The Cellar by Natasha Preston


Title: The Cellar
Author: Natasha Preston
Series: The Cellar, #1
Pages: 347
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: March 1st 2014
**I received a copy of this book from the publisher, which does not influence my review** 

      “Nothing ever happens in the town of Long Thorpe – that is, until sixteen-year-old Summer Robinson disappears without a trace. No family or police investigation can track her down. Spending months inside the cellar of her kidnapper with several other girls, Summer learns of Colin’s abusive past, and his thoughts of his victims being his family…his perfect, pure flowers. But flowers can’t survive long cut off from the sun, and time is running out…

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“I collapsed on the step, grasping the wall to stop myself from falling down the stairs. The door slammed shut, sending a shiver down my spine. Now I was trapped.”

Natasha Preston’s The Cellar is a psychological thriller that is both disturbing and hard to put down. When Summer is kidnapped, she is forced into a utterly terrifying situation. Though not alone, Summer is coerced into playing the part of “Lily,” one member of her kidnapper’s imaginary family. Unable to escape, Summer is trapped in her kidnapper’s cellar with three other captive women. She quickly learns that Clover is not a man that should be trifled with. His growing unpredictability and willingness to silence anyone who speaks against him has crushed any hope any of these women have for getting out. In order to survive, Summer must play by his rules, but days are passing quickly and with them, the chances that the police will find her at all.

What makes this novel truly horrifying is how realistic it actually is. Summer doesn’t take any dangerous chances, but one evening she crosses paths with a deranged individual who sees an opportunity to take her when no one else is around. Confused and completely overpowered, Summer can do nothing but obey Clover’s every command if she wants to survive. Desperate for escape, she looks to her fellow captives for help, but it quickly becomes clear that they are too scared to try anything drastic. Rose, who has been kept in Clover’s cellar for years, seems to have accepted this new reality and in many ways seems content. Poppy is less so, but follows Roses’s lead. The only one that is just as desperate as Summer to escape is Violet, but Clover makes it very clear that he will not tolerate any kind of rebellion.

The Cellar was very effective when it came to its multiple points of view. The large majority of the novel focuses on Summer and her experience inside the cellar, how she learns to adapt to this new world, and her growing need to escape. We also get Lewis’s point of view, Summer’s boyfriend, and how he tries to cope with her disappearance. His perspective gives readers a look at Summer’s family and the police investigation surrounding his girlfriend’s disappearance. Though unnerving and sometimes difficult to fully understand, we get a glimpse of who Clover is and the twisted logic that motivated him to kidnap these women. Unable to discriminate between right and wrong, Clover, whose real name is Colin, has taken it upon himself to rid the world of evil and protect the makeshift family he has put together at whatever cost.

The Cellar is more horrifying with every page turned as Clover grows even more violent and the reader, along with Summer and Lewis grow more desperate for these women to be found before it’s too late.

Rating: 4/5


14 thoughts on “The Cellar by Natasha Preston

  1. Oo, this looks interesting! I like a good psychological thriller! And multiple POVs are a favorite too, even though they are difficult to pull off properly. I’ll have to keep an eye out for this book. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am half way through this book now but something is driving me totally nuts, and instead of waiting until I finish, I have to see if I missed something or if it’s a mistake in the book. When we find out about Violet’s story, she shares that she had been there for 6 months. Rose had been there for three years. However, when you reach “Clover’s” chapters, he talks about Violet being the first and Rose and Lily come later? What the what? Was there another Violet before Jennifer?! It’s making it hard for me to get through the chapter right now. The dates the chapters are narrated aren’t matching up to the stories either…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s been quite a while since I read this one and my memory isn’t the best. I can’t quite recall Clover’s chapters talking about Violet being the first, but I don’t remember struggling with the logistics, so either this is explained or you’re more perceptive than me. Might have to look back myself to figure it out.


      1. Thank you. Actually, I was being too stubborn to just keep reading and it tied together. I do think it could have been better written but it made sense in the end.

        Liked by 1 person

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