This book, from its cover design, its author’s reputation and its blurb at the back, seems completely to suggest a tale of seething terror.
However, I find that it is more a tale of jungle survival couched as a horror story. The horror is really very much in the background, while the reader (and protagonist) is mostly absorbed in the nitty-gritty of finding food, fighting bugs and avoiding the rocks when falling into a river.
It is admittedly a very charming book, especially in the characterization of 9-year old Trisha McFarland and the depiction of her struggles, her ever-deepening exhaustion and that fine line between comedy and tragedy; between hope and the abyss.
Yes there is a good build-up of fear about the “special thing” that lurks in the forest; stalking Trisha; but I found myself actually laughing when the terror should have climaxed. Laughing. Sure, you might choose to interpret that I am twisted, but I think the climax was more than a little funny.
While the writing style of King is great, as usual, the plot of this book is really monotonous because he spends too many pages detailing Trisha’s wanderings through the forest.
King could have involved the enemy more in the plot and spend more pages describing the hard moments that her family was going through instead of telling us so much about her misfortunes in the Appalachian Trail.
King also could have detailed the efforts of the search party to introduce more adventure and thrills to the book.
Overall I think this book is more suited to introduce teenagers to King’s books than for King’s fans craving the classic suspenseful terror stories of gore and blood.
Being a big Stephen King fan i’ll say its not worth the money for those of us used to his classic stories.