Saturday, September 15, 2018

Review: Campfire by Shawn Sarles

Author:  Shawn Sarles
Publisher: jimmy patterson
Date of publication: July 2018

While camping in a remote location, Maddie Davenport gathers around the fire with her friends and family to tell scary stories. Caleb, the handsome young guide, shares the local legend of the ferocious Mountain Men who hunt unsuspecting campers and leave their mark by carving grisly antlers into their victims' foreheads.

The next day, the story comes true. 

Now Maddie and her family are lost in the deep woods--with no way out--being stalked by their worst nightmares. Because there were other, more horrifying stories told that night--and Maddie's about to find out just how they end...

Campfire had the potential to be a really good horror story. Yeah, it wasn't. The story takes place on a camping trip.  Maddie, along with her family and some family friends are camping for a week as one last goodbye before her brother and friends go off to college.  After two nights of campfire ghost stories, some of them start to come true.

This book was just plain bad.  I'm not even sure that I can find something I liked about it.  It was fairly short, so it had that going for it.  The campfire stories were more interesting than the overall story.  However, the rest of the book involving Maddie and the other characters was dull until about the last third of the book. 

The characters were fairly forgettable.  There were so many that is was hard to keep them and their relationship to each other straight.  Once they started dying, I found I really didn't care.  The teens' dialogue was forced and unbelievable.  The author clearly has not spent time around teenagers lately. Oh, and did you know that Chelsea is Maddie's best friend?  Because just in case you didn't, Maddie will remind you about 6 millions times throughout the story.   

I thought the reveal was going to go one way because there is some foreshadowing thrown out there a few times.  But the author decided to ignore that and go in a incompletely different direction.  While the one I was expecting is fairly cliche as well, I was almost disappointed I didn't get that ending.  I'll spare you any spoiler in case you decide you want to pick this one up.   But, I wouldn't recommend this one.  

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