The Ruins

Published By: Alfred A. Knopf

Book Category: Fiction, Horror

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Reviewed by Jake Chism

Scott Smith brings us a terror-filled summer vacation in his latest thriller.

Four friends travel to Cancun, Mexico for a few weeks of relaxation and fun. Soon they meet up with a German vacationer, who is searching for his brother who disappeared into the Mexican jungle a few days before. Finding the perfect opportunity for adventure, they soon wander off into the unknown to find the lost brother and to do some sightseeing along the way. What they find is a terror beyond comprehension and an evil beyond escape.

After a thirteen year hiatus from his first novel, A Simple Plan, Scott Smith storms back onto the scene with this delightful modern-day horror tale. Smith writes engaging dialogue and action with ease, and the omission of chapters keeps readers flying through the pages. This is a tragedy in every sense, and from the beginning we know that whatever happens, it’s going to be bad.

This story has all of the classic horror elements: terror, hopelessness, violence, gore, suspense, and a downright creepy villain. However, within the madness we find beauty in the lives of the main characters. Smith tells the story through the perspective of ech of the four friends. As a result, the plot is character driven and the insight into each character is incredibly captivating. Scott Smith has proven he can write in any genre, and this novel is worth reading for the character development and the imaginative prose alone. Let’s hope Scott Smith doesn’t wait thirteen more years to grace us with his superb talent.

Armchair Interviews says: Highly recommended to fans of horror–and to fans of excellent fiction in general.

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