The Black Sisterhood Files (Kristina Naydonova) // 2020 // YA Thriller/Horror/Mystery
*MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS*
Brave. That’s how I would describe teenage narrator, Lexi Torres. Although constantly in a state of fear as the world shifts wildly around her, Lexi tackles every new issue with determined ferocity. She amazed me with her outward fearlessness as she accomplished tasks I feel would break most. It was inspiring to watch her jump so quickly into a new and terrifying environment. The story could not have gone on without her boldness.
The Black Sisterhood Files follows Lexi as she navigates a new town, a new home, a new school, and new friends. However, the town of Parkersburg, West Virginia is not as ordinary as it firsts appears. When Lexi begins seeing a sentinel-like cloaked figure standing idly by, seeming to watch her every move, she spirals into a sea of nightmares, further fueled by overheard conversations of a girl’s death. (Seriously. It was bad vibes all around). Soon, Lexi is recruited to join a not-so-secret organization called the Black Sisterhood. The initiation is very gang-like as the girls work to create dangerous tasks to prove her bravery and wit. After passing the first couple tasks, Lexi is expected to dress as the others see fit, robbing her of her sense of individuality, as well as defend the sisterhood through whatever means necessary. The morals and ideals of the Black Sisterhood are considerably black and white, leaving no room for questionable gray areas. Everything is either right or wrong, the collective sisterhood possessing an authority complex over the town. The adults, save for a few members of the police department, allow these teenage girls to consistently put themselves in danger, even going as far as to encourage them in their quests. The world in which this version of Parkersburg exists is indeed an alternate reality.
I was a little off-put by the ending. It seemed the author, Kristina Naydonova, was attempting to draw some kind of meaningful lesson from a couple character’s inhumane actions, but instead managed to (hopefully, by accident) romanticize murder. Despite this mishap, the ending held some beautiful lines.
I gave this mystery/thriller/horror three stars because I felt like the author deserved to be rated on her story, not her young age. For a twelve year old, Kristina Naydonova is quite talented and therefore, I believe her talent will be exponential as she grows into a future of writing compelling stories. I hope to see more of Naydonova’s writing in the future. However, the Black Sisterhood Files held a few inconsistencies. I definitely had a few questions I wished the author could have elaborated on in the story. Also, I think because of the author’s age, there were some facts that were a little far-fetched, for lack of a better term. Since this is a work of fiction, I can only assume that this version of Parkersburg came with its own set of laws, therefore dismissing any qualms I have with certain facts. All in all, this book was truly thrilling. Thank you, Kristina Naydonova, for writing such a fast-paced, compelling story. Keep up the good work!