Twisted Hunt of Horrors | Alone by Cyn Balog

Friday, April 20, 2018

Alone by Cyn Balog

Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication Date: 11/7/17
Pages: 277
Source: given by publisher in exchange for honest review

When her mom inherits an old, crumbling mansion, Seda’s almost excited to spend the summer there. The grounds are beautiful and it’s fun to explore the sprawling house with its creepy rooms and secret passages. Except now her mom wants to renovate, rather than sell the estate—which means they're not going back to the city…or Seda's friends and school. As the days grow shorter, Seda is filled with dread. They’re about to be cut off from the outside world, and she’s not sure she can handle the solitude or the darkness it brings out in her. Then a group of teens get stranded near the mansion during a blizzard. Seda has no choice but to offer them shelter, even though she knows danger lurks in the dilapidated mansion—and in herself. And as the snow continues to fall, what Seda fears most is about to become her reality…
After her aunt and uncle die, Seda Helm is forced to move with her four siblings and parents to the middle of nowhere, Pennsylvania. Living in a house that once used to be a murder mystery hotel is the least of her worries. When unexpected visitors plead to stay, Seda knows something bad is about to happen. And she couldn’t be more right.

Realistic But Annoying Characters

  • At first, I didn't really know what to make of Seda. There are so many layers to her character. Her strength to continue searching for normal in a sea of strange was commendable, but other characteristics like her stubbornness and her dislike for change made me a bit indifferent to her character. I couldn't fully connect with Seda which left Alone lacking in a few ways. The reveal of her entire character is surprising, leaving the end an absolute wild ride.
  • The characters change their minds several times without explanation to their thinking which is both realistic but annoying in its inconsistency.
  • I adored that Alone is about a girl who hears a voice inside her head as much as it was about the house she lived in. The house took center stage as if it were a character itself. 

Twists, Turns, and Scares

  • Alone by Cyn Balog gives off these creepy vibes right from the start. The novel is a perfect book to read during the colder months.
  • The brief blurbs of promotional items from the murder mystery hotel days gave some much needed information about the history of the house. It was interesting to watch the story unfold, starting with the blurb at the beginning of each chapter. It paralleled nicely to the story’s structure, balancing out what was happening in the present to what happened in the past.
  • The introduction seemed to drag on further than necessary. The meat of the story didn't really begin until after halfway, which for a 300-page novel is unfortunate. 
  • There were moments when I thought I knew the exact direction it would go in. However, Balog keeps readers completely on their toes. She constantly changes direction, moving the plot further away from ever becoming predictable.
  • The twists were unexpected. Alone quickly became a horror movie without the clichés, ready to scare readers at every turn. 

Hunt of Horrors

  • Seda’s mother builds an epic scavenger hunt for her daughter’s birthday. The scavenger hunt of horrors was absolutely filled with genius. I've always wanted to participate in a murder mystery play and Alone gives readers the chance to put the pieces together with the other characters. It was fun and extremely unique. The scavenger hunt is actually the highlight of the entire book. It's the draw that certainly turns the drab, gothic plot to a heart-racing, horrific read.
  • Cyn Balog’s writing is extremely fast paced. Though there isn't much action until the second half of the book, Alone reads like an action movie. Balog' s writing is superb, weaving an intriguing and thrilling plot. She built a unique structure that piles on all the questions with absolutely no answers until the big reveal. This created a most original and heart-pounding ending that will give you a plot you are not about to forget.
  • The end easily makes readers ask for more. The ending is fantastic, getting your heart pumping even after finishing the last page.


Alone by Cyn Balog is perfect to read during a storm with all the lights off. The setup of the main plot does drag a bit but when readers finally enter the main story, they are in for a real treat. 

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  1. OOh nice! I keep meaning to read this author's books! Glad to see you enjoyed it even if it took awhile to get good! Nice review!