Cover Image: Alone in the Wild

Alone in the Wild

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Casey and Eric (and Storm the dog) went for a quiet weekend alone and then Casey found a baby, locked in the arms of a dead woman in the snow.  I am a huge fan of this series which has a unique setting in the Yukon and unique dynamic characters.  That said, this is best read as part of the series because there's so much about it that might not make sense to a new reader.   Casey and Eric's hunt for the baby's mother leads them down several wrong paths but each one is a foundation of new information.  On the plus worldbuilding side for fans, Armstrong finally provides information on the hostiles who reside in the woods outside Rockton as well as Maryanne and more info on the First and Second Settlement.  As outside my experience as it could be, I can still visualize the town, the woods, and the people.  Thanks to the publisher for the ARC.  Great storytelling and it's a page turner her fans will relish.  Can't wait for the next one.
Was this review helpful?
Each installment leaves me amazed that such a secluded location can provide so much story. 

I believe in the third installment I was frustrated by how far from the town the story branched out. But for some reason, it didn’t bother me this time. I think as the rest of the area outside of Rockton is explored, it sets up for future installments (and future conflicts) and that makes me feel relieved. This is one of a handful of procedurals for which I eagerly await the next story.
Was this review helpful?
When this book showed up at NetGalley months ago, I read it that same day. I am rather lazy about writing reviews, however, and am penning this just a week before publication. However, not only do I have good recall when it comes to whatever I read, but this book, and this series, well, it has taken a special place in my heart. I love this series and will be heartbroken when it comes to an end.

Rockton is a very unusual town. You go there if you need an escape. You may be a criminal. You may be an ex-con. You may be running from an abusive spouse. So, the town is a haven of sorts. You aren't moving there forever; it is just a respite. There are no cell phones, internet, ordinary mail even. No electricity. The town's council lets you in and the town council lets you out.

All of that was to familiarize anyone jumping into this series with this book, Alone in the Wild. I have read all of the books in the series thus far, City of the Lost. A Darkness Absolute, This Fallen Prey and Watcher in the Woods. It is an undeniable fact that I am enamored with it. Oh, I think I said that already.

Our main players are Detective Casey Duncan and Sheriff Eric Dalton. In this book, Casey and Eric are out on a rare camping vacation and Casey hears a baby crying. It takes them a while to locate the sound, and when they do, they find the mother dead, but the squealing baby is lying in her arms.

Not only must residents in this unique town figure out how to care for the baby , Casey and Eric must try and figure out who the woman was. In so doing, they unearth another group of people and the danger escalates at a rapid pace.

I literally could not put this book down. Whether the scenes were involving Casey and Eric's relationship as a couple making decisions about their future, or what the fate of the baby would be, or other town's members and the state of the town itself, it was all captivating. And, then the fact of the mystery itself lending a lot of weight in this book, well, it was another winner for me.

I have now read six books by Kelley Armstrong, and realize this is nothing. She is quite prolific and has written quite a few series. For me, however, I want more of Rockton.

Many thanks Minotaur Books and to NetGalley for this ARC to review in exchange for my honest opinion.
Was this review helpful?
This is turning into my all-time favorite series. I can’t say that it is solely for the plotlines, or the banter between unforgettable characters, or even the societal facets. All I can say is that it comes together in a perfect blend of people and circumstance with just the right amount of compassion and humor from people that you would not think to have an ounce of sympathy or empathy amongst them. 

What begins with the subtle mewing of an infant found buried under the body of a dead woman leads to Detective Casey Duncan questioning life choices and how previous body trauma, which left her unable to have a child of her own, might derail her life with new love Sheriff Eric Dalton. 

As they are searching for which group the child came from, Casey begins to have unexpected feelings which lead to troubling thoughts as to what would be better for the child -- returning her to the scavengers and nomads in the area or having the child remain with her in Rockton.  A hidden community, which she calls home, that is made up of killers and psychopaths and those running away from killers and psychopaths.
Was this review helpful?
I have fought this and struggled... I cannot deny that this damned series! I've been obnoxious about it, and still. Yukon.
Was this review helpful?
I LOVE THIS SERIES! In this installment Casey finds a dead woman and a live baby and thus begins our story. Not only do Eric and Casey have to find the babies family and who killed the woman but Casey has to deal with her inability to bear children and how that might affect her relationship with Eric. This story takes us out of Rockton and we discover more about the settlements and the hostiles. This is a fantastic addition to the series.
Was this review helpful?
Kelley Armstrong's Rockton series is one of my favorites and I eagerly look forward to the next. Alone in the Wild is #5 in the story of Rockton...the secret town hidden in the wilderness. In this installment Casey and Dalton are on a camping trip...a vacation...when they hear a baby crying. They discover a murdered woman clutching a newborn. They take the baby back with them but no one under 18 is permitted to live in Rockton. What to do with this  baby and who killed the woman? During Casey and Dalton's search for answers we get to meet more of the outlying settlements and their members. 
I love interesting characters and places, coupled with a good mystery this book checks all the boxes. Thank you  Netgalley for the opportunity  to read an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I haven't read much of Kelley Armstrong's work but the synopsis on this one caught my eye. Thank you @minotaurbooks for the gifted e-copy in exchange for an honest review. This one is out early February 2020.
This novel is part of a series that revolves around the remote town of Rockton. From what I can tell each book can live as a stand alone so jumping in around book 5 like I did is really no issue. 
What would you do if you were camping and heard a baby crying? Say you trailed the sound and when you came across the baby you found it enclosed in the arms of a woman who has passed, buried in the snow. Then what? For Detective Casey Duncan it was a no brainer. Examine the scene and get the baby to a safe, warm place where she can attempt to find who it belongs with. And then of course, find out what the heck happened!.
I enjoyed the variety of characters, the banter between them and the interesting way the various settlements functioned. If you're in the mood for a detective thriller with a unique setting - this one's for you!
Was this review helpful?
I received this book free of charge from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

I’ve quickly become a fan of this author and series. Finding a baby in the woods and the search for its parents was an interesting storyline and kept me glued to the book. I like the characters and seeing how the develop from book to book.
Was this review helpful?
For anyone who doesn't know, Kelley Armstrong is one of my favourite authors so when i had the chance to read an advanced copy of Alone in the Wild i was so excited! 

Alone in the Wild is the fifth book in the Rockton series: 
1. City of the Lost
2. A Darkness Absolute 
3. This Fallen Prey 
4. Watcher in the Woods 
The series follows Casey, a homicide detective who traveled to the Rockton with her best friend Diana. Rockton is a town in the Yukon which is set up as a "hide away" for those who need to leave for a couple years and become someone their aren't. Rockton is cut off from the world including all internet access and outsiders. During the last four books, Casey has learned that Diana was not who she thought, that the "council" who funds Rockton does not have Rockton's best interests at heart and that the Rockton sheriff Eric Dalton is the only person she can truly trust! 
In Alone in the Wild, Casey and Eric are away in the forest for a small vacation when Casey comes across a murdered woman with a one month old baby to her chest hidden under the snow. How was she murdered? Why does she has a baby? 
I am giving this novel a ⭐⭐⭐⭐ review. Overall, i enjoyed the book as much as the others. The only downside is this is still a middle book however, it just makes me want more! I did like the twists with figured out the murder however there were some slower parts that could have been cut down.   
I would highly suggest this series if you are looking for a new adventure and strong characters! 

Thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review!
Was this review helpful?
4.5 stars.

  Alone in the Wild by Kelley Armstrong  is a fast-paced and compelling mystery. Although this  latest release is the fifth installment in the Casey Duncan /Rockton series, it can easily be read as a standalone. However, I highly recommend the previous books as well.

  After months of little crime, Detective Casey Duncan and her boyfriend Sheriff Eric Dalton take off a few days to camp in the woods by themselves. But when Casey hear an unexpected sound in the forest, she, along with her dog Storm, are hot on the trail. When her instincts prove to be correct, she makes two stunning discoveries: a murdered “hostile” and a very much alive baby. Who does the baby belong to? But most importantly, who killed the woman protecting the infant?

  Despite not allowing anyone under the age of eighteen,  Casey and Eric are granted permission to keep the baby in Rockton until they locate her family. Casey has mixed feelings about caring for the baby and she is surprised by how easily Dalton steps into a foster father role. Despite her conflicted emotions, the couple juggle childcare duties with their search for the baby’s family.

  Although solving the murder is not within her jurisdiction, Casey cannot help but ask probing questions as their investigation takes them out into the surrounding wilderness.  With little interaction with the two settlements and “hostiles”, there is not much doubt the baby is most likely from one of these areas. Their first inquiry provides an interesting lead, but both Casey and Eric have doubts about the motivation for these revelations.  They feel obligated to check out the information but they are also keeping an open mind as they continue asking questions within the other settlements around them.

  After stumbling across former Rockton resident Maryanne, Casey seizes the chance to find out more about the woman who has recently escaped from the hostiles. Maryanne is fragile but she is finally ready to tell much of her story. Dalton and Casey learn invaluable information about the tactics used by the hostiles to keep their group under control.   Will these new details help them on their quest for the baby’s family?

  Alone in the Wild is a fascinating mystery with a clever storyline, a cast of eccentric but likable characters and a beautiful but harsh setting. Casey and Eric continue to grow and evolve as they balance their close relationship with law enforcement duties. With much of the investigation taking place outside of Rockton, this fascinating peek into the various groups offers intriguing insight into the dynamics and beliefs of each settlement.  Kelley Armstrong  brings this multi-layered  mystery to a poignant but completely satisfying conclusion. Old and new fans of the outstanding Casey Duncan /Rockton series are sure to enjoy this latest outing.
Was this review helpful?
This series is fantastic.  Within just a matter of a few pages you are swept back to Rockton and all the crazy that happens there.  This books continues the story of Eric and Casey and their life in the hidden city of Rockton.  While on a camping break Casey finds a murdered woman and a live baby.  The plot revolves on them tracking down the parents of the baby.  While in most places that would be an easy task, Rockton is not one of them.  It is winter in the Yukon, and no one gives anything for free. 

I can not emphasize how much I enjoy reading these novels.  The descriptions of the surroundings and people are so well done.  The intrigue is fascinating.  And, of course, Eric and Casey's relationship continues to grow.  I truly hope there are many more books in this series.

Received as an ARC from Netgalley.
Was this review helpful?
I adore this quirky little town with all it's quirky residents and most of all, the weird relationships and settlements that just simply work.

This might be a quiet little backwoods town but the residents themselves are anything but sleepy and still and the danger literally lurks around every corner. You just never know what you will get, who will show up next or even worse, who will be dead next.

This series is just so much fun. The mystery always keeps me on my toes and Armstrong never disappoints with what craziness can happen next. 

I love that this installment delved deeper into not only Casey and Eric's relationship and past but the past of Rockton as well. We finally get more information about the Settlements and the Hostiles. It was fascinating, enthralling, and I just wanted more. And even with all the information we received, Armstrong still left just enough unsaid and undone to leave us wanting more and forming more questions and theories about it all.

This series just keeps being entertaining, delightful and truly unlike anything I have ever encountered before. 

A stand out, town full of stand out characters that demand attention, respect, and so much more. I once again, will be eagerly awaiting the next release.
Was this review helpful?
Great follow up on the fourth book in the series "Watcher in the Woods"
"Alone in the Wild" can be read as a stand alone but if you haven't read "Watcher in the Woods" you might consider reading that first.  It will give you a  better understanding of the various characters and the role the council is playing. 
We get to know a bit more about the two settlements and the hostiles in the wilderness.
Casey's sister has settled in her role as the only doctor in  town and the townspeople seem to have accepted her mostly the way she is. Sometimes with a little persuasion of Sheriff Dalton.
You get to enjoy the ongoing  development of Casey's and Eric's relationship.  Finding the  baby in the woods  not only brings up a lot of questions but also opens  old wounds .  Both Eric and Casey have a lot of baggage in their past that makes it hard for them to be completely  honest when they talk to each other.  Lots of things are unsaid afraid to hurt the other person feelings. Luckily they start to slowly deal with their emotions.
Looking forward to reading book six when it becomes available.
Was this review helpful?
Alone in the Wild by Kelley Armstrong is the fifth book in her Rockton Series. Rockton, a small town lost in the Canadian wilderness and camouflaged by the trees, is absent from maps, and it's known as a sanctuary for people escaping personal problems. The townsfolk live without modern conveniences, like electricity. They have no contact with the outside world, and the residents pay a good chunk of money to essentially disappear. Some are innocents running from danger. Others are criminals hiding from the law. It's up to Casey Duncan, local detective, and Dalton, Casey's boyfriend and Rockton's sheriff, to maintain peace and keep the townsfolk safe.

In this latest installment, Casey and Dalton escape Rockton for a much needed vacation. While camping in the woods, Casey discovers a baby nestled in the arms of a dead woman frozen in the snow. While trying to identify the woman and return the baby to family, the couple unearth more twists and turns than even this experienced thriller reader could keep up with! Overall, this was an thrilling, fast-paced, well-written installment in the Rockton series, and I highly recommend it!

Special note: Alone in the Wild does refer to events described in previous books, and while the author does a good job of explaining everything to avoid confusion, I highly recommend this series be read in order, beginning with City of the Lost.

I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley. This is my honest, unbiased opinion.
Was this review helpful?
I usually try to avoid later books in a series if I haven’t read any of the previous books.  They can go a number of ways, you can be totally lost because of the missing back story and you throw in the towel, they can give so much back story that the current story is overshadowed, or they can be so well written that you want to go back and read all of the previous books.  I’m happy to say this book is in the latter category!  I was totally fascinated by the town of Rockton, the outside settlements and the hostiles.  This is a series that I would love to dive into and find out the complete back story.  Armstrong does a very nice job of including just enough of the past, but this book also reads well as a stand alone.  What happens when Casey, a detective from Rockton and her husband, Dalton, a sheriff, hear a baby crying in the woods?  A baby cradled in the arms of a dead woman.  The investigation is completely intriguing, with lifestyles that are hard to imagine.  The book hurtles along until it reaches its perfectly satisfying ending.  I’m looking forward to finding out more about Casey and Dalton, both in their past and their future!
Was this review helpful?
Alone in the Wild is the fifth book in Kelley Armstrong‘s Rockton series. I have loved this series all along, and was very excited to get approved for an advanced copy by the publisher. But I lost interest a chapter or two into the book, set it aside for a week or more, and finally came back to it later. And while I did end up finishing most of it within a day, I didn’t love it or find it as gripping as earlier books in the series.

I think the difference is that there seems to be a different focus in this book. We’ve reached a point in the series arc where characters are maturing. There’s less focus on life and death choices, survival, acclimatization to the vast unknown of Canadian wilderness, and will they/ won’t they relationship dynamics. We’re at a point where we can start off a book with Casey and Dalton out camping on a weekend “holiday” from their law enforcement jobs in Rockton. And that’s fine, but it sets a different tone for the book. A more thoughtful book, that is less about the mystery/ murder, and more about Casey and Dalton’s relationship growth, about Casey finally facing and grappling with some of the consequences of her life before Rockton, especially the trauma she’s suffered and the damage it did to her body, and Dalton dealing with some of his own issues, and about Casey and Dalton deciding what comes next for them. It was also about taking care of an infant, and honestly that part was not very interesting to me.

This book is also about exploring the world outside town perimeters, about settlers and “hostiles” with their “primitive” behavior. On one hand, I’ve been dying to know more about the people and communities who live outside but within reach of Rockton. People who have ties, however strained or tenuous, to that original community. On the other hand, when you take us out of Rockton for much if not most of the book, we lose that “locked room” mystery atmosphere that the previous books have had, and we get little to no meaningful time with most of the characters from the previous books. This is the Casey and Dalton (and Storm) show, with only perfunctory glimpses of most of the rest of town’s residents. The people outside town, and the dynamics among themselves, and between them and Rockton/ Dalton and Casey and other communities and Rockton escapees are interesting, but apparently not what I love about this series.

Also, and this is a personal preference, but having Storm follow Casey and Dalton around stresses me out so much. I realize there are human characters frequently in peril, and that Storm is a working dog, but I’m an anxious mess worrying the whole time that someone’s going to injure the dog or worse. and it’s not a fun kind of suspense. #KeepStormSafe

I appreciated that this book FINALLY made mention of First Nation populations in Canada and specifically in the Yukon. But it’s still weird to me that this has been the first mention, and they get so little attention. Yes, there’s diversity in the population of Rockton, including Casey and April’s Asian heritage, Will’s African-American identity, and April’s autistic behavior, and even some racial diversity in the outside communities, apparently, but the series has seemed to ignore the fact that First Nation members live in the Yukon, and I don’t like that.

There were things I appreciated about the book. While it wasn’t what I expected, and didn’t create a sense of suspense or urgency in the story, I appreciated that both Casey and Dalton were grappling with issues from the past. That they were talking them through like well-adjusted adults, and communicating about their relationship expectations for the future. I could appreciate how Casey’s custodianship of the mystery infant brought up many unresolved issues that she had with her infertility (mentioned in previous stories, so not a spoiler). I liked that Casey spent some time talking about issues that she faced as an Asian-Canadian person and as a woman, especially one working in law enforcement. I appreciated that there was a little time with and development of some of the characters in town, including not just April but also abrasive Jen and Rockton’s newly resident young psychopath, whose name I can’t remember.

Overall, though, I just felt like this book wasn’t very gripping or suspenseful. It was less about the mystery or the town, and more about character development and moving the story along. It just didn’t draw me in like previous books in the series. I’m not giving up on the series yet, though. I’m curious to see what develops in what appears to be a looming showdown with the council, including how residents like Petra and Isabel will play into that, and whether we learn anything more about the origins of the hostiles. I just hope that the next book in the series can find a way to address pressing questions but still be a tense, engrossing wilderness survival locked room murder mystery. Fingers crossed.

Thank you to #Netgalley and Minotaur books for letting me read an #advancedcopy of #AloneintheWild . This is my honest opinion.
Was this review helpful?
Alone in the Wild was another wonderful addition to the Rockton series. I was so excited to read about Casey and Dalton dealing with a baby, considering how their lives are and where they live, and this didn’t disappoint. It was a new challenge for them and I really liked how that made them reflect on what they wanted from life and each other.

The main mystery was also really interesting and engaging. The investigative part of it and how the pieces slowly came together was well written, though a few sections were kind of glossed over and presented in a few short paragraphs instead of developed or conveyed through dialogue? Which was a bit… odd, and it really clashed with the overall flow and pace of the rest of the novel.

Rockton wasn’t really a big part of the setting this time around, something I actually quite liked! This further developed the world-building and the overall series arc as we learned more about the hostiles and the other settlements. That was super interesting in terms of plot and how it added tension to the story. The introduction of new characters related to that was also great and there are a few faces I hope to see more of.

This installment did make me question where things are going since the arc still feels very much unfinished. I’m not sure what Armstrong has planned and how many books totally there will be in this series, but I’m a tiny bit scared that it will drag on for too long—especially considering the glossed over parts in this book, as if Armstrong got tired of writing a few sections. I’m still super invested, though, and I can’t wait to see what comes next!
Was this review helpful?
Another great installment in this series. I really like the characters, and am enjoying the expansion of the world that she has created. I also like the growing depth that we are seeing in the already established characters in the town. I think this is an interesting dive into a social experiment that could truly be a reality that we don't know about.
Was this review helpful?
It’s never boring in the Yukon and there is plenty for Eric & Casey to do and if not? Well they drum up their own work!

This author has truly created a unique world with different factions battling to be top dog in the Yukon or at least to not look weak. We have the hostiles (wild people), the first settlement, the second settlement, various trappers and traders and Rockton.

We get to see and explore more of the outside world of the Yukon and there are characters added and they are given a lot more depth and it was refreshing to see something new and for the world to develop.

Casey and Eric are out camping to recharge their batteries when Casey hears something in the woods that sounds like a baby. It is the middle of winter and Casey does find a baby wrapped up and being protected by a dead woman.

Casey & Eric have baggage that they still need to deal with but the one thing ideally the ending would have been different and in a way, I get why it isn’t but I wonder how that avenue shall be tackled. 

The only right thing to do is take the baby back to Rockton, to solve the murder and to find the baby’s parents. Not easy when you don’t have a lot of evidence to go on. I don’t want to give too much away so I’ll leave it at that. Because the population of the Yukon is so small it is astounding how many crazy people live there or they just stick out more. 

Not the best start to 2020 but all in all, I really enjoy this series but a very important aspect how many more books can you write before you get stuck in a rut or that the ideas run out? Personally, I think we are getting to that point but heck I shall still read the next book of the series. Alas, I can only give it three stars though.
Was this review helpful?