By Jordan Gerdes
A serene cabin vacation. Two loving fathers and their adopted daughter. Time away from the real world, from cell service, and from anything resembling normal life. That’s where Tremblay’s novel picks up, but doesn’t linger long. Soon after Eric, Andrew and Wen arrive, strangers arrive to, promising that what is about to happen is not their fault, that the choices they must make are going to be difficult, and that they have dire consequences for the entire world. Tremblay crafts a home invasion story, painted with overtones of the apocalypse.
I knew I had to read this when Stephen King endorsed the book, but didn’t realize how unsettling it really was. This is a story where you aren’t sure who to believe, who is crazy, and who might be telling the truth. This feels like The Strangers meets 10 Cloverfield Lane, while being its own premise completely. Tremblay crafts beautiful and eerie imagery, lingering in the small details of a larger, horrific scenario. Painted with fear and blood, this story grips you and refuses to let up. Told from multiple viewpoints, both the attacked and the attackers, it gives you a rounded look at two families faced with impossible choices. It is quite good, and an easy read at 272 pages. It feels very similar to Misery by Stephen King in some ways, and it was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award for Best Novel of 2018. If you enjoy suspense, horror, and large stakes, this is the book for you.