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When four old University friends set off into the Scandinavian wilderness of the Arctic Circle, they aim to briefly escape the problems of their lives and reconnect with one another. But when Luke, the only man still single and living a precarious existence, finds he has little left in common with his well-heeled friends, tensions rise. With limited experience between them, a shortcut meant to ease their hike turns into a nightmare scenario that could cost them their lives. Lost, hungry, and surrounded by forest untouched for millennia, Luke figures things couldn't possibly get any worse. But then they stumble across an old habitation. Ancient artefacts decorate the walls and there are bones scattered upon the dry floors. The residue of old rites and pagan sacrifice for something that still exists in the forest. Something responsible for the bestial presence that follows their every step. As the four friends stagger in the direction of salvation, they learn that death doesn't come easy among these ancient trees . . .
And on the second day things did not get better. This suitably foreboding opening sentence sets the stage for a dark and mesmerizing horror debut that riffs on Algernon Blackwood s classic story The Wendigo. Hutch, Luke, Dom, and Phil set off on a camping trip in the forests of Sweden, only to find the woods hostile to their explorations. Tensions arise when it becomes clear that two of the party aren t physically up to the challenges of navigating the rough terrain, and fears set in with the discovery of an eviscerated thing hanging higher up in a tree then any animal would place it. Nevill makes the natural world deeply menacing, using the power of suggestion rather than explicit images to create a growing claustrophobic feeling as the difficult journey to return to some semblance of civilization embeds the quartet only further in the grasp of primal evil.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Very frightening,I read in a binged two days. I could not put it down ,gave up favorite TV shows.So well written.I have a new author that I will add to my favorite writers. Macabre dark and totally frightening it made the reader suspend disbelief the mark of a truly great author.Liz32905
More editing, please!
This good kept me on edge, and I really wanted to find out what was going to happen. I would have enjoyed the trials and tribulations of the main character more if they hadn't been so over the top. The terror was actually tedious at some points. More editing is needed to keep this story's edge. Less is more, as the architect Mies van der Roche said.
After finding this book on a list of the scariest books of the past one hundred years, expectations were high. It starts off very slowly, and drags for quite a while. One it does finally pique your interest, it fades off quickly and is back to dragging. The ending was a bit lackluster as well, as if the author couldn't quite muster a proper crescendo. It was very mechanical and devoid of creativity.