BOOK REVIEWS

Killman Creek by Rachel Caine

Having enjoyed reading Stillhouse Lake, I was quite happy at the start of this sequel. Soon, sadly, I found myself skipping paragraphs, rolling my eyes, and wondering how I could have enjoyed the first instalment of this series. In Stillhouse Lake I liked Gwen and I found the fast-paced narrative to be rather gripping. Killman Creek does not bring forward the promising aspects of its predecessor. I think, my main issue with this novel is that it tries too hard to be edgy. To me, the story seemed somewhat corny, despite the author’s attempts to make it ‘dark’.

She’s talking the talk, but I can tell she’s not feeling it. She wants him super dead, so much that it makes her shake. But she’s making an effort not to raise me that way. I guess that’s good.

The style too was a big issue for me. It worked when the story was told through one point of view, put here, there quite a few different narrators, and they all sound the same. The only ‘differences’ are stated rather than shown, a rather banal attempt to differentiate the characters. Gwen’s daughter, Lanny, sounds like her mother except for the moments in which she reminds her that she is a ‘teenager’ so she will snap for no reason, put her headphones on, and ‘crank’ her music up. *ahem* sloppy *ahem*

“ It’s exhausting, and I put the music back on and try to drown it all out.”

The writing is so repetitive. Short sentences won’t make your story fast-paced. Here are a few examples:

➜“I dump the bag upside down, and stuff rains out on the bed. Makeup, mostly.”
➜“Mom puts her arms around me this time and hugs. Hard.”
➜“I give her The Look. It bounces off without effect.”
➜“I settle into one of the armchairs near the windows. I was right. Comfy.”

And all of the narrators had this overuse of short sentences/thoughts, which made them all sound like each other. I understand if they were having these concise thoughts during a chase or something of the like, but for every single thing? It doesn’t make up for a slow plotine.
They all seem to have the same emotional responses/reactions. They are incredibly aware and in tune with their feelings. There is a constant over-sentimentality that worked against the serious themes of the story:

➜“Not judging, but worrying. If this is going to work, I need to be sure that she’s up to it. I won’t blame her if she isn’t, but deep in my heart I know I have to go, with or without her.”
➜““I’ll call tonight,” she tells me, and I shrug, like it’s no big deal if she doesn’t. Except it is. We both know it.”

The ‘mature’ elements where lost in a sea of needless –and childish– angst. Gwen and Sam’s ‘hunt’ was laughable and the children’s storyline was incredibly clichèd.
All in all, there was little to be enjoyed. This sequel felt like a bad adaptation of Stillhouse Lake. One that overused all of the positives of the original, ending up with a monotonous and unbelievable story.
Pity.

My rating: 2 stars

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