Book Review: Dark Room (Tom Becker)

* I have been given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review *

Publisher: Stripes Publishing

Pages: 352

Release Date: September 10th 2015

Summary (from Goodreads):

When Darla and her feckless dad, Hopper, move to Saffron Hills, Darla hopes it’ll be a new start for the both of them. But she stands no chance of fitting in with the image-obsessed in-crowd at her new school. Then one of her classmates is brutally killed when taking a photo of herself. A murder Darla herself predicted in a bloody vision. When more teens die in a similar fashion it appears that a serial killer is on the loose – the ‘Selfie Slayer’. Darla alone is convinced that the murderer might not be flesh and blood…

Review:

I’ve been a big fan of the Red Eye series since reading Frozen Charlotte at the beginning of this year. Horror is one of my favourite genres and I’m so glad that there’s a group putting out great horror for YA.

I loved the idea for this book: one feature of horror is often the fear of technology and changing times, and what’s more relevant at the moment than the selfie? You can scroll through social media without seeing one, they’re happening all around you in the street, and there’s even people in the news with selfie addictions. So to me this sounds like a perfect horror story.

I had wanted it to be a little more supernatural. I love the idea that even taking a selfie can cause your death somehow: kind of reminiscent of the old Goosebumps Say Cheese and Die book (one my sister used to read to scare me before bedtime). In that way, the book didn’t quite live up to my expectation.

There were other elements that I loved though. Darla is a great protagonist: you can’t help but feel for her as she moves from one life to the next, and when she moves to Saffron Hills you do hope things will work out for her, even though you know it won’t… I wasn’t too sure about the friends she managed to make, and they did put me off a little, but I think this was intentional, as you’ll see when you read it.

I did manage to guess the killer around half way through, which was a little disappointing, but there’s a lot of details that go around that which I couldn’t have guessed at all, so there were still some surprises there for me. I loved (if that’s the right word?) some of the murders too: they were very graphic and I could picture it in such horrific detail that it did make me feel uncomfortable. This is definitely not one for the faint hearted!

This is another hit for the Red Eye series and I do hope it continues in this way. I’ve yet to find a book that creeped me out as much as Frozen Charlotte did – I want to issue that as a challenge to Red Eye, because I am so ready to be scared!

4

If you enjoyed this, you might like Frozen Charlotte, also in the Red Eye series.