The Disappearance of Emily Downs by C.J. Redwing (Audiobook)

Book Blurb:

About This Audible Original

A riveting, action-packed sci-fi thriller about a young girl on a mission to rescue her best friend, from C.J. Redwine, the New York Times best-selling author of The Shadow Queen.

There are three rules in Black River Falls:

1. Don’t break curfew unless you want the monsters to find you.

2. Don’t ask questions, no matter what.

3. When someone goes missing, don’t go looking.

Joey Barnes obeyed those rules, until the day her mother vanished without a trace. She’s spent two years secretly hunting for clues, and she’s discovered plenty of things that don’t make sense, even for Black River Falls. Like the fact that Harrison Pelt keeps a chest full of weapons under a loose floorboard in his porch. Or that there’s a steel door hidden behind a shelf of old books in the library. She’s become so good at snooping, she’s found enough strange facts to fill up her favorite purple journal. What she hasn’t found is her mother.

When her best friend, Emily, goes missing, too, and the grown-ups seem ready to accept it, Joey decides enough is enough. Relying on unlikely friendships and a streak of stubbornness, Joey is determined to find her friend, solve the mystery that plagues Black River Falls, and, if she’s lucky, find her mother, too.

That is, if the monsters don’t find her first.

Renae’s Review:

When people start disappearing in a town that has a history of monsters in residence, Josephine suspects that the flimsy excuses for the disappearances are lies, and she’s determined to get to the bottom of it. Especially because her mom and best friend are the ones who have gone missing! On top of the disappearances, other strange things have been happening, like iron bars being torn apart like paper, creepy howling up on the mountain, and a terrifying creature in the forest that somehow knows her name. Will Joey and her friends find out the sinister secrets of their town, or will they themselves end up on the dinner menu for monsters? Find out in the wildly fun audiobook, The Disappearance of Emily Downs, an Audible original production!

This story was such a fun adventure, from start to finish! It was full of action, intrigue, and juuust enough creepiness to make the hairs on my arms stand straight up in a few scenes (I mean, if the creepy monster on the mountain started calling your name while chasing you, wouldn’t your arm hairs have something to say about it?!). Joey is a smart and cunning middle schooler who refuses to let the adults of the town pull the wool over her eyes, and I loved her spunky and fierce spirit. She is extremely observant and the local authorities (including her father) seriously underestimate her skill and determination. She is like a combination of Merida from Disney’s Brave, Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables, and Nancy Drew, and if that’s not enough to make you like her, I don’t know what else you could need!

Of course, no story would be complete without the main character learning a lesson or two, and this one is no different. Joey learns to set aside her pride for the sake of those she loves, and in so doing, she makes some new friends who help her with her investigation. She also meets an adorable little creature that is a mutated version of a fox, and foxes happen to be my favorite animal, so to say I was a fan would be an understatement.

All in all, listening to this audiobook that’s included in my Audible membership was 5 hours well spent, and I honestly can’t wait to see what happens in the next installment of the series. This story would be especially great for middle-grade readers, but be aware that there are some slightly creepy moments and detailed descriptions of monsters that may not be every young person’s cup of tea. The main character skips school and gets into a fight with another student, but it’s properly addressed and I don’t think it’s problematic. It really is just a well-written and well-narrated story with fun characters, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. 



  1. Is this book 1 of a series. We LOVED this book in our house. We listened to it on Audible, and want more! HELP! haha.

    • Based on a quick look-up on Goodreads, it is labeled as being part of “The Renegades of Black River Falls” series but there are no other books listed, so hopefully, a sequel is in the works?!

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