The carnival is in town... What was supposed to be an evening of fun and laughter for JD Cole and the other students of Whitebridge High turns into a never-ending night of terror. Trapped inside the Castle of Horrors by the demonic Proprietor, good friends and bitter rivals must band together to make it through the maze of torturous attractions, where fictional monsters come to life, eager to feast on human flesh. Vampires, zombies, werewolves, and aliens lurk around every corner as JD and his friends struggle from one room to the next, fighting for their sanity, fighting to survive, fighting to escape ... The Carnival of Fear.
*I received a free copy of this book in return for an honest review*
The Carnival has come to town and everyone is eager for a night of fear filled fun. The biggest queue is for the Castle of Horrors and once inside, the people must visit every room before they can exit. But behind each door, a very real terror awaits and only the strongest will survive.
This was a brilliant horror story, one of my favourite ever in this genre. I like reading about these scary carnivals but this author manages to do something completely different with a popular concept, turning it into something new and fresh. It's not just zombie monsters chasing you through a dark funhouse. Behind each funhouse door is a room which depicts a gory waxwork scene involving a supernatural or human monster-but when the door closes, the people in the room are transported to a real life version of that nightmare where you need brawn and brains to survive. Behind the doors you will find the vampire castle in the middle of nowhere, the mad scientists lab where you are the next experiment, a pack of werewolves trying to get into the castle to eat you, the deadly witch trials where you are to be killed, a mad serial killer at summer camp chasing you through the cabins, a full scale alien invasion in your town, the zombies breaking into the shopping mall...to survive you must find a way to defeat each monster and return across country to find the door. If you die in these rooms, you die. Survive and you are back in the Funhouse with more doors to open and only when all rooms have been explored and defeated do the survivors get a chance to escape. So you are getting lots of exciting mini adventures within a main story, which I LOVED!
The author does not waste time on long winded descriptions or massive amounts of background information. Instead you are told just enough to understand the characters before you are thrown into the plot and they are put in the Funhouse. Character development does occur through the story and interaction with each other, so there is no need for big info dumps or slow scenes, which I hate in horror books. There is nothing slow in this book! The writing style is uncomplicated and free flowing, the plot moves at rapid speed between the action in each room, hardly giving you time to catch breath and there is the perfect blend of tension, terror and gore. All my favourite horror monsters and scenarios are featured here and I enjoyed every single one. If you like chainsaw psychos and classic film monsters, you'll love this. You just don't quite know what is around the corner (or behind the next door!). Will your favourites survive?
So was there anything in the book that I didn't like? Simply put, no. I don't do many 5 star reviews for horror books and I've read a lot in the genre but this really reserves the accolade. It was action packed, full of tension, gory deaths, psychological scares and a wonderful storytelling flair. JG manages to combine every element of great horror into one compelling novel. This is the second book that I have read of his and it will not be the last. I have already ordered my own print copy so I can re-read this many times. Have I mentioned yet that I totally love this book?!!
There is sexual content, mega violence and gore and the usual language you would expect in the genre.
I seriously hope that this will be made into a film!