Kill Creek

July 6, 2018 at 6:00 pm (Reads) (, , )

killKill Creek by Scott Thomas

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I forget how I found out about this book. I have an ebook and an audiobook edition of the title, so there’s a good chance I found them through some deal, but I’m sure the summary of the book didn’t hurt: It’s about four well-known horror authors who agree to spend the night in a reportedly haunted house. What happens may be expected, or it may not. It depends on how well you know your horror fiction.

Kill Creek is a good throwback to ’80s horror. It has the same feel, through its pacing and its characterization, as some of the best horror novels from that time, while also being a more modern story. It also effectively plays with the reader’s expectations. It doesn’t quite go so far as to subvert the genre like The Cabin in the Woods did, but it does change up the sort of story you expect in a similar way that Psycho did. It’s a good plot, with excellent pacing and distinctive characters.

It’s not that well-written of a book, though. The narrative is a bit clunky, the style is a bit tell-y, and Thomas uses some ridiculous similes throughout the book. I was listening to the book in my car, so I couldn’t jot down any of the similes, but I do remember him describing rain running down someone’s collar like “clear, wet snakes”. They were all over the place, too, and they reminded me of The Troop by Nick Cutter, since he also used a ton of similarly overwrought similes. Is this characteristic of modern horror? It’s very distracting, especially when a novel like Alma Katsu’s The Hunger avoids using them, and comes across as a story that may not be better, but it flows more naturally.

Speaking of the audiobook, the narrator, Bernard Setaro Clark, does a fantastic job. He has a different voice for each character, and aside from a southern accent that doesn’t sound authentic, he captures them all well. Plus, he has a proper cadence to his speaking that makes it sound like storytelling or performing instead of someone just reading the text of the story. That kind of narration makes a big difference in me being able to follow the flow of the book.

The book reminded me a bit of The Martian, in that it’s a compelling, engaging plot, even if the story isn’t that well-written. Both books started out as self-published ventures, which is unfortunately evident, but they made it far enough to enter the mainstream, which is a plus for readers who like good stories. Older horror fans who pine for the glory days of the ’80s need to read this ASAP.

Started: May 29, 2018
Finished: June 11, 2018

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