Book Review: Hide by Kiersten White

Hide by Kiersten White is an adult contemporary horror/thriller where fourteen people compete in a hide and seek game in an abandoned amusement park to win enough money to change their lives. Mack feels like she can beat the other competitors as hiding is what she is good at but when people start disappearing two a day it becomes clear that something else is going on.

The competitors are a cross between a group that might be on their way to the next best thing and a group that is stuck where they are but might be the best to survive in this game. Some of the characters are annoying and you don’t mind them disappearing but Mack and Ava are great and I wanted them to win.

When I read the description I thought the story would be a take on the tropes from some of the slasher movies, like Friday the 13th which its not. However, I enjoyed this and I’m glad that I was wrong in where I though it was going initially. The story is much more like Cabin in the Woods in that you can tell that something is not quite ring but what is really going on is not reveled until past the half way point. I loved the ending as it allows the few survivors to take charge of what is happing and make their own path while making sure that no one else will be forced into this game.

I received an early review copy of this book through NetGalley.

Book Review: Chopping Spree by Angela Sylvaine

Chopping Spree by Angela Sylvaie is a short horror story set in an 1980s inspired fashion mall. This book is part of the Rewind or Die horror series which is a series of unconnected stories that are meant to invoke the 70s and 80s slasher movies. The title and cover where enough that I wanted to read this book before reading the synopsis. I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.

We follow Penny, a high schooler who works at the mall her dad built with her best friend Yelena. When Penny arrives at the mall one day she runs into a guy wearing a wolf mask and talking about hunting pigs and the evils of capitalism but ends up not thinking much about it and going to work. At the end of the shift she and the others are staying late to do inventory and party some. Penny hears a scream and finds a guy who works at another store stabbed and talking about the wolf.

The group realizes that the guy dressed in the wolf mask plans to kill the workers at the mall and blow the mall up. While all this is going on Penny has noticed that many of the people she works with are all wearing a strange symbol and they tell her that it has to do with working at the mall.

The group ends up capturing the guy in the wolf mask and bring him down to a hidden room where Penny’s father is and some of the others parents. They tell Penny that they’re in a cult that worships the god Plutus, who they give sacrifices to become wealthy. They tell Penny that she has to kill the man in the wolf mask, Howard Gregory, and it come out that they killed his daughter and that’s why he is trying to destroy the mall. Penny doesn’t want to kill him and helps him escape during this her father confesses that he killed he mother and Penny decides that she will help Howard blow up the mall.

The story ends with Penny waking up in the hospital with the new that she was the only one who survived the mall bombing but finding out that there are other members of the Order of Plutus still out there.

I like the concept of this book and the horror elements but I felt like the twist with the cult came to fast. If the book was even twenty pages longer I would have liked the twist more. It felt like slasher movie set in a mall and then all of a sudden everyone’s in a cult that uses human sacrifices. The story does remind me of R.L. Stine’s Fear Street books and works by Christopher Pike, and I would recommend this story to fans of those books.