The Liar of Red Valley is a book that popped up on both NetGalley and GoodReads. Seeing it on NetGalley left me in two minds until a GR recommended it to me—it was the push I needed.
After swiping left for the last time, I have to say The Liar of Red Valley is one of the best books I read this year.
The highly-anticipated paperback release of our lead title for Fall 2021 – a fresh, rich, American Gothic “yarn” with a highly relatable female lead.
Don’t trust the Liar.
Do not cross the King.
Never, ever go in the River.
In Red Valley, California, you follow the rules if you want to stay alive. But they won’t be enough to protect Sadie now that she’s become the Liar, the keeper of the town’s many secrets. Friendships are hard-won here, and it isn’t safe to make enemies.
And though the Liar has power — power to remake the world, with just a little blood—what Sadie really needs is answers: Why is the town’s sheriff after her? What does the King want from her? And what is the real purpose of the Liar of Red Valley?
Horror, fantasy, gothic
Rebellion, Solaris pub
Cover: Well. It’s something. It makes a statement, but to me, it just screams Red Riding Hood.
- This is how you write a good book. You take a character—Sadie, in our case—and plop her there, front and center. Backstory? Sure, when and if it becomes relevant, it can be sprinkled throughout the story. Infodump of any kind at the beginning? No. There’s the MC, there’s the (relevant again) setting, and there’s trouble brewing on the horizon. Nothing more is needed. Trust me when I say that the Goodwater’s way is one of the best ways to write a story because it reads realistically. Yes, even if it features monsters.
- Unique plot paired with an intriguing idea. The Liar concept adds a fresh spin to the ‘world is packed with monster’ trope, and the subplots are layered in an intricate yet captivating style. I appreciate the key revelations a lot: a crescendo of bombshells that blindsided me while I was reading, as I didn’t see them coming.
- Technically speaking, Goodwater is a master. It’s hard to handle a dialogue with three characters, for example, but he does it without breaking a sweat. The whole thing reads as smooth as you please – I went back and checked the one between Graciela, Sadie, and Beto at least twice, just to appreciate Goodwater’s skills to the fullest.
- To top it off, his writing style is hilarious. Sadie and Thomas = <3
- I love the cast of characters. No one is 100% good, no one is 100% bad, and that’s quite a feat given the main topic. There’s nuance in everybody, even in Hassler. As an added bonus, the cast is on the bigger side and it’s handled in a beautiful way.
- A fantastic plot is paired with a good editing—thank you.
- The only complaint I have is about the Unspeakable Thing. All that crescendo, the trip, the subtle-but-there anticipation… and? The resolution is underwhelming.
After careful consideration, I decided that that’s enough to kick down half a star, but to round up the final rating anyway. It’s a misstep in an otherwise perfect book.
4,5 stars on GR, rounded up to 5.