3 to 3.5 stars
I love horror. I have since I was a child when I devoured every R.L. Stine book in sight. I especially love haunted house stories, which, as an adult, are difficult to find. I seems adults don’t particularly care for things that go bump in the night and prefer psychological horror (which I also love). This book combined the two.
I would like to point out that this isn’t a literary masterpiece. Horror rarely is, and I’m okay with that. The author herself even points out in the acknowledgments that she’s only looking to entertain with her writing, not change the world or start an intellectual discussion. So, if you’re looking for something high-brow, don’t go with this one. I did knock it down a star because of the writing, as it was quite repetitive with the adjectives and sometimes repetitive in general. It seemed like the author was expecting the reader to have put the book down and come back to it a week later, so she gave a little to many “Previously on The Vanishing” tidbits at times. Especially for how short her chapters were. Then there was the main character who continuously did stupid things. But it’s a horror novel, and it reads like one. Where would we be if we couldn’t yell “Why would you do that? Get out of there!” at the main characters in horror stories?
If you ignore the mediocre writing (and that’s what it was; not awful, but not fantastic either), this little horror story is worth the read. There were several instances that spooked me a bit, and that’s hard to do. And I stayed up until the wee hours finishing it. I could see the ending coming a mile away, as many other reviewers have pointed out, but I didn’t have the full picture, so that was nice. And the epilogue is a bit of a mind-bender.
Read it if you’re a big horror fan. If you’re not, why are you considering a horror book anyway?