Come out, come out, wherever you are….
Release Date: May 24, 2022
Publisher: Del Rey
Price: $27 (hardcover)
The challenge: Spend a week hiding in an abandoned amusement park and don’t get caught.
The prize: enough money to change everything.
Even though everyone is desperate to win—to seize a dream future or escape a haunting past—Mack is sure she can beat her competitors. All she has to do is hide, and she’s an expert at that.
It’s the reason she’s alive and her family isn’t.
But as the people around her begin disappearing one by one, Mack realizes that this competition is even more sinister than she imagined, and that together might be the only way to survive.
Fourteen competitors. Seven days. Everywhere to hide but nowhere to run.
I want to premise this with the fact that I have a certain fascination for abandoned amusement parks. I think there’s something really creepy about a place that used to bring so much joy, and now evokes only dread (at least I think it does). This is what made me hit request super fast. Then when I began reading it I realized that I’ve read this author before, she has written The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein, and although I loved the premise of that novel, I ultimately didn’t enjoy the journey.
The same can be said of this novel. I LOVE the premise of this novel: 14 contestants play hide and seek for a week in an abandoned amusement park and the winner gets $50,000 (now I don’t know why the characters in the novel thought you could change your life with that amount because for some that was the amount of money they owed in student debt, I personally would’ve liked to have seen higher prize money in order to understand why many people stuck it out as long as they did, even after things started to get weird).
What I didn’t love about this novel was how the omniscient POV was handled. I love multiple POVs but not when the POV changes within the same paragraph! It was very jarring at times and I had to go back and try to figure out which POV I was in.
Another downside was that the protagonist Mack had an interesting background, but other than that she wasn’t that interesting as a person, nor did I care much about her surviving or not. I cared more about some of the side characters than Mack. I’ll grant that the big reveal was cool, but up to that point, it was somewhat slow and it somehow got even slower towards the end. I also feel like the end is set up for a possible sequel, however, I don’t know if I’d be interested to read it.
Overall, fun premise, sadly it lacks in the execution, and although it’s been promoted as an adult horror, it read more like a YA (not necessarily a bad thing but most adults could be turned off).
*Thank you so much to NetGalley and Del Rey for the digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!