Sunday, April 19, 2009

REVIEW: Castaways, by Brian Keene

From Leisure Books: They came to the lush, deserted island to compete on a popular reality TV show. Each one hoped to be the last to leave. Now they’re just hoping to stay alive. It seems the island isn’t deserted after all. Contestants and crew members are disappearing, but they aren’t being eliminated by the game. They’re being taken by the monstrous half-human creatures that live in the jungle. The men will be slaughtered. The women will be kept alive as captives. Night is falling, the creatures are coming, and rescue is so far away….

My Thoughts:

I'm not sure what to say about this book. It wasn't a bad book, but it wasn't "great" either. It didn't capture me the way that I had hoped. Some books are too slow and leisurely. This book was just the opposite. It was too fast-paced, and therefore lacked any real suspense. It was simply brutal slaughter, lacking the psychological analysis that you would find in actual suspense novels, since these creatures lack a psychology that can really be explored too deeply. My biggest issue was that it lacked the "on the edge of my seat" terror and "creep factor" that I expect from a horror novel-- the fear that I seek. That's why I read horror. I want to be horrified, I want to be afraid to be alone for the night, jumping at every sound, checking the locks, and thinking about the merits of gun ownership. This book just didn't have that for me.

Additionally something about the writing-style just didn't engage me. I don't know what it was. The book just didn't grab me and bring me into the story. I never really connected with the characters. Perhaps that is one of the reasons I was never very engaged. They remained somewhat superficial, without any real depth. I just didn't really "care" about them.

I had high hopes for this story, and it fell short. I'm not giving up on Brian Keene, and will try another book or two by him to see if they are more what I'm looking for. But this book was just "okay".

Product Details
  • Author: Brian Keene
  • Mass Market Paperback: 285 pages
  • Publisher: Leisure Books (January 27, 2009)
  • ISBN-10: 0843960892
  • ISBN-13: 978-0843960891
My Rating: 6 out of 10


Michelle Olsen Sasak said...

Nice review! I was not impressed with this book either. I do have great respect for Brian Keene as an author though. His zombie books, The Rising, City of the Dead, & Dead Sea, are really good. Dark Hollow was also really good. I don't personally recommend Ghoul, Terminal, or Ghost Walk. I hope you give Keene another chance - he's capable of great work :)

PSGifford said...

Might I suggest you read John Everson?