Dead River

Dead River

4.1 8
by Cyn Balog

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My friends and I are spending prom weekend at a remote wooded cabin on the Dead. The Dead River. 

I thought it was going to be just us.

I was wrong. 

Nothing is what it seems in this creepy paranormal thriller by Cyn Balog.  See more details below


My friends and I are spending prom weekend at a remote wooded cabin on the Dead. The Dead River. 

I thought it was going to be just us.

I was wrong. 

Nothing is what it seems in this creepy paranormal thriller by Cyn Balog.

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Susan Hampe
Kiandra, Ki to her close friends, wanted to go to prom, but instead finds herself on a weekend trip with her boyfriend Justin, her cousin Angela, and the guy her cousin dragged along. Her overprotective father, who has forbidden anything that involves bodies of water due to the death of Ki's mother, thinks they are going to spend the weekend hiking. In actuality, the group plans to go rafting on The Dead, a river deep in local lore, and an odd choice for Ki who is herself afraid of water. There is something lurking beneath the stories of The Dead and it wants Ki, calling to her through strange visions that seem familiar. Readers who make it past the initial premise and slightly choppy opening will be swept away by the fast moving plot of this paranormal thriller, trying to unravel the mystery. Balog develops the creepy tone of the novel like an eerie fog that rolls in, starting with odd occurrences and building to spine-tingling thrills. The cast is an interesting mix, though some are a bit flat, and add to the story. This a great read for fans of R.L. Stine, Kim Harrison's Madison Avery, and fans of the classic Dark Shadow series. Reviewer: Susan Hampe
Kirkus Reviews
While most people who visit the Dead River hear the white noise of rushing water, 17-year-old Kiandra Levesque hears the voices of people the river has claimed. She's been kept away from water ever since her mother committed suicide by walking into the Delaware River 10 years earlier. Angry at this abandonment, she wants to prove to herself that she has left her mother behind, so she sneaks away with her boyfriend for a camping and rafting trip in rural Maine. When she encounters the spirit of a boy killed in the 1930s, Kia learns that she has magical powers and that she might be able to see her mother again--but that she must cross the river from life to death to do so. Balog starts her story in media res, allowing narrator Kiandra to introduce herself slowly, by revealing her past. There's a trick to keeping the narrator mostly unnamed and identified only by fears for the first several pages, and unfortunately, the author doesn't quite carry it off. Despite her heavy and often articulated misery, Kiandra comes across as a shallow character: clear, fast-moving and trickling downstream before making an impact. The inevitable love triangle feels forced, and the resolution stretches the bounds of the narrative rules, but at least it assures there's no loose threads for a sequel. The secondary characters are oxbow lakes, extraneous pieces cut off from the main flow and leading nowhere. Not the refreshing plunge it would like to be. (Paranormal thriller. 12 & up)
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Kiandra Levesque's father has kept her away from bodies of water ever since her mother killed herself in the river near their New Jersey home. Now living in Maine, Ki, 17, skips prom to go on a white-water-rafting adventure with her boyfriend, her cousin, and an annoying travel companion. As her group tells ghost stories, the teen has visions of the deaths of the individuals in the legends. She also begins seeing the spirits of those who died in bodies of water, and as she gets closer to the river, she hears voices. During her first journey on the Dead River, she is pulled out of the raft by something supernatural and is saved by Trey, a ghost from one of the stories. Ki, it turns out, is a "Mistress of the Waters" and has great magical powers. Trey warns her to leave the river, but she stays when another ghost, Jack, tempts her with seeing her mother again. Sticking around and kissing Jack costs Ki her life. Her mother is able to bring her back from the dead, but only at a great sacrifice of her own powers. Ki then uses her abilities to return Trey to the living as a romance between them sparks. Balog tells a unique story providing supernatural romance fans with plenty of adventure, paranormal mystique, and angst.—Adrienne L. Strock, Chicago Public Library

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Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
12 Years

Meet the Author

CYN BALOG fell out of the raft on her first, and only, trip down the Dead River. She is the author of Starstruck, Sleepless, Fairy Tale, and Touched. Cyn lives in Pennsylvania with her family. 

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Dead River 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing! It started out as 4 older teens going on a trip to go white river rafting.... Justin and Angela her boyfriend and bestfriend assure Kiandra over and over that its safe, but after her mom committed sucide when Ki was 7 the water was forbidden for her by her overprotective, devastaded father, then Ki is in a terrible white river rafting accident, shes pulled under and then someone saves her, she swears she remembers seeing him before... but from where? Her and the boy grow closer and Kiandra learns more about the paranormal world thats been hidden from her.
Grumbleworts More than 1 year ago
I picked this up, thinking it would be a horror novel. And in some ways it was. The creepy imagery is great (Pink dress girl is my favorite), and I loved the fear of the water in the main character, and the reasons for it. Balog's descriptions are fantastic and really draw you in.  It did not, however, end up where I thought it might. The twist was interesting, and it worked. I do wish there had been more explanation of some things, though. Definitely liked the characters, and enjoyed the story. A quick read, and if you enjoy creepy things, definitely pick it up!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a good read, but overall it needs to give you more information. Also, I felt like it was always leading up to a climax that never really happened.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book because I loved the author's other book, TOUCHED. I didn't really know what to expect, but it's a ghost story with a touch of paranormal romance. Definitely not something to read alone at night! I loved the story and how different it was. I can't wait for more books by Cyn Balog.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ImaginaryReads More than 1 year ago
Kiandra lies to her father in order to go rafting at the cabin by Dead River with her boyfriend Justin, her cousin Angela, and Hugo. Kiandra’s father has prohibits her from going near water since her mother waded into the river to end her life. As soon as Kiandra arrives at the cabin, she feels the call of the water pulling at her. Over the course of the trip, she uncovers things about her mother’s death and secrets from the past. She also finds out she is a Mistress of the Waters and has special powers when she is saved by Trey, who was killed in the 1930s. As Kiandra has more encounters with spirits, she learns that she knows nothing about her mother, and she starts to wonder about her own destiny. She also begins to discover who and what is most important in her life. Kiandra doesn't know what she really wants and is self-denying. She hates nature and is scared of water. The only reason that she goes rafting is to make Justin happy. On the other hand, Justin and Angela have a lot in common. They both love nature, hiking and rafting. The love triangle between these three characters feels forced. On the other hand, Trey is so sweet and someone I feel is good for her. I would like to see more details about the love relationship between Kiandra and Trey. It feels like they jump from friendship to love. Dead River is a unique supernatural story of destiny. It is slow to start, but it is filled with interesting twists and turns that engage the reader. Throughout the novel, each ghost’s life and death story resonates with each other. I like how author ties them all together.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While there were some things I really liked about this book, there are unfortunately as many things that I don't like. That makes reviewing a little tough, but here goes. The main character, Kiandra's, motivation seems to be all over the place. In the beginning, she is scared of the river, hears voices near the river, doesn't want to go rafting, but is doing it to make her boyfriend happy(she wanted to go to the prom instead). Then, after a near-death/death experience during which she hallucinates/experiences what's on the other side of the river and is warned several times to stay away from there, she is obsessed and must go back. No, she mustn't. Yes, she must. No, she won't go. Yes, she will. Most of this back and forth takes place in her thoughts. Kiandra seemed a bit self-centered and yet a little bit too self-denying. She can't seem to think beyond what she wants when she wants it, but goes on a rafting trip she doesn't want to be on, pretending she does while internally whining constantly about it. She told a big lie to her father, then almost completely forgets him in the space of two days until the realization that he might be upset if she died. I think the story simply tried to be too many things in too many directions. There is the teenage love story or rather the story of Justin, Kiandra's boyfriend. Then, there is the rafting/hiking weekend and what occurs with the living teenagers. There are superfluous characters who seem to exist simply for the needs of the main character. Hugo is a throw-away character as is Spiffy and the twin brothers/rafting business owners sideline, bones found, goes nowhere and is dropped. The evil Jack character just fails to show up at the end. I kept waiting for him to turn up, but nope. I wish the focus has just been the supernatural stuff. I think that would have made the story better and it sort of rambles back and forth without making much headway. This ghostly person says run away, but this other ghostly person says come over here. It's all a bit much and yet a little too little. Too much flitting about with too little movement in the story. And there is both insta-love and love of a young adult male for a pre-adolescent girl, neither of which I can abide. Yes, the teenager doesn't act on his feelings for the little girl, but it still a big pile of ewwwww. Teenage boys should NOT fall for babies/children. This is simply not a good thing and not a foundation for later romance. Having said that and putting aside those objections, the ending was lovely and I did buy into that part of the story. I also liked the stories of those of the other side, the ghost stories. The truth of them was very interesting and I didn't see those things occurring, so well done there. I liked how they all tied in together when I thought they were all separate stories. I did like the lore that the person becomes what they most wished they were while living. That was different and very creative. Not sure the whole Mistress of the Waters stuff really worked, felt like a big loophole after Kiandra made some ridiculous choices, but, even if I didn't quite buy into it, it was something very different which I did like. Again, it's back and forth. I liked it and I didn't like it. So, middle of the road. I liked the dark tone of the book and it was a good supernatural chiller, but didn't unequivocally love it. It is a like with some reservation. Hope that makes sense.