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The Serpent and the Stag

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A serial killer lurks in the Northern California fog, and young women are disappearing. Sarah is 16, pretty and naive. Her beloved mother now dead, Sarah must run away from her hated aunt to search for the father she barely knows. Right into the serpent's den. What she finds horrifies her. Is the strange boy she meets there the real killer? Is her father involved? Can she escape before it's too late?


First published March 3, 2010

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Julie Ann Maahs

1 book12 followers

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Displaying 1 - 2 of 2 reviews
Profile Image for Susan (aka Just My Op).
1,126 reviews57 followers
July 17, 2010
2 1/2 stars. A serial killer of women is loose in foggy Northern California. A sixteen-year old girl, raised by her mother in a restrictive, fundamentalist Christian environment, goes looking for her father after her mother dies, and ends up in a commune where pagans and hippies hold an uneasy truce with Christian neighbors. Of course, she ends up in the area where the murders are happening. Those screams – are they people or just the cougars that roam the area?

I really expected to like this book, I wanted to like this book. Unfortunately, it just didn't live up to my expectations. For me, the mystery was not mysterious enough, the romance was rushed and not very believable, and the main character, Sarah, was absurdly naïve, even given her upbringing. Yet when she witnessed a ritual that involving sacrificial murder, her reaction was relatively mild. There was too much churchiness but not enough substance. The author mentioned that the book was controversial. To me, it was not; I hoped for more. This is not to say that other readers may not like it. It was just not right for my reading tastes.

A couple of the quotes I liked:

We weren't lost so we don't need to be saved.

Piety and goodness are not always the same thing. There are good and bad people in all religions. Being wrong is not the same as being evil.

The author has some great potential, but this book isn't quite ready for prime time.

This e-book was given to me by the author.
Profile Image for Christine.
219 reviews45 followers
January 2, 2011
not sure what to say about this title.

I thought it was well written and pretty gripping but there was a rather 'other wordly' feel to it. I could not connect to the heroine, Sarah, who seems rather wishy washy and (from a plot point of view) never seems seriously threatened by anything that happens even though the fates of other characters are very vividly outlined and somewhat unpleasant.

I found the New Age element distracting and to a large extent irritating, which is shame as it is a major element in the book.

As a Brit I have to nit-pick; I am glad Sarah's father lost his 'British accent' quickly as I have no idea what the author has him trying to say in a very early chapter.

I would happily read another title by this author and would love to see her write a true crime novel as those parts of the book were excellent
Displaying 1 - 2 of 2 reviews

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