Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Book Review: Hide and Seek by Jack Ketchum

Hide and Seek is a book about games. Reckless, dangerous games. Games you might even want to play yourself if you're with the right people. But shouldn't. Not ever. In a small Maine town, a group of thrill seeking college kids finds a game of hide and seek in an abandoned house turning into a reality of stark terror.

My Review:
Dan lives in a sleepy town where little happens, hanging out at the beach with his best friend. When he catches the eye of Casey, one of the rich teen summer visitors to the area, he is smitten with her, hanging out with Casey and her friends. Casey is a bit strange and wild, what she says always goes and Dan can't seem to say no to her.

OK so the description I have given doesn't sound very horror does it? That is probably because it is not in my opinion a real horror story in the way that I expected it to be. I thought I was getting a book where someone was being forced to play a series of twisted, scary games that leads to blood and death. Look at the cover description above. Uh huh. Sounds good right? Well these games turn out to be drinking, having sex outdoors, shoplifting, driving naked in cars, sitting naked on beaches, and throwing rocks through your parents windows. Not really the scary stuff I was expecting.

In truth, there is pretty much nothing bloody or scary in this book until you get to when they decide to play Hide and Seek in the old cabin that kids say is haunted. This action really starts around p125 out of 164. There was too much about Casey's weird moods and the things she does, her idiot friends and Dan thinking about sex. That pretty much covers the first 124 pages of the book, which made it really boring and I came close to abandoning it several times.

Casey is a cold, unpleasant and arrogant character who always get her own way. I really didn't like her at all. Yeah she has had bad crap happen to her but I still couldn't bring myself to care about her. Dan is just a bit of an idiot who is so scared of losing his cool friends and hot girlfriend that he is willing to risk his job and old friend. He's just a dumb sheep who screams 'BAAA!' whenever the others tell him to. Steve is just pathetic, mooning around after Casey all the time. Kim was the only character that I even came near to liking.

The big scary finale was ok, but nothing great. It was more a sense of relief that something was finally happening. The fate of our gang was pretty satisfying but it could have been much better written. If we had skipped out all the boring stuff and set the entire book inside the cabin, it could have been a decent horror read. As it was I was highly disappointed with this book. Having read such a great novel in Off Season, his other books are really coming up short for me. 
star rating photo: 1 star orange-1star.jpg

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