Thursday, June 14, 2007

No. 20 - The Ruins

by Scott Smith

Started: June 14
Finished: June 19

Notes: I read Smith's first book, A Simple Plan, when it first came out in the late 1990s. It was a dark suspense novel, damn close to being horror. I wasn't blown away by that first book, but I saw lots of promise for the author. This, The Ruins, is his second book, and I received it as a Christmas present. Just now, as with many of my books, getting around to reading it.

Mini review: Overall, a pretty good book. First, the bad stuff: Nearly all the characters are not very likable, and the plot is right out of a teen horror movie. The good stuff: Scott Smith, probably better than any author I've read, knows how to take a bad situation for his characters and make it worse. And then it gets worse. And worse. And worse. Until eventually you're sitting on the edge of your seat, shaking, thinking "Oh, my God! It can't get any worse." And then it does. This novel is horror with some possible supernatural or science fiction elements (it's never really explained, so don't read this book if you're one of those people who has to have everything spelled out for you by the end of your reading). It's a bit slow going the first 50 pages, and there are some slow spots here and there, but when it gets going ... it really gets going.

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