I read a review of this on Olga’s blog, and I was intrigued enough to buy a Kindle copy straight away. Here is a link to her review.
It is another of those ‘short books’, at just 114 pages. But it was only 99 p, so I’m not complaining.
I started reading it that night, and finished it the next night. I was quite keen to get to the end, even though I did guess the outcome almost from the start.
This book is variously described as ‘chilling’, horrifying’, and other scary words.
But I have to say from the start that it neither scared me, nor chilled me. There is nothing new here, and better horror stories are available, no doubt.
This short book is all about the unusual and compelling construction. There is no narrative, as every chapter is brought to us via the blog entries of one of the main characters, or a transcript of police reports, emergency phone calls, and answerphone or text messages exchanged. This is never confusing, and always clearly explained.
I really enjoyed this approach, which reminded me of the best-selling novel ‘Three’, which I reviewed earlier this year. In fact, I doubt this story would have worked at all in a conventional format, and because of that, I am sadly not rushing to read any of the author’s other work. Even with such an unusual construction, such a well-used theme has to have something different to make it grab the reader. In my case, that element was lacking.
So, to synopsis.
Two children, a brother and sister, are sent to spend two weeks with their elderly grandfather in a remote district of Maine. (Yes, Maine. But forget Stephen King)
He is acting strangely, and has been inconsolable since the death of his wife during a particularly bad winter.
One of the children blogs about what happens, and a friendly neighbour helps them both, when things get weirdly out of control. We get treated to wind spirits, Native American legends, and some definite cannibalism.
You get the idea.
That winter is also exceptionally bad. The extreme weather sets off a chain of events that nobody could have suspected, and that leave everyone with terrible facts to face.
With no spoilers, that’s about it. Full marks to the author for packing so much into so few pages, and extra marks for the cool construction.
But I am happy that I only paid 99 p for the experience.
If you think you would like it more than I did, here’s an Amazon link.