We’ve surely all imagined the same kind of relaxing, fantasy weekend. While there might be some subtle differences to our individual plans, I’m sure you’d all agree that if that weekend included time spent in a remote cabin set by the side of a beautiful lake in the company of your nearest and dearest, that’d probably just about hit the spot, right?
Well, let me be the first to warn you, when you get this relaxing break, if I guy called Leonard turns up looking all friendly make your excuses, abandon your utopian weekend and run as fast as you can!
Wen is 7 years old and after a tough start in life, seems to have very much found her feet. Wen was adopted as a baby by her now dads, Eric and Andrew and moved halfway across the world from China to a new life full of love in Boston. There have been bumps in the road along the way, but now, as a big girl she’s settled in school, has friends, is making decisions of her own and enjoying quite the fulsome life. These trips to the countryside are common place nowadays and it’s good for her, daddy Eric and daddy Andrew to get away from the stress of city life and spend some quality time exploring the wilds of New Hampshire together. And then, while she’s having a ton of fun catching and naming grasshoppers in the garden in front of the cabin, that guy called Leonard shows up.
Leonard is a giant (not literally), but although she’s a bit unsure, Wen isn’t scared. Despite his size, Leonard is friendly and even helps her find more grasshoppers. He helps her name them too. Stranger danger briefly crosses her mind but before she knows it she’s chatting away to him and discussing school, her hatred of broccoli and her upcoming two birthday parties, like they’ve been friends for years. In fact, after a short while, she decides that she and Leonard now actually are friends. And that’s when, Leonard’s other friends turn up. Three of them, armed with what can only be described as terrifying home made weapons.
From here on in ‘The Cabin at The End of The World’ picks up the pace and never really slows down again. Brilliantly written, this thriller has more than enough twists and turns to keep you guessing until the end. Dystopia, horror, fear, tension and violence; it’s all here and it’s packed into every page.
However, ‘The Cabin at The End of The World’ is much much more than just a bloodfest. In fact, in terms of blood there’s relatively little to go around. The horror and the thrills here are largely psychological and despite the obvious presence of the bad guys, it’s difficult to really dislike any of the characters. While Leonard and his friends are certainly threatening you’ll find yourself listening to their reasons for being there and as certain things happen, maybe even beginning to believe their schtick.
Brilliantly though, every time you lower your guard, Tremblay add a new twist and you’re forced, breathless, to reconsider your view of what’s unfolding in front of you. When you think a safe status quo has been settled upon, Tremblay reminds you that it’s anything but. And when you think that you can definitely see what’s coming next, he throws some metaphorical mud in your eye so that you can’t see for a while longer and by the time you’ve cleared it away, things have changed.
It’s hard to decide whether Leonard and his friends are part of a very sophisticated cult or whether they themselves have actually been duped. Each one of the four carry a subtle menace, while maintaining an air of friendliness, making them both the subject of our suspicion and loathing as well as a group of people that we could see ourselves easily getting along with. It’s a sign that ‘The Cabin at The End of The World’ is a real winner when not only does the reader fall for the charms of the obviously wonderful Wen but they also see possible friends in three of the four bad guys.
‘The Cabin at The End of The World’ is a brilliant read. A real page turner where just when you think you’ve got a handle on what’s going on, the rug is pulled from under you. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a thriller or horror fan at all; this is just a fantastic book. You’re engaged from the very start and you have great characters, a hint of dystopia, elements of horror and the sheer thrill of what will happen next to keep you going. And at the heart of it all there’s just a really good story. I loved reading ‘The Cabin at The End of The Word’ and would give it…