“Even the dead tell stories…” And they’re probably better than this one. This book was so bad that I am now in a reading slump for the first time in two and a half years. In the last three days, I have started, and then put down, seven different books. The only book I’m able to read is The Restauraunt at the End of the Universe, which is a great book, but I’m not going to review it, and I don’t want to fall behind in my posting.
Before I really get into the review, you should know that one of my big complaints about this book is that it’s religious. I am not religious. I’m not sure if I’m going to end up accidentally being offensive to someone who is, so if you happen to be religious, maybe just skip reading this review. I lost two followers after I posted my Zombies VS. Unicorns review, and I’m pretty sure it was because of my possibly offensive joke about “killer unicorn Jesus” (it makes more sense in context), so obviously this has been a problem in the past. I have nothing against people who are religious, unless their religion makes them homophobic, sexist, or racist. I’m never trying to be offensive, I just write what I think, or write things that make me laugh. Sometimes the things that make me laugh are jokes about killer unicorn Jesus, and I still think that’s great. Anyway, this is just a warning, or possibly an apology in advance, because I may end up being offensive, and if you are easily offended and religious you really should not read this review.
Now I will actually get into the review.
I can’t stand thrillers that end up being religious. This is the third book I’ve read in the last two years that was supposed to be creepy and ended up being about Jesus. You never see a religious contemporary novel that seems like a normal religious contemporary and then ends with a group of proudly gay dinosaurs befriending the protagonist and teaching them about evolution! Even though, now that I say that, I really want to read that book. If anyone reading this wants to write it, please do. I need it.
I’m sure there are some times when religion in a horror story or video game makes sense. In the Outlast games there’s some religion, and it’s fine. I don’t even know how there would be any plot in the second Outlast game if there wasn’t religion. I would make some kind of comment on the first game but I don’t remember it that well, so I don’t want to say something that may end up being wrong. But, in these games, it’s entirely necessary to have religion, and it’s not forcing the religion on you. In the religious horror I’ve read, it feels more like it’s forcing the religion on you to get another convert than to add to the plot. If the author is religious that’s fine. I don’t care. I just don’t get why they feel the need to ruin a perfectly good thriller by making it be a “meaningful” lesson about God. I put the word “meaningful” in quotes because, even though the author may see it as a meaningful lesson, I do not. Why ruin a book that could actually be scary? They make these books seem like thrillers, when in reality they feel like the opposite. This is false advertising. I would not choose to spend my money on a book like this, and yet I’ve owned three of them. If they had been advertised as what they actually are, thrillers for Jesus, I never would have bought them and I would have been able to spend my money on something I would have enjoyed much more.
Also, two out of the three books like this that I read have endings where the characters barely fight back against the killer attacking them, and, instead, rely on their faith in God to save them. In this specific book, Sig literally gave the creepy man who was trying to kill them a gun because he was pretty sure that the bullets this guy had for the gun would make it explode, only damaging his hand. He does this because he didn’t think that his mother would have wanted him to be a killer. If I was in a situation where someone was trying to kill my sister and me, I wouldn’t really think about what my mom would think of anything I did. (To be fair, Sig is a younger sibling while I’m an overprotective older sister, so our decisions are going to be entirely different, but still.) Even if I didn’t have a little sister to protect, I don’t think I’d blindly rely on my faith in anything to save me. Of course, it’s easy for me to say that I wouldn’t rely on my faith in anything because I don’t believe in anything divine, but still. In these books, it seems like religion keeps them from actually doing things, and (remember when I said I might be offensive?) it kind of seems like they almost give up, deciding that whatever happens happens-God will see them through. In these books, it also seems like the characters have ways they could fight back, but they don’t, instead choosing to blindly rely on faith. I don’t do religion, so I don’t know, but if you were someone who believed that everything happens because God wants it to, wouldn’t you think that you were being given that opportunity to defend yourself because God wanted you to? I could be wrong here since I’m not a god myself nor do I believe in any, I still find it weird.
I could probably go on for several more pages about why I don’t like religion in horror, but I’m now on page four, and I don’t want my review to get tedious.
I feel like some parts of the book drag on longer than necessary. Towards the middle, it got a little boring, and I didn’t think that the amount of backstory was entirely necessary. Maybe the author was trying to drag out some parts to add length? Because the book is already short (my copy is only two-hundred-six pages long) maybe the author wanted it to be longer? I don’t know. The fact that some of it got boring and repetitive didn’t keep me from finishing it in an afternoon, it just made it so that I had to force myself to finish it.
Some of the book seemed like it was trying to sound profound and deep, even when it wasn’t. I think there was more of this in the first quarter of the book, but it went on through the whole thing. Maybe some people like things that try to be deep, but this has always irritated me.
My last complaint is that it wasn’t scary. At all. If it had freaked me out I would have been a little bit forgiving of it being religious. Not that forgiving, but at least I would have felt freaked out. Maybe the whole point of the book was to make me feel comforted that Jesus is my salvation, but since that isn’t my faith, I just feel irritated. Like if you thought you got a really good cupcake cookbook, but it ended up talking about how you need to exercise instead. I’m trying not to read any horror over the summer because I’m saving all the horror I own to read in September and October (I have big plans for October), and this was going to be the one thriller I let myself read. And then it ended up being disappointing. I don’t know of enough horror that I want to read to read another thriller over the summer and still have enough for my October plans, so my one summer thriller is a disappointment. Sigh.