Published: September 29, 2020
Publisher: Gallery/Saga Press
Pages: 320 (Hardcover)
My Rating: 3.0/5.0
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Stranger Things meets World War Z in this heart-racing conspiracy thriller as a lonely young woman teams up with a group of fellow outcasts to survive the night in a town overcome by a science experiment gone wrong.
Turner Falls is a small tourist town nestled in the hills of western Oregon, the kind of town you escape to for a vacation. When an inexplicable outbreak rapidly develops, this idyllic town becomes the epicenter of an epidemic of violence as the teenaged children of several executives from the local biotech firm become ill and aggressively murderous. Suddenly the town is on edge, and Lucy and her friends must do everything it takes just to fight through the night.
UMMM. This was absolutely WILD. I expected something out of the ordinary and on the periphery of my preferred genres but this was a punch to the senses!
It begins with Lucy and her pal Bucket, who have banded together as sort of outcast minorities in their dinky Oregon town. Life in a small town sucks, yada-yada, and then one of their classmates gets his eye gouged out by another kid in the middle of class and their teacher ends up in a rather bad way when he tries to intervene. Is it bad meth or something else?
Spoiler: it’s definitely something else. There’s a new company in town called IMTECH and they’ve done something to a bunch of kids that makes them turn into murderous hive-mind monsters. It was pretty awesome and then it just kept getting weirder and I got less invested. It got to the point where I found it to be absurd and just kept reading because it made me laugh in a disturbed sort of way.
The characters were actually pretty great. Lucy and Bucket were wonderful and there was another semi-main character called Brewer who was actually pretty great and played a bit of a love interest role. The dialogue between them was great and there were surprisingly heartfelt moments amidst the horror.
Overall, this was an interesting read that certainly grabbed me and didn’t let go. I read it in just a couple sittings because I just had to know what happened next! Like I said, it was almost an absurdist horror that gave me so many WTF this is stupid/laughable moments but I still just kept reading!