This year I have been doing a bit of reading outside by the fire and listening while walking in the wooded areas around our cabin in the woods. I seemed to be attracted to stories with settings in cabins surrounded by wooded areas. The Shadows was a perfect one to read that gave me an uneasy feeling, and I was looking over my shoulder to see if Charlie Crabtree might be hiding in my woods.
What is going on between the covers
Alex North takes that mean girl trope and turns it into mean boys. The ring leader of this unusual group is pervasive charming Charlie Crabtree. Charlie uses lucid dreaming to persuade the boys to do mean things. 14-year-old Paul and his best friend James fall into this nasty group until some end up dead, and Charlie is never seen again. Things get complicated, and I have no idea how to add anything more.
My two cents
I had the audio copy through NG and started it a while back. The story felt too complicated for me to listen to, and I struggled to follow what was happening. I put it on pause, and I bought a copy when the mass paperback came out. I listened and read parts of the story. I enjoyed listening to the narrators, which enhanced the story while reading it.
The premise is intriguing, with something a little different that kept me interested. While not really what I would call a spine-chilling horror, it does have some chill to it that had me snuggling up to the fire while turning the pages as fast as I could or walking more quickly through the woods. There are some good turns to the story and a surprising reveal I didn’t see; however, something felt off, didn’t add up, and I didn’t get that rewarding payoff I like in the end.
I recommend listening to this one over reading it or both somewhere and where and when you can focus on the narrators.
I received a copy from the publisher through NG.
Genre: Psychological thriller/horror
Published in July 2020 by Celadon Books / Read Dec 2022
Penny taking a 5 minute nap while guarding the woods.