Playmates is a captivating story that is intelligently written. I loved the psychological elements presented throughout the story. I appreciated that the author approached the story with a broad understanding on child development and abnormal psychology. I liked that the information was conveyed unobtrusively through the characters establishing a more impactful characterization.
I also enjoyed the social commentary prominent throughout the story. It included an interesting assessment on mass media, pop culture, consumerism, and conformity. I liked how it explored themes concerning society such as family dynamics, gender roles, and sexuality. I appreciated that the ideas were presented with a morally ambiguous stance preferring to expose its influence on the characters and their thought process.
The chapters alternate between both siblings creating a contrasting yet united perspective. The story highlights pivotal events each year from when the characters are 9 to 13 years old. The simplistic youthful narratives were intriguing to read. I liked that the narratives highlighted how the main characters actively processed external information around them in an attempt to better understand their world. The author acknowledges the myriad of influences that contributed to the main characters evolving into serial killers in a natural suspenseful progression.
At times the higher cognitive thinking made them seem a couple of years older. However I think overall their concerns and thought process were true to their age range. I also liked that the preteen perspective presented was modern with recent embedded references illustrating the extensive generational changes.
The ending is abrupt and I didn't consider it to be well executed cliffhanger but the second book (Bedmates) picks up immediately where the first ends continuing with the suspenseful action. If you plan on reading this story I would suggest purchasing the trilogy boxset for a more seamless reading experience.
Playmates is a compelling and thoughtful story that delivers a suspenseful account of a sibling serial killing team emerging from childhood.
[Note: I received my initial copy of this book through Story Cartel in exchange for an honest review. I have since personally purchased The Wilde Twins Trilogy Boxset which includes this story.]