Saturday, January 6, 2018

Review: Disappearance at Devil's Rock

Title: Disappearance at Devil's Rock
Author: Paul Tremblay
Publication Date: June 21, 2016
Genre: Horror/Psychological Thriller
Recommended If You Like: a side of ambiguity with your horror, creepiness that creeps up on you

The Book:

Tommy Sanderson, a teenager, has gone missing. As his mother and sister frantically try to discover what has happened to him, mysterious things begin to happen all around them. Diary pages full of terror appear seemingly out of nowhere, neighbors report seeing a shadowy figure lurking by their windows, and Tommy's family feels his presence in ways they can't explain.

What I Liked:

Tremblay is a master at creating an almost unbearably creepy read. The suspense in this story builds slowly, but just quickly enough to get readers hooked and unable to stop reading.

The use of diary pages is a great device. Readers learn important information along with Tommy's family, which contributes to the tension as well.

Anything I Didn't Like?

While I really liked the idea of the diary pages, attempting to read them was more difficult than I would have liked. Because the font is set as to mimic tight, cramped handwriting, I found myself having to really work hard to decipher them (especially as I knew they contained important information).

The motivations of some of the characters, as well as the ambiguity of the ending, didn't really work for me as well. They felt like plot devices as opposed to choices that really served the story.


Tremblay is a talented writer, there is no question about that, and he has created another gripping story here. But whereas the ambiguity utilized in A Head Full of Ghosts (Tremblay's previous book) worked brilliantly and added to the haunting nature of the story, here it feels thrown in because it worked so well in the first book. Read A Head Full of Ghosts first. Then read Disappearance at Devil Rock. While you'll love Tremblay's first book, you'll simply like his second.

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