and this obviously has Alex worried but I have a feeling that things are going to get darker. I love how it is phrased that maybe the only demons in the castle are the ones they brought in themselves and rather than it being a supernatural entity that begins killing them off what if it is one of their own which would make sense given the information we know about some of the characters and their currently very isolated location where help can’t be accessed easily.
As we cross into the second half of the novel, I was really getting into the story now and couldn’t wait for the action to really take off. Things start getting really interesting here since Raul leaves the kids alone in the castle just as a massive storm hits but it is clear they aren’t alone there and Kenna has something to do with this situation. When it becomes clear that someone else is in the castle, Maddie freaks out and runs into the storm, the remaining friends divide up so some stay where they are in case Maddie comes back, some search the castle and Jax with Alex search outside. Outside they are bumped into by someone in costume and that incident leads them to Maddie’s body. Back inside they meet up with Reagan and in the bathhouse they finds Carter’s severed head. Two of their friends are now dead and two more are missing but they find Hazel locked in a room by Carter as he wanted to search for Maddie. Now the only missing member of the group is Kenna and she seems to be at the centre of everything since they found a boarding pass a few days before theirs which confirms that someone else is there along with the appearing and disappearing items and keys.
As we approach the ¾ mark in the novel, a third of the group are dead, one is missing and the rest are terrified but between the storm and the isolated location they have no choice but to stay in the castle and they have no way of summoning outside help and there are only 24 hours to go until we catch up to the present timeline. Things get even worse from there as more of the group are killed off until only Alex, Reagan and Hazel remain and this is when the truth starts coming to light. It turns out that Kenna has pitched her own movie to Justin Bloom, Catrinel’s ex-husband and the half a million dollars came from him and everything that has happened was supposed to be staged for the movie but that wasn’t the case. Alex explains that they thought that Raul was the killer picking them off but it was really his father, Yuri, the drug dealer and art thief possibly because he didn’t want it coming out through the movie that he was still alive and that the castle contained the priceless items he had stolen over the years.
As we cross into the final section of the novel, I was really excited to see how deVos was going to end the novel since she hasn’t be afraid to be gory and brutal throughout the novel. The last portion of this novel make the slow first quarter completely worth it. I won’t go into much detail since it gives some insane spoilers but that ending was twists upon twists and I can honestly say I didn’t see it coming and it absolutely blew me away. This was one of my anticipated releases for this year and it certainly didn’t let me down and deVos is going to be an insta-buy author for me in the future especially if she continues writing in this genre. Absolutely perfection and I highly recommend it as it would be perfect for the spooky season.
About the Author:
Kelly deVos is from Gilbert, Arizona, where she lives with her high school sweetheart husband, amazing teen daughter and superhero dog, Cocoa. She holds a B.A. in Creative Writing from Arizona State University. When not reading or writing, Kelly can typically be found with a mocha in hand, bingeing the latest TV shows and adding to her ever-growing sticker collection.
Kelly is represented by Chloe Seager of the Madeleine Milburn Literary Agency in London. Her work on body positivity has been featured in the New York Times as well as on Vulture, Salon, Bustle and SheKnows. Her debut novel, Fat Girl on a Plane was named one of the “50 Best Summer Reads of All Time” by Reader’s Digest magazine. Her second book, Day Zero, is available now from Inkyard Press/HarperCollins.
I received this review copy for consideration from TBR & Beyond Tours.