Eva sees her religious compound in a different light after getting a glimpse of life on the outside.
As far as cults go, I have always been a little bit interested in them. The fact that someone can go from being sound-minded and individual and suddenly become radicalised by someone with such out there beliefs is such a crazy notion for me that it is something I have watched countless documentaries on. As soon as I saw the synopsis of this book I knew that I had to read it. Also, the fact that it is written by someone who has worked with sect escapees as a therapist definitely helps to authenticate it a little better,
I loved how this book was written from the point of view of a 14 year old. Eva was naive and young and this was definitely demonsTrated in the way the book was written. I loved the first few undred pages and I could barely put the book down - Eva was strong-willed and if she hadn't escaped from The Righteous Path I would have worried for her safety. The other sisters in the sect, Rachel especially, made for great support characters showing the different ways the members approached life in the sect. I loved Eva's relationship with the young man who saves her. I thought it was going to be romantic but it ended up being a purely platonic friendship which I so appreciated. Finally, Ezekiel was a suitably evil character, so I loved how well he was written.
The only thing I can really complain about is the ending. I didn't like how eager Fixmer was to get action in there. I understad that it was probably necessary, but the action just wasn't engaging enough to work and the emotions following it just were not fitting, for me at least. I felt like some things didn't make sense and I wish it had been thought through and edited more because the ending itself probably brings my grade for this book down by at least a whole grade. Ugh!
Overall, Down From the Mountain was a well written and well developed look into how cults work, and how one person can bring that whole system down. It was deep and engaging but the ending made the whole thing seem lacklustre.
Overall Rating: B-
Book released 1st March by Albert Whitman Teen
Book received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review