Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Unthinkable by Shirley Duke (Night Fall Series)

Published 2010.

Omar Phillips is Bridgewater High's favorite local teen author. His Facebook fans can't wait for his next horror story. But lately Omar's imagination has turned against him. Horrifying visions of death and destruction come over him with wide-screen intensity. The only way to stop the visions is to write them down. Until they start coming true . . .

Enter Sophie Minax, the mysterious Goth girl who's been following Omar at school. "I'm one of you," Sophie says. She tells Omar how to end the visions - but the only thing worse than Sophie's cure may be what happens if he ignores it. (book back blurb)

It's Goosebumps for a new generation. It's comforting to know that horror, true horror, isn't dead. This book might not be dripping in the blood of its protagonists, but it brings with it a sense of spook, a creepy feeling that makes you think maybe you should read with the lights on.

The story is young adult but it's told in a very middle grade language, which would be my only complaint about the book itself. I don't think I would have liked it as much if it were a MG book because the tone would have been completely different. But I did want some more depth to it than what was given. It read kind of like a campfire tale but without the camp. Where Goosebumps (although awesome) could run a little goofy, Unthinkable didn't really have that. Omar writes awesome horror stories. That start coming true. Oops! There isn't any kookiness and I don't think the story renders it. It works well as it is. I just wish the language was closer to being YA.

It's definitely a super-fast read. Maybe an hour and you can read cover to cover but it doesn't hamper the story any. I was sucked in immediately, mainly because it started with one of Omar's stories that really are good. He's a talented teen author! Too bad he's probably been scared straight out of writing for the rest of his life after his ordeal. But I liked the concept behind it all and it's the main reason I think it would have been so much better in an older voice. I would have loved more exposition on the reason everything was happening. But within the timeline of the story, the pacing was good, I didn't feel rushed at any point during the story but I just couldn't put the book down.

I have two other books in this series sitting in my pile and I can't wait to get to them. I'm interested in seeing how the other stories play out after this one. It's clear that Duke didn't hold back in the plot. She wasn't afraid to put anyone and everyone at risk and that right there makes an awesome horror story; the anticipation, the fear that anyone, ANYONE, can get eaten by the big bad monster. I wish there was more horror out there for the YA category. And I hope the other books hold up to this one.


Anonymous said...

Wow, great review! I love the cover, and it sounds really good despite the middle grade voice. I'll have to put it on my TBR list :)

Enbrethiliel said...


It reminds me more of Christopher Pike than R.L. Stine, though. Remember Master of Murder? =)

miss cindy :) said...

Sounds like a good series, I want to read it now :)

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