Into the Old is the much-anticipated follow-up to Claire O’Connor’s first installment in the Over the Wall trilogy, and it does not disappoint! It keeps you on your toes from start to finish offering more insight into the harrowing experience of a young woman’s experience leaving the cult she grew up within.

About the Book

Will she emerge triumphant, or will the shadows of the past consume her once more?

Eighteen agonizing months after her daring escape, Keziah seizes the opportunity to go undercover, to infiltrate the heart of the cult that once enslaved her. After months of clandestine training, she’s ready to face those she left behind.

Doubts spread like wildfire, and Mother Abi, the carer who brought Keziah up like her own daughter, reveals cracks in the foundation of The Genus. Keziah realizes everyone seems to be questioning their revered leader’s abilities after a strange appearance in the dining hall.

When she stumbles upon a secret enclave within the cult, a revelation shatters her hopes of succeeding in her mission. A strange new leader introduces himself, and workers in the forest are ill and hungry. The detectives go cold and offer cryptic advice, leaving Keziah to navigate the treacherous environment alone. While guards enforce new rules, secrets multiply, and the stakes deepen. Keziah’s quest for justice and redemption becomes a maelstrom of fear and conspiracy. Her focus shifts to getting a few chosen loved ones over the wall and safe, before things escalate. Will she make it on time?

In this heart-stopping second installment of the Over The Wall Trilogy, Keziah’s adventure unravels complexities she never imagined, and fuels her determination to disband The Genus.

My Thoughts

In this second book, Keziah, who has spent a year and a half on the outside of the cult she grew up in, has decided to work with the police to bring down the abusive cult leader who is taking advantage of the people she loves and twisting the religion they have based their lives on. She’s learned a great deal in her time outside and she wants to help those she left behind, but those on the outside are very nervous about the plan. The cops seem to offer her chances to back out but also encourage her at every turn.

But, of course, when Keziah is inside, she’ll be alone facing old enemies and finding surprising allies. Will she be able to rebuild friendships, forge new alliances, and bring down the abusive leader for the crimes the police believe he’s committing? Keziah already knows he’s forcing multiple young girls into marriages, but the cops have shown her evidence of so much more. When Keziah gets inside she uncovers evidence of even worse crimes. Time is running out as she works to convince other ladies to take children and leave with her over the all again.

Keziah is as brave, stubborn, and reckless as she was in the first book. She’s absolutely grown, but she is still impatient in her pursuit of her goals, not giving them enough time to grow. In her defense, she is put in an impossible position that no one should have been asked to be in. She was not emotionally ready to go back in and she did not have enough training. Even still she was an impressive young lady. I really enjoyed the development of both Mother Abi and Charity in this book. Both saw a good bit of growth and we learned a good bit about their motivations and character. I like that none of the women are perfect. They have flaws, and they are real. They make mistakes, they’re afraid, and they make choices based on this.

The men are just horrible. I like Joe, and Ish. Mostly because we didn’t get to see them enough in this book for them to get ruined I feel like. Almost every man who appeared for any great lenght of time earned my disdain, as well as that of the female characters. But, considering this is a book about a cult that devalues women, that makes some amount of sense.

I appreciate the author and Love Books Tours for including me on the tour and I look forward to reading the third installment!

Who’s It For?

If you love fast-paced thrillers that keep you on your toes and keep you guessing, this is a great read for you. If your love cult shows and cult books, this is a great one! However, as cult stories frequently do, it features a lot of taboo issues that will make people uncomfortable, so check the content warnings and consider that I maybe not notice all of them but cult stories are ripe with them!

Content Warning: SA, Graphic Violence, Domestic Violence, Controlling Relationships, Cults, Organized Crime, Religious Ideology, Child Harm, Incest, Drug Abuse, Alcohol Abuse, Adult Language, Adult Situations, Death, Parental Death, Medical Trauma

About the Author

Claire O’Connor is an Irish multi-genre fiction writer. After many years of living away, she recently set up a home on the rugged Southwest coast of Ireland with her partner and adored dog. When she’s not writing she’s reading, taking photos on long nature walks, or tending to her veggie garden.

Since she was a little girl, she has been writing stories (including fairytale and cartoon fan fiction) and poetry. In 2019, Claire graduated with a BA Honours degree including Creative Writing. Since then, she has contributed short fiction to various anthologies. She enjoys writing short and flash fiction for fun and published her own anthology called V is for Vignettes & Verses in 2020.

In June of 2023 she published Over the Wall, the first book in her trilogy of the same name. The story of Keziah and The Genus, the cult she was born into. Into The Old, is the second book in the series.