Release Date: 06/05/11
And on the third day things did not get better. The rain fell hard and cold, the white sun never broke through the low grey cloud, and they were lost. But it was the dead thing they found hanging from a tree that changed the trip beyond recognition. When four old University friends set off into the Scandinavian wilderness of the Arctic Circle, they aim to briefly escape the problems of their lives and reconnect with one another. But when Luke, the only man still single and living a precarious existence, finds he has little left in common with his well-heeled friends, tensions rise. With limited fitness and experience between them, a shortcut meant to ease their hike turns into a nightmare scenario that could cost them their lives. Lost, hungry, and surrounded by forest untouched for millennia, Luke figures things couldn't possibly get any worse. But then they stumble across an old habitation. Ancient artefacts decorate the walls and there are bones scattered upon the dry floors. The residue of old rites and pagan sacrifice for something that still exists in the forest. Something responsible for the bestial presence that follows their every step. And as the four friends stagger in the direction of salvation, they learn that death doesn't come easy among these ancient trees...
The second title to be released by Adam Nevill and to be blunt he is one of the best authors out there. His prose is almost poetic, he grasps the readers imagination and with his wonderful writing style keeps you glued to the last page in what feels like a twist of pace and description that just won’t let up.
It’s exhausting and yet satisfying but where the author lets the reader down is with his overall story arc which feels that it hasn’t been quite developed enough and rather than going for the full on scare he leaves you thinking, “Is that it? Quite a lot of the time. Likewise this title could have been developed more had he looked into some Scandinavian Folklore rather than the creature he chose he could have brought any number of them to life such as the Hylda, Myling’s, Ellepiger to name a few rather than the creature that he chose to use and failed to scare me with. Likewise had he also looked at things realistically his lead character should have died due to the amount of physical abuse his body took during the tale.
Don’t get me wrong it was very well done, the utilisation of a Death Metal Band clever considering the current climate of death and murder on the biker scene in Scandinavia but when you want to scare a reader, fairly ordinary looking monsters just don’t get the job done. I will keep reading this authors work as I really love his style but I just hope that he figures out other ways to get the scare into his work as otherwise he’s the equivalent of Picasso painting in a Renaissance style rather than striking out on his own which is a waste of sheer talent.