#BadMoonRising SurReality by Matt Doyle #horror #paranormal #shortread

Today’s author is certainly no stranger to BMR having appeared here numerous years, and possibly from the start. If you’re a sci-fi/thriller fan, I highly recommend their Cassie Tam Files series, and if you’re looking for a quick read to put you in the Halloween mood, check out today’s featured book. Visiting a haunted house or haunted graveyard? Not even a challenge. Matt is debuting as an actor in a haunted fort this Halloween. Welcome Matt Doyle!

Would you rather visit a haunted house or a haunted graveyard?

I could go one better: a haunted fort. See, the fort near my house is a well-known haunted spot. Which is why they do Halloween tours there every year. I’m actually debuting as a scar actor there this year. The cool thing with it is that it’s the longest running tour in Europe at almost 40 years now, and a few of the staff have been there since the beginning. Will something legitimately ghostly happen during the tour? I kinda hope so!

Have you ever said Bloody Mary three times in front of a mirror?

Yup! Alas, it didn’t work. It was a big thing when I was a kid though, and I think it was an introduction to creepy rituals for a lot of people who were kids around the same time as me. When my own kids came home with the same thing too, it did make me a smile a little. Bloody Mary seems to have some real longevity as spooky tales go.

Do you believe in any ‘mythical’ monsters like chupacabras or shadow people?

So, this always makes me happy as a question, because I have an interest in cryptozoology. The way I see it, there are three possible types of people who say they’ve seen monsters like this. The first is the person that makes the story up because they think it’s funny. The second is the person who saw something, has mistaken it for a mythological beasty, but was terrified. The third is the person who saw exactly what they claim they saw. See, I do believe that a lot of these monsters probably do exist in one form or another out there. It really isn’t hard to believe that something hasn’t been discovered yet. Angler fish, for example, would have made people think of horror movies if they saw a picture of one before they were discovered. Are they exactly like the stories we hear? Probably not. We do tend to exaggerate things, and fear does funny things to you. Does that mean shadow people, dogman, and so on doesn’t exit at all; though? In my opinion, no.

How do you use social media as an author? 

Very poorly. LOL. I’m on there a fair bit, at least on Twitter, but I want to start trying to make use of Facebook and Instagram a bit more too. I tend to use it all for a mix of stuff though. Book promo, of course, but also just random posts about stuff. I feel like readers want to know you, not just the story you’re selling. So, I try to be fairly open on there.

If you could be mentored by a famous author, who would it be? 

That one’s easy: Terry Pratchett. He was such a big part of my reading journey, and I’m really sad I didn’t get to meet him. The thing is, he was notoriously nice too. He was so open to people and always took time to speak with fans at signings. Not to mention that his writing was just so, so good. I’d love to have had the chance to pick his brains about how he created the balance he did with his stories.

What are you working on now?

A couple of different things. I’m currently pushing The Beast of Loughby Island out to a few publishers. It’s a werewolf novella, and probably both the bloodiest, and the angriest book I’ve ever written. It really came from a dark place in terms of the point I’m making with it. I also wanted to put a new twist on werewolf stories, so once it’s out there, I do hope people can get something new form it in that regard.

I’ve also just finished the first draft of Malfunction, which is a rewrite of the first story I ever wrote. I won’t say too much about it just yet other than to give you a three word preview: Robot. Clown. Horror.

Tony Cork and Benny Marks were ‘The Princes of UK Paranormal Television.’ Then, while investigating an urban legend for their 2015 Christmas Special, the couple found themselves torn apart by tragedy. Told through a series of blog posts written by the fans that loved them, this is Tony and Benny’s story.

Three murders over three days, the same time every year. These were the final days of the paranormal investigative show, SurReality.

Purchase Links

https://ninestarpress.com/product/surreality/

https://www.amazon.com/SurReality-Matt-Doyle-ebook/dp/B0B355BSMJ

Author Bio and Social Media

Matt Doyle is a speculative fiction author from the UK and identifies as pansexual and nonbinary. Matt has spent a great deal of time chasing dreams, a habit which has led to success in a great number of fields. To date, this has included spending ten years as a professional wrestler, completing a range of cosplay projects, and publishing multiple works of fiction.

These days, Matt can be found working on multiple novels and stories, blogging about pop culture, voice acting, and plotting and planning far too many projects.

Website: www.mattdoylemedia.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mattdoylemedia

#BadMoonRising Blood Ending (A Vampire Novel) by Michael McGovern #horror #thriller

It’s a double debut for today’s author – his first published novel and BMR debut. You guys know how I feel about black cats, and he states black cats are his spirit animal. Obviously, he’s good people. Welcome Michael McGovern!

If you were stuck as the protagonist in any horror movie, which would you choose?

I would choose Peter Cushing as Van Helsing in HORROR OF DRACULA. Can’t get much cooler than that!

If you could have a spooky Halloween pet (black cat, owl, bat, rat, wolf, etc.), which would you choose?

Black cat definitely.  Black cats are my spirit animals.

Would you rather go to a real haunted house or watch a horror movie marathon?

A horror movie marathon. Horror to me is an art form. Facing a real horror would be far too upsetting!

What books did you grow up reading?

As a kid I read a lot of Greek and Roman mythology. Biographies through school book clubs were another favorite. Once I was in high school, science fiction was of interest (especially DOC SAVAGE), as well as classics like FRANKENSTEIN, DRACULA etc. And Shakespeare! Also read a lot of Agatha Christie novels. Another absolute favorite was THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE by Shirley Jackson.

If you could be mentored by a famous author, who would it be? 

Stephen King. ‘Nuff said.

What are you working on now?

WITHIN THESE TAINTED WALLS is about a curse and subsequent haunting that starts off wrong and goes awry. Horror takes on many forms as madness, innocent deaths, and a terrifying decay takes root inside the walls of Weatherly House. She made mistakes! She made mistakes!

With elements of Gothic horror, alchemy, sex magic, and science, BLOOD ENDING chronicles the rise of master vampire Severin, his Trinity of female vampires, and the obsessed love-sick alchemist Praetorious Biederbeck.  As one century ends and a new one heads towards devastating war they find that the “old ways” are no longer viable–the lure of sex and blood now competes with the lure of science.  Assisted by the doomed vampire bride Justine, Biederbeck chases after Severin and the Trinity through the decades.  And what a chase it is!

            From an ancient school of black magic to the slave auction block in Syria; from the decadent vampire society of old Vienna to Berlin’s 1920s cabaret scene, a fetish club in London, the fires of Dresden, and ending in the streets of New York, these preternatural beings are affected not only by their own whims and foibles, but also by a world that is changing itself, and the state of magic, at a frenzied pace.  If  you’re seeking a pulse-pounding, blood drenched vampire saga quench your thirst with BLOOD ENDING.

Purchase Links (preorder for November 10th release)

https://www.blackrosewriting.com/horrorsuspense/bloodending (At checkout use the code PREORDER2022 for a 15% discount.)

Amazon

Author Bio and Social Media

Twitter — @Michaelwrites9

Facebook Michael McGovern-Writer

#BadMoonRising San Miguel’s Treasure by Armand Rosamilia #horror #thriller

I didn’t go back and check, but I’m pretty sure today’s author has been with BMR from the start, and I look forward to his posts every year. Afraid to write a novel in a genre you rarely/never read? Not this guy. He’s done it before and plans to try it again. Welcome Armand Rosamilia!

Which unsolved murder fascinates you the most?

The Zodiac Killer immediately comes to mind, and it is still unsolved despite a couple of groups claiming they’ve solved the case, figured out the cyphers and point a finger at someone. I don’t think this will ever be solved, and it is such a crazy case.

Would you buy a doll that you knew was haunted?

No. Dolls creep me out. Now, if a Funko Pop was haunted but worth money, I might be tempted. My mother has a collection of really creepy dolls and she says they sometimes move from room to room. No thank you.

Do you believe in any ‘mythical’ monsters like chupacabras or shadow people?

I definitely do, although I think they are just normal creatures. We discover dozens of new jellyfish each year like it is nothing. There is so much of the planet still unexplored. Do I think Bigfoot is out there? Probably not. But a Chupacabra would be cool, as long as it doesn’t attack me.

What is your kryptonite as a writer?

Depression. It sidetracks me, sometimes for days. I start to think I’m not good enough, that what I’m writing is awful, and then imposter syndrome kicks in and floors me. It is very hard to fight and I’ve learned to ride the wave until I can trigger something positive that gets me back into the positive zone. Not fun.

Have you ever tried to write a novel in a genre you rarely or never read? 

I have and I will again in the future, because I want to see how far I can go as a writer. If I’d stuck to the same old same old I’d still only be writing horror stories and never have gotten into writing a lot more crime thriller ones, which I love to read. I’ve written some science fiction and fantasy stories, even though I haven’t read either genre in more than twenty years. Maybe I’ll write a romance series someday. Who can say?

If you could be mentored by a famous author, who would it be? 

Dean Koontz, who is the reason I write to begin with. His books really changed my life when I was a teenager, and I devoured all of them. I couldn’t get enough of his work. While most people will say King was their influence, I say it was Koontz for me. I still get excited and read every new release as soon as it comes out.

An ancient curse lies dormant at the bottom of the ocean for over 450 years…

The San Miguel shipwreck has eluded treasure hunters for centuries. Some say it is cursed, others say it can only be found by those with a firm bloodline to the lost crew.

Intensely horrific and thrilling, the hunt for San Miguel’s Treasure will test the mettle of not only the salvagers but the ruthless drug cartel who seek the secrets of the sunken vessel as well!

Will they unwittingly unleash this curse upon themselves and perhaps the world?

Purchase Link

Amazon

Author Bio and Social Media

Armand Rosamilia is a New Jersey boy currently living in sunny Florida, where he writes when he’s not sleeping. He’s happily married to a woman who helps his career and is supportive, which is all he ever wanted in life…

He’s written over 200 stories that are currently available, including crime thrillers, supernatural thrillers, horror, zombies, contemporary fiction, nonfiction and more. His goal is to write a good story and not worry about genre labels.

He is also a successful podcaster, too!

The Mando Method Podcast with co-host Chuck Buda – talking about writing and publishing

He also loves to talk in third person… because he’s really that cool.

You can find him at https://armandrosamilia.com for all of his information as well as random things he enjoys.

https://armandrosamilia.com

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Armand-Rosamilia/e/B004S48J6G/ref=aufs_dp_mata_dsk

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ArmandAuthor

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorArmandRosamilia

Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/armand_rosamilia

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@armandrosamilia

Just Like Home by Sarah Gailey #bookreview #suspense #paranormal

“Come home.” Vera’s mother called and Vera obeyed. In spite of their long estrangement, in spite of the memories — she’s come back to the home of a serial killer. Back to face the love she had for her father and the bodies he buried there.

Coming home is hard enough for Vera, and to make things worse, she and her mother aren’t alone. A parasitic artist has moved into the guest house out back, and is slowly stripping Vera’s childhood for spare parts. He insists that he isn’t the one leaving notes around the house in her father’s handwriting… but who else could it possibly be?

There are secrets yet undiscovered in the foundations of the notorious Crowder House. Vera must face them, and find out for herself just how deep the rot goes.

The house dripping blood on the cover first grabbed my attention, but the creepy description made me request this book. A serial killer and a possible ghost?

Vera’s mother is dying and asks her to come home. They’re estranged and for good reason – Daphne is a horrible person and doesn’t deserve to be a mother. Through two timelines, one in the present and one in the past, the reader discovers just how terrible she was to Vera when she was a child. Her father was a serial killer and without going into too much detail, let’s just say it’s had an adverse effect on Vera’s life in more ways than one. Talk about being cursed with bad parents.

From the description I assumed this would be a dark read. And it is. Some parts are brutal and disturbing, but the story is about a serial killer so that’s to be expected. What surprised me was the slow pace – almost a snail’s pace at times. I listened to the audiobook ARC, but if I’d had an ebook ARC instead I probably would have skimmed several pages.

The notes Vera finds in her father’s handwriting and whatever it is that keeps moving her bed are delightfully macabre, but the story takes a turn I never suspected. And it’s a good one. Just Like Home is a twisted tale of toxic family dynamics with a few surprises along the way. Just be prepared for the darkness.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Wake the Bones by Elizabeth Kilcoyne #bookreview #YA #horror

The sleepy little farm that Laurel Early grew up on has awakened. The woods are shifting, the soil is dead under her hands, and her bone pile just stood up and walked away.

After dropping out of college, all she wanted was to resume her life as a tobacco hand and taxidermist and try not to think about the boy she can’t help but love. Instead, a devil from her past has returned to court her, as he did her late mother years earlier. Now, Laurel must unravel her mother’s terrifying legacy and tap into her own innate magic before her future and the fate of everyone she loves is doomed.

“…her bone pile just stood up and walked away.” Tell me this sentence doesn’t intrigue you. I’ve read plenty of horror novels but can’t say I’ve come across anything quite like this.

Upon finishing this book, I turned off my Kindle, sat quietly for a few moments, then asked myself, “What did I just read?” Wake the Bones is dark, weird, imaginative, and otherworldly. Did I mention weird?

Laurel drops out of college after freshman year and returns to the family tobacco farm in rural Kentucky, a town she’d sworn to get away from. But fate has other plans for her. Raised by her uncle after her mother committed suicide when she was a baby, Laurel still struggles with the loss. Soon after returning home, her world is turned upside down when the farm…. comes alive. So do the bones Laurel has collected. Turns out her mother’s life was more complicated than she ever knew, and the thing/devil? that haunted her has now turned its sights on Laurel.

The farm itself is a living, breathing character in this novel, and there’s a connection between it and Laurel I never completely understood. The same can be said about Laurel’s magic. Not a lot of explanation is given, but it’s there and seems to be powerful. I wasn’t really a fan of hers, but her strong friendship with Isaac is one of my favorite aspects of the story. With an abusive father, he needs all the support he can get, and Laurel, her uncle, and friends Garrett and Ricky offer that. Isaac’s relationship with Garrett also won my heart.

Pacing is a little uneven, but the climactic ending moves briskly and comes with a bizarrre surprise in the epilogue that fits perfectly with the story. I may not have connected with this novel on some levels, but the atmosphere and descriptions of the farm are done to an eerie perfection. I’ll be looking for future releases by this author.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

What Moves the Dead by T. Kingfisher #bookreview #horror #LGBTQ #TuesdayBookBlog

From the award-winning author of The Twisted Ones comes a gripping and atmospheric retelling of Edgar Allan Poe’s classic “The Fall of the House of Usher.”

When Alex Easton, a retired soldier, receives word that their childhood friend Madeline Usher is dying, they race to the ancestral home of the Ushers in the remote countryside of Ruritania.

What they find there is a nightmare of fungal growths and possessed wildlife, surrounding a dark, pulsing lake. Madeline sleepwalks and speaks in strange voices at night, and her brother Roderick is consumed with a mysterious malady of the nerves.

Aided by a redoubtable British mycologist and a baffled American doctor, Alex must unravel the secret of the House of Usher before it consumes them all. 

It shouldn’t come as a surprise when I say this bizarre, somewhat disturbing cover first caught my attention. When I saw it was written by T. Kingfisher, an author I’ve been anxious to read, I immediately requested it from NetGalley. It’s been years since I’ve read The Fall of the House of Usher, and I’m not embarrassed to say I read a quick summary of it on the Spark Notes website before starting this novel.

“The dead don’t walk. Except sometimes, when they do.”

The above statement should give you an idea of what to expect from this book. Alex Easton, a nonbinary retired soldier, narrates the story. A childhood friend of both Roderick and his sister Madeline, they rush to the siblings’ home in Ruritania upon learning Madeline is dying. What they find is a horrific scene – an overwhelming amount of fungal growth on the grounds and lake, weird, unnerving hares, and a decaying manor. Madeline’s American doctor is also staying with the Ushers, and several amusing jabs (about Americans) are made at his expense, but he’s a good sport. Alex also comes across mycologist Eugenia Potter on the grounds who becomes a valuable source of information and is a wonderful addition to the story. Shout out to Hob for being one of the coolest horses I’ve come across in fiction.

The author does a fabulous job at bringing the house and grounds to life and has created some pretty macabre scenes that might not be for the squeamish. Although this is a retelling, she’s also expanded a bit on the story and added her own spin, something I found fascinating. Alex is Gallacian, and their language uses many different pronouns that are explained well, but might take some getting used to.

Whether you’ve read the Poe book or not, this is a gruesome tale I’d easily recommend to horror fans. I know I’ll be looking for more books by this author.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

From Below by Darcy Coates #bookreview #horror #thriller

No light. No air. No escape.
Hundreds of feet beneath the ocean’s surface, a graveyard waits…


Years ago, the SS Arcadia vanished without a trace during a routine voyage. Though a strange, garbled emergency message was broadcast, neither the ship nor any of its crew could be found. Sixty years later, its wreck has finally been discovered more than three hundred miles from its intended course…a silent graveyard deep beneath the ocean’s surface, eagerly waiting for the first sign of life.

Cove and her dive team have been granted permission to explore the Arcadia’s rusting hull. Their purpose is straightforward: examine the wreck, film everything, and, if possible, uncover how and why the supposedly unsinkable ship vanished.

But the Arcadia has not yet had its fill of death, and something dark and hungry watches from below. With limited oxygen and the ship slowly closing in around them, Cove and her team will have to fight their way free of the unspeakable horror now desperate to claim them.

Because once they’re trapped beneath the ocean’s waves, there’s no going back. 

Looking for the perfect summer horror beach read? Here it is. If scuba diving is on your agenda, this novel might make you rethink your plans.

After the Arcadia is located three hundred plus feet underwater sixty years after vanishing without a trace, Cove and her dive team are anxious to begin exploring and filming it for a documentary. Things go wrong from the start with equipment malfunctions both above and below the water. And those are the least scary occurrences in this novel. I’m claustrophobic, so the thought of being beneath all that water with a mask covering my face, diving inside a shipwreck, and knowing I have a limited amount of oxygen terrifies me. And yet I’ll pick up books like this every time and find myself holding my breath while reading them.

The novel alternates between the timelines of sixty years prior with the events leading up to the sinking of the Arcadia and present day with the dive team. POV also shifts between the characters on the team, whose dive experience varies from expert to the guy who sucks up most of his oxygen but doesn’t want to admit it to anyone. Soon after entering the ship wreckage they make some freakish discoveries – unusual messages written on the walls, movements seen in empty rooms, walls boarded up. Even more eerie discoveries are made after they surface and review film footage.

Even though I felt the need to gasp for breath in some parts, I read this book over a couple of days. The author provides incredible details about the hazards of diving, including decompression sickness, nitrogen narcosis, the bends, etc. So not only did the divers have to deal with this, they also faced whatever was in the Arcadia. The descriptions of a ship that long at the bottom of the ocean reminded me of pictures I’ve seen of the Titanic, so you can imagine how atmospheric they are. With equipment malfunctioning – comms out, headlights and flashlights aren’t working – the terror the characters experience (and maybe the reader just thinking about it) in total darkness is almost palpable.

The character development weighs in a little light, but it certainly didn’t detract from my reading experience – I enjoyed the heck out of this book. The horror isn’t gory, so this novel would also appeal to thriller fans, and I highly recommend it to readers of both genres.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Black Tide by KC Jones #bookreview #horror #scifi

KC Jones’ Black Tide, a character-driven science fiction/horror novel that explores what happens after a cataclysmic event leaves the world crawling with nightmares, will be published by Nightfire in May 2022!

A story with a cinematic feel, Black Tide is Cujo meets A Quiet Place.

It was just another day at the beach. And then the world ended.

Mike and Beth didn’t know each other existed before the night of the meteor shower. A melancholy film producer and a house sitter barely scraping by, chance made them neighbors, a bottle of champagne brought them together, and a shared need for human connection sparked something more.

After a drunken and desperate one-night-stand, the two strangers awake to discover a surprise astronomical event has left widespread destruction in its wake. But the cosmic lightshow was only a part of something much bigger, and far more terrifying. When a set of lost car keys leaves them stranded on an empty stretch of Oregon coast, when their emergency calls go unanswered and inhuman screams echo from the dunes, when the rising tide reaches for the car and unspeakable horrors close in around them, these two self-destructive souls must find in each other the strength to overcome past pain and the fight to survive a nightmare of apocalyptic scale. 

The comp titles – Cujo and A Quiet Place – immediately piqued my interest, and a beach setting sealed the deal.

Like Cujo, much of this story is spent with the two main characters trapped in a car. As in A Quiet Place, silence is the best way to avoid these invading creatures. A little over two hundred fifty pages, this is a well-paced, quick read, and the action starts almost immediately. At first glance, Beth and Mike aren’t people you’d bet on to survive an alien invasion. Beth is irresponsible and basically a trainwreck, and Mike is teetering on a life and death decision in his personal life. But you play the hand you’re dealt.

After both characters have bizarre experiences during the night (dreams? hallucinations?), their day gets even worse when they go to the beach and discover they weren’t dreaming or imagining things. Their world has been invaded, and the beach is being attacked. The descriptions of the alien creatures are creepy and very visual. Some of the scenes are fairly graphic, so if you’re a reader who prefers to avoid gore you might want to skip some paragraphs. The characters run into one obstacle after another in their attempts to survive, and there are plenty of tense scenes to sink your teeth into. Most are within the confines of a small car, and with two adults, a dog, and sweltering temps during the day it can feel pretty claustrophobic.

I like the way the author chose to end the story, leaving a feeling of hope for the characters because the odds sure aren’t in their favor. Black Tide is an intriguing blend of sci-fi and horror providing terror-filled visual scenes for fans of the genres.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Primal Animals by Julia Lynn Rubin #bookreview #YA #LGBTQ #horror

Protect the girls

Arlee Gold is anxious about spending the summer at the college prep Camp Rockaway—the same camp her mother attended years ago, which her mother insists will help give Arlee a “fresh start” and will “change her life.” Little does Arlee know that, once she steps foot on the manicured grounds, this will prove to be true in horrifying ways.

Even though the girls in her cabin are awesome—and she’s developing a major crush on the girl who sleeps in the bunk above her—the other campers seem to be wary of Arlee, unwilling to talk to her or be near her, which only ramps up her paranoia. When she’s tapped to join a strange secret society, Arlee thinks this will be her shot at fitting in…until her new “sisters” ask her to do the unthinkable, putting her life, and the life of her new crush, in perilous danger.

A horror story set at a summer camp? Tell me that doesn’t make you think of classic 80s movies in the same genre. I’m always up for a twisty scary tale.

Arlee is spending the summer at a college prep camp in hopes it will help her achieve her academic goals, a place her mother also attended several years prior. Unsure of herself, slightly paranoid, and dealing with troubling issues, Arlee is thrilled to find herself making new friends and fitting in. Until she discovers college prep classes are just a small part of what really goes on at Camp Rockaway.

From the minute Arlee arrives at camp it’s an ominous vibe, and you know the world inside the camp sits off kilter. She receives sinister warnings and overhears hurtful comments about herself and her mother, but tries to ignore them. After she joins a secret society as a legacy in the hopes of having lifelong “sisters”, what unfolds is dark, dangerous, and …..just plain bizarre. Several scenes are disturbing, so this novel isn’t for the faint of heart. I was repulsed and shocked at times – but also couldn’t look away.

The story moves as a brisk pace, but I’d hoped for more closure at the end. If you enjoy horror/thriller books that venture into the land of weirdness, I’d recommend checking out Primal Animals.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Hide by Kiersten White #bookreview #horror #supernatural #TuesdayBookBlog

The challenge: spend a week hiding in an abandoned amusement park and don’t get caught.

The prize: enough money to change everything.

Even though everyone is desperate to win–to seize their dream futures or escape their haunting pasts–Mack feels sure that she can beat her competitors. All she has to do is hide, and she’s an expert at that.

It’s the reason she’s alive, and her family isn’t.

But as the people around her begin disappearing one by one, Mack realizes this competition is more sinister than even she imagined, and that together might be the only way to survive.
Fourteen competitors. Seven days. Everywhere to hide, but nowhere to run.

Come out, come out, wherever you are.

The ferris wheel on the cover immediately caught my attention. Then I saw it was written by a YA author I’ve read before, and this was her adult debut. Once I read the description I was sold.

A week in an abandoned amusement park with a tragic history playing a warped game of hide and go seek. If you’re not found, a significant amount of cash is the prize. Mack, who bounces between homeless shelters, has a distinct advantage over the other thirteen contestants – she was the only survivor in her family when her father went on a killing spree and murdered her mother and sister. Mack knew where to hide.

Mack is the main focus of the story, but POV alternates between several characters. They come from all walks of life, but each has a reason for wanting to win the game varying from fame to making friends. After the first couple of days, it becomes clear this isn’t your average reality show. Once you’re found, you’re not just out of the game – you’re dead.

The aging, abandoned rides lend a macabre atmosphere to the story – a haunted house, decrepit roller coaster, and a sinister tunnel of love just to name a few. I actually snickered when one contestant shelved his fear of clowns to hide inside the mouth of one in a bizarre display. I rooted for several characters to make it to the end – some survived, others didn’t. Besides being hunted, the contestants also learned to be wary of each other. Some play dirty.

The description gives no indication of the direction this story takes. It’s unexpected, but I was completely on board with it. There’s a reason these contestants are chosen. I admit the multiple POVs confused me at times. There’s a good bit of head-hopping going on, with multiple changes on the same page sometimes. I had to backtrack more than once to figure it out.

Hide has an imaginative premise that immediately intrigued me and kept me glued to the pages. It isn’t heavy on the horror, so it would also appeal to supernatural thriller fans.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.