Title: The Cabin at the End of the World
Author: Paul Tremblay
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: June 26, 2018
Page Count: 288
My rating: 4 stars
About the book:
The Bram Stoker Award-winning author of A Head Full of Ghosts adds an inventive twist to the home invasion horror story in a heart-palpitating novel of psychological suspense that recalls Stephen King’s Misery, Ruth Ware’s In a Dark, Dark Wood, and Jack Ketchum’s cult hit The Girl Next Door.
Seven-year-old Wen and her parents, Eric and Andrew, are vacationing at a remote cabin on a quiet New Hampshire lake. Their closest neighbors are more than two miles in either direction along a rutted dirt road.
One afternoon, as Wen catches grasshoppers in the front yard, a stranger unexpectedly appears in the driveway. Leonard is the largest man Wen has ever seen but he is young, friendly, and he wins her over almost instantly. Leonard and Wen talk and play until Leonard abruptly apologizes and tells Wen, “None of what’s going to happen is your fault”. Three more strangers then arrive at the cabin carrying unidentifiable, menacing objects. As Wen sprints inside to warn her parents, Leonard calls out: “Your dads won’t want to let us in, Wen. But they have to. We need your help to save the world.”
Thus begins an unbearably tense, gripping tale of paranoia, sacrifice, apocalypse, and survival that escalates to a shattering conclusion, one in which the fate of a loving family and quite possibly all of humanity are entwined. The Cabin at the End of the World is a masterpiece of terror and suspense from the fantastically fertile imagination of Paul Tremblay.
The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay is a tale of horror that doesn’t involve things like ghosts or demons but uses tension and suspense to keep a reader on the edge just waiting to see what will happen. With the threat of an apocalypse and intense need to protect family the fear and anticipation was oozing from the pages.
The story begins with seven year old Wen out in front of the cabin that she is staying in with her two dads, Eric and Andrew, just doing what kids should do playing outdoors and trying to catch some grasshoppers. What a lovely scene, right? Well it doesn’t last long because along comes a stranger named Leonard who begins to chat with young Wen and then before you know it he’s joined by three others with weapons.
Wen does what any frightened child should and runs to find her parents who in turn do their best to protect her from this group of strangers. Eric and Andrew do their best to protect each other and their daughter from the mysterious strangers who are claiming the end of the world is coming and the fate of every lies in their hands. What can one do in the middle of nowhere when feeling threatened?
This story is one that just flies by and leaves you on the edge wondering just what is going to happen and what is real bringing the paranoia off the pages. I loved that the author touched on a different type of family and still showed just how much love was between them. There were also some pretty shocking twists to the story I wouldn’t have expected and if not for a rather abrupt end I may have rated higher, still a good story overall though.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via Edelweiss.
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About the author:
Paul Tremblay is the author of DISAPPEARANCE AT DEVIL’S ROCK and the World Fantasy Award nominated and Bram Stoker Award winning A HEAD FULL OF GHOSTS. A HEAD FULL OF GHOSTS has been option by Focus Features. He’s also the author of the novels The Little Sleep, No Sleep till Wonderland, Swallowing a Donkey’s Eye, and Floating Boy and the Girl Who Couldn’t Fly (co-written with Stephen Graham Jones).
He is the author of the short story collection In the Mean Time. His essays and short fiction have appeared in the Los Angeles Times and numerous “year’s best” anthologies. He is the co-editor of four anthologies including Creatures: Thirty Years of Monster Stories (with John Langan). Paul is on the board of directors for the Shirley Jackson Awards. He lives outside of Boston, Massachusetts, has a master’s degree in Mathematics, and has no uvula. You can find him online at http://www.paultremblay.net. He is represented by Stephen Barbara, InkWell Management.