Top critical review
IS THIS FOR REAL?
on 3 August 2013
A final brief visit to their loathed father's luxury cabin high up in the Colorado mountains: twins Ryan and Jane, his best friend Sawyer, her best friend Lauren, Sawyer's new lover April. The place becomes snowbound, tension ever soaring - especially with strange creatures emerging from the forest, they positively nightmarish and very hungry....
A gripping start with neighbour Don running for his life. Dramatic moments as sundry local people are torn to shreds.
Overall, though, the novel does not satisfy. There are many reasons. That cabin break seems a most flimsy contrivance. The five main characters need far more fleshing out if we are to care what happens to them. It is never clear why the thoroughly irritating April was brought there in the first place (she rather disconcertingly known by Sawyer as "Ape").
Then there are the monsters themselves, they apparently a totally unknown species. The writer never really knows what to call them. Frequently they are referred to as "hellion" (a word I had to look up), but this means "a troublesome or mischievous child or person" - hardly appropriate for things feasting on steaming human entrails. Elsewhere they are "fiends", "demons", even "bastards". In fact they are surely never more than creatures desperate for food.
The writer strives too hard to horrify, occasionally lapsing into very purple prose. Example? "She felt the flare of tears burn the delicate tissue of her sinus cavity."
I found it over the top fun, but doubt if it is meant to be. Readers will decide for themselves whether the writer is secretly having a laugh.