Author: Maren Stoffels
Rated E for how empty of an attempt this was at a deadly escape room.
All they need to do is get out.
But what if the game master has no intention of letting them go?
Alissa, Sky, Mint, and Miles saw the flyer and each of them had their own reason for wanting to do it. Wanting to do an escape room where they have to find their way out through codes and clues. But when they discover they’ve actually been brought into this game on purpose and with no intention of being let go they work against the clock to get free and also to figure out why they were brought here. Truths and secrets will spill testing the true strength of friendship this group has.
Nope. Not impressed at all. What I thought might actually carry the breathless action or at least power of strength that the movie of the same name did, in fact didn’t and went in mild scare direction that even a haunted house could trample over. I figured this I can’t even pull out a tidbit to hang on to with this one. What tried to be thrilling, chilling, and intense came off as mediocre and poorly done. I know how brutal that sounds. Trust me. There was no way getting around that. Each character came off incomplete which really left me not caring one bit about any of them. The plot was a jagged edged knife that hemorrhaged a well-intentioned story. Plot being the main idea and the story being the entirety of the book: characters, setting, emotions, action.
The plot was lost and all over the place like buckshot. Completely fragmented, the story got lost on me. Miles was obsessive and dangerous while Alissa was conceited and selfish leading her to lash out at her best friends who each struggled with their own personal growths. The main villain AKA grand master came across as random with no real tie-in until the very end when it was way past due and a loss for me.
The writing definitely needs fleshed out and edited. The potential for a chilling and nerve-shaking book is there but was overshadowed by caution and lack of transition and connectivity between the characters, plot, and action. It was as if the author was trying to play safe but with this as a teen book, she really could’ve pushed the envelope here. As I read, I felt like so much was missing and I was supposed to be perfectly in-tune like a mind reader to go along with what was going on and it never gave me any opportunity to jump into this book.
With all of this out of my system, I do understand that this book was meant to be a quick read. A one-shot in one sitting. Still, it dragged with how much it lacked. There wasn’t any enjoyment for me but was rather like sitting on thumbtacks. I just can’t get past that. I was bummed by how this turned out.
Sadly, it’s straight to the donation bin for this one. So much lacking and some much development needed. However, the potential for something more is there. I’m not saying I needed to know the complete depths but I still need something more tethered together than this was. Also, somebody needs to tell Eminem that his song “Lose Yourself” helped inspire this story.
“They mix like watercolor paint, becoming one color.” (p. 54)
“I’m flipping out because she’s hurting someone I don’t love. All this time, I let Caitlin believe I liked her. Why? Because I’m scared the truth will come out.” (p. 103)
More to come soon…
Song Today? Berzerk by Eminem.
Thoughts? Let’s chat in the comments below!