THE CABIN AT THE END OF THE WORLD
Written by Paul Tremblay
Published by William Morrow, June 26, 2018
My star rating: 3 stars
Seven-year-old Wen and her parents, Eric and Andrew, are vacationing at a remote cabin on a quiet New Hampshire lake. Their closest neighbors are more than two miles in either direction along a rutted dirt road.
One afternoon, as Wen catches grasshoppers in the front yard, a stranger unexpectedly appears in the driveway. Leonard is the largest man Wen has ever seen but he is young, friendly, and he wins her over almost instantly. Leonard and Wen talk and play until Leonard abruptly apologizes and tells Wen, “None of what’s going to happen is your fault”. Three more strangers then arrive at the cabin carrying unidentifiable, menacing objects. As Wen sprints inside to warn her parents, Leonard calls out: “Your dads won’t want to let us in, Wen. But they have to. We need your help to save the world.”
Thus begins an unbearably tense, gripping tale of paranoia, sacrifice, apocalypse, and survival that escalates to a shattering conclusion, one in which the fate of a loving family and quite possibly all of humanity are entwined. The Cabin at the End of the World is a masterpiece of terror and suspense from the fantastically fertile imagination of Paul Tremblay. Find it on Goodreads
Huh. That was interesting! I have to say that it’s impossible for me not to compare books when it comes to Paul Tremblay. The first book of his i’ve ever read was A Head Full of Ghosts and it’s hands down my favourite horror/thriller novel. Since reading that one, I’ve now read two of his other novels and sadly they didn’t give me the same experience. The second book of his that I read was Disappearance at Devil’s Rock and it was nowhere near as paranormal as I hoped it would be. This one wasn’t either, but the truths were still creepy as all hell and the tension was strong!
In this book we follow a little girl on vacation with her dad’s, as she’s catching grasshoppers in the lawn. A nice man walks up to her and she’s immediately wanting to be friends with him, yet there’s something off about him that scares her. He says that he needs to talk to her dad’s and won’t leave until he does. Suddenly, she realizes that this man isn’t alone. Sadly, there isn’t much that I can say about this book without giving away spoilers! The reason for these people showing up at the cabin is something that the reader must discover and unfold by themselves. But it sure wasn’t what I was expecting!
The tension and the suspense is so well done! Paul Tremblay is one of the few horror authors that I’ve read (granted, that isn’t a large number in and of itself!) that can really make me tense. He gives just the right amount of information and action to keep you interested and not confused. You’re more driven to sit at the edge of your seat, gripping the pages, and waiting for it all to come together. As he pieces together the story, you get a desperate need to know more! You read faster and faster as the action plays on, and hang on his every word. I absolutely LOVE his writing style!
Sadly I wasn’t a big fan of the characters. I felt like they weren’t developed enough somehow and I didn’t care about them as much as I hoped I would. I can’t really pinpoint my issue on this, but it just felt lacking. If I had felt more emotionally connected, I think the story would have impacted me more due to the nature of the plot.
This book requires you to somewhat suspend your grip on reality. The plot is a little far fetched, but not so much so that you’re rolling your eyes and asking the book if it’s serious. There’s an apocalypse type scenario, but it’s done in a totally different way. When I think apocalypse in books, I picture the world building of a broken earth and struggles to survive. This book doesn’t have that. In this case, we see the family and the “intruders” inside the cabin, watching the events from the outside, and finding out how this family is connected to it all. This is where I struggled a bit. We are reading of the events in the cabin, constantly wondering if what’s happening is real. We are presented with questions and scenario’s, all with consequences, but it lacked a certain sense of urgency due to the fact that the family wasn’t convinced. It worked, and it was interesting, but at the same time, the fact that they were in the dark and questioning what was happening made the whole thing a little less intense. Like I said, it was interesting – but there was something missing yet again.
In the end, this was a really great suspenseful read that kept me entertained and interested the whole way through. But, at the same time, there was something that felt like it was missing and didn’t quite hit the mark that A Head Full of Ghosts did.
Until next time, happy reading!