Genre: Adult Horror
Year Release: 2014
Source: Chirp Audiobooks
Listened to the audiobook
Trigger warning: maggots, pica, body horror, surgery, starvation, medical experimentation
Some of my peers who are avid horror readers recommended this read to me, without much context aside from its excellence. What I came to discover is a book a little like Lord of the Flies if wasn’t trying so hard to be important with a backdrop of of Rory Power’s Wilder Girls.
The visceral attention to detail in this book is something to behold. It is as horrifying as desperate eating, starvation, and tape worms are to the reader (which to me, is hella). In some places, it had the lustful palatability of a meal review. It’s unsettling and so effective, especially when things really start to go downhill once the storm hits.
In addition the grotesque devolution of the characters, the isolation of a storm-churned island, and the mistrust as things fall apart, the scariest thing in this book was Shelly. The line about how kids were just nice to him to prevent something awful happening ever. My skin crawled during his POV chapters.
Cutter also has the hyper-masculine voice throughout the book that really worked for me. No amount of confidence or wilderness survival knowledge can save this kids or their scout leader.
What was supposed to be an escapist, three-day retreat turns into the stuff of nightmares when a man starving for things that aren’t food shows up at a campsite, and one-by-one, sickness befalls everyone.