Mar 18, 2022
#survivor #thrillers #scareyourshelf #Abbey&Charmaine
Charmaine: Abbey, as I was driving to work today Destiny’s Child came on the radio with Survivor and it has me thinking about survivors and books about survival. Like the Riley Sager Final Girls type of book (or really, any Riley Sager!) and horror movies with only one person left standing... Is there something you’ve read recently in this area that you would recommend?
Abbey: I loved Zoje Stage’s Getaway, a survival thriller that follows two sisters and their childhood friend on a hiking trip to the Grand Canyon – their way of reconnecting after years apart. On top of having to survive the dangerous trail, the stifling heat, and the strained relationship between the three of them, one sister begins to sense something is wrong. Supplies from their bags are going missing. At night, she swears she sees the flicker of a cigarette being lit up. When she tries to warn the others that they might not be alone in the canyon, they don’t believe her - until it’s too late. Soon the three girls are trapped in a ‘life or death’ struggle --miles away from any help. They'll need to rely on each other and the sisters’ experience in the unforgiving Arizona wilderness if they want to make it out alive.
Charmaine: Ohhh I hope it’s not one of the sisters out for revenge (adding to my list as we speak). Family reunions in horror books always seem to have a catch, (like Andrew Pyper’s scare fest Homecoming) and Zoje Stage really knows how to put the reader on edge...
Speaking of edge, have you read any of Alex Finlay? His new book reminds me of some of the classic 80’s horror movies – it’s called The Night Shift. It starts off on New Year’s Eve 1999. Four teens are working late at a Blockbuster Video and are attacked. One survivor. One of the victim’s bf is the suspect, but he has disappeared.... Fast forward 15 years, this time more teens are attacked at an ice cream shop. Once again, only one survives. As the FBI searches for answers they soon realize these two cases are intertwined, and maybe the police are wrong about the suspect. Agent Sarah Keller becomes determined to uncover who really did it – but truths always come at a cost...
Abbey: That sounds so good – I love 80’s-horror-inspired books. I know you’re familiar with Adam Cesare’s Clown in a Cornfield. That one is a great classic horror movie in book form, even the cover reminds me of a movie poster (with a dash of Stranger Things...). The book follows Quinn Maybrook, who’s just moved to a new town for a fresh start. It’s a dusty town filled with run-down farmhouses, cornfields as far as the eye can see, and one creepy factory adorned with an unnerving mural of a clown. Unfortunately for Quinn, the town doesn’t stay boring for long. Residents soon come face to face with – wouldn't you know it – a clown in a cornfield, who starts to hunt down the town’s teens one by one. This book is technically YA, but readers of all ages will find something to like in this slasher-survival-twisty-thriller-action book...as long as they aren’t too squeamish.
Charmaine: Clowns give me the chills (especially Twisty from American Horror Story. That’s an image I would like to forget.) but the 80’s is something I can get behind! Speaking of hunting down teens...if you haven’t read Never Saw Me Coming by Vera Kurian, you should totally check it out! Seven students with 'psychopathic tendencies' were given scholarships to attend university in Washington if they participate in a study on psychopathy – which includes wearing a special watch that records body metrics and prompts them to input their mood logs, and other information for the study. Chloe is one of those students and she is out for revenge. She wants to murder Will, a man who sexually assaulted her when she was much younger. She has a new name and look and is now ready to enact her plan. But when one of the students in the study is murdered, she realizes someone else may be looking for revenge. Who is hunting the 7? And why? And is she next? As body counts increase, the plot twists heat up, you won't be able to turn away as it all unfolds, who will be left, and who will be left to face the consequences.
Abbey: Some groups of survivors seem to be more amicable than others. I know of one book with a group of survivors that has significantly less psychopaths amongst them, and why not escape this pandemic by reading about...another pandemic? For those who want something a little darker but aren’t interested in anything too scary, Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven is a great choice with more depth than you’d expect from your typical ‘end of the world’ book. A pandemic begins with the shocking on-stage death of a famous actor and soon, the world is grappling with a disease that will only leave a small faction of survivors alive. This novel follows the stories of 5 individuals, jumping back and forth between past and present, exploring how their fates intertwine as they navigate and survive their new world. I’ve even heard some describe this book as ‘beautiful’ - call it a survival thriller with class.
**Title lyrics from Destiny's Child, "Survivor"