Friday, 8 July 2011

URBAN FANTASY REVIEW: The People Next Door - Christopher Ransom

Release Date:


There's something wrong with the neighbours...On a quiet street in a pleasant American suburb, the Nash family - father, mother, son, daughter - lead unremarkable lives and wrestle with unremarkable problems: a marriage without spark, money issues, kids having a tough time in school. And then the new neighbours arrive. The Renders are beautiful, confident, and charming, and the Nashes are promptly seduced by their charisma, their money, their sex appeal. But the Renders are hiding a horrifying secret. They're not as perfect as they seem. In fact, they're not even human...When Mike Nash learns what the people next door truly are, he's plunged into a heart-stopping fight for his life - and the life of his family. Pulsing with imagination, thrills, and pure terror, The People Next Door is the scariest novel of the year.


Christopher Ransom has been a little hit or miss for me as an author, his first title, The Birthing House, had some great idea’s, in fact, too many to really squeeze into one title although he did his best to be able to do so. Whereas his second book, The Haunting of James Hastings, felt more than a little flat as it confused the hell out of me as to who was who and what was happening, so much so that by the stories end no one really knew. So for this, his third book I was expecting him to have learned lessons from both in order to give the reader something special.

Unfortunately what occurred really was a novella with a hell of a lot of unnecessary padding. Add to this no hard and fast rules to the world as he contradicted himself for the “creatures” within constantly, he then created a scenario and rather than explain things fully he left it as a mish-mash without any real direction or cause/effect. Also include too much detail on certain things like Sailing which the reader really didn’t need to know and it was a title that unfortunately sank better than Mick Nash, the titles lead character who really didn’t come out fully formed in order for the reader to associate with him.

All in the title had way too many flaws, not enough positive traits to save it and I think that perhaps this would have made a better movie script (or perhaps even a Twilight Zone Episode) than it did a novel. A great shame as I really hoped that he’d have created something memorable after the fondness I had for The Birthing House.

1 comment:

Gary said...

I've recently finished reading this and, like you, found it disappointing. Your review was accurate and helpful - I only wish I had read it before buying the book!