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A few years ago I read the third book in this series (not realizing it was a series, just so captivated by that cover). I recently saw my library had the audiobooks of the previous books so I thought I'd listen to them for some quick entertainment while driving.
Overall, this was a good book. It was interesting to get the backstory on the world I was introduced to in the third book. The world-building was well-done and made the book intriguing and mysterious. The plot was a bit slow in the beginning with all of the introduction, some of which could have been sped through a bit. You know there is going to be some weird stuff going on at the school so it gets a little tedious leading up to that. But overall the book was well-written and interesting.
While the book is not necessarily very scary, there is a bit of animal cruelty, which may not be a good fit for sensitive readers. While it is not outright gory, it's pretty gross with enough details to be upsetting and is referenced multiple times. I dislike when authors fall back on cruelty to animals in order to show how evil a character is.
A good read although I could have done without the animal stuff. Interesting set up and a nice lead in to the next book.