Cabin Terror: Sarah Jane Huntington
Reviewed By Steve Stred
As you’ve come to know by now, I’m a huge fan of all books (big or small) where we get a cabin in the woods and something mysterious lurking. Add in cult/occult/curse storylines and I’m practically giddy.
‘Cabin Terror’ ticks all of those boxes, so going in, I was trying to keep my excitement in check and see if we get to read a book that does all of those elements justice.
What I liked: ‘Cabin Terror’ follows three friends, Jane, Becca and Grace, as they descend on a cabin in the middle of the woods to make a film for Jane’s college class.
Jane brings them here, because many years ago, a cult summoned forth a creature and now that creature supposedly stalks the woods around the area.
We get some great side stories with elderly neighbor, Kathleen, some anxiety-inducing moments when things are heard and lights are spotted and ultimately when we do see the creature and have those moments with it, the tension ramps right up and the gore arrives.
Jane, as a character, is all over the map. We want to root for her, then loathe her, then root for her and the same goes for her friends, Becca and Grace. There’s a lot of interpersonal dynamics at work and the lead in plot involving Max really works well to set up the ending.
What I didn’t like: I think there were aspects that were underdeveloped when compared to how much they were hyped. Case in point, we frequently get told about caves and how the caves are important, yet they play no role in the story at all.
As well, I think the story faltered a bit between trying to make up its mind between a creature feature and a cult/strange thing from somewhere else story.
Lastly, I don’t know if I fully buy the ‘why’ for the Max angle and the ending.
Why you should buy this: If you’re like me and really dig “what is going on” in the woods books, look no further. The pacing is frantic, the characters are a lot of fun and you’ll never want to rent a cabin ever again!
If you go down to the woods today…
One cult, one ritual, one forced open dimensional door.
A creature from elsewhere…
One fierce elderly woman. Three girls. One survivor?
Secrets, lies, and a found footage movie.
Really, what could go wrong?
No one lasts the night.
A COSMIC SLASHER
Steve Stred writes dark, bleak fiction.
Steve is the author of a number of novels, novellas and collections.
He is proud to work with the Ladies of Horror Fiction to facilitate the Annual LOHF Writers Grant.
Steve has appeared alongside some of Horror’s heaviest hitters (Tim Lebbon, Gemma Amor, Adrian J. Walker, Ramsey Campbell) in some fantastic anthologies.
He is an active member of the HWA.
He is based in Edmonton, AB, Canada and lives with his wife and son.
You can follow Steve on Twitter @stevestred
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