Review: Abandon – Blake Crouch

abandon book cover

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

SYNOPSIS: On Christmas Day in 1893, every man, woman, and child in a remote gold mining town disappeared, belongings forsaken, meals left to freeze in vacant cabins – and not a single bone was ever found. One hundred thirteen years later, two backcountry guides are hired by a history professor and his journalist daughter to lead them into the abandoned mining town, so they can learn what happened. With them is a psychic and a paranormal photographer, as the town is rumored to be haunted. A party that tried to explore the town years ago was never heard from again. What this crew is about to discover is that twenty miles from civilization, with a blizzard bearing down, they are not alone, and the past is very much alive. – via Goodreads

GRADE 7I checked this one out when I asked Kim for a recommendation to check out from NetGalley. She had me check out Blake Crouch, an author I know nothing about and haven’t heard of, although I do know about the show that has been made based on his books. I picked it up and read it recently and I must say that it was quite enjoyable. I did not read the synopsis for it (again, love going in blind when I can), though I can tell you the write up doesn’t truly reflect the novel. Initially when it started I was a bit irritated because Crouch doesn’t really tell you that Abigail is a journalist or that Lawrence is her father and a history buff specializing in the town of Abandon and that they are hiking out there with a paranormal hunting couple who wishes to photograph the town, see what there is to see. Abandon also has a fascinating story, what with an entire town disappearing one Christmas day in 1893. The book is set over two periods, 2009 and 1983. Both were incredibly interesting, though I was completed engrossed with the sections of 1893. They were fascinating and you really just want to know what the hell went down that Christmas day. There is drama, there are plenty characters with intense stories – more so than in the 2009 sections. There were some truly awful things that happened in 1893, and some things just get under your skin. I thought that it got a little outrageous towards the end of the book that the 1893 and 2009 timelines happened to match up far too neatly, but alright, I suppose the story needs to be brought to a close somehow. There were some things, though, that I felt had so much more potential to be worked on, but were just overlooked (on both timelines). The lead character, Abigail, is not really compelling, which is a pity considering we are supposed to identify with her and root for her throughout, and there are too many characters (in the 2009 section) that keep being brought in that just clutter up the story and bloat it at times. This book had that aspect of a horror novel/movie where, every time the character/reader thinks they are in the clear, something else goes wrong. The book is a smooth read, and before you know it you have read huge chunks of it, but it just seems to take forever to get to the end, but it is entertaining throughout and keeps you hooked. I will be looking into more of Crouch’s work. I don’t think this book will be for everyone, especially not those expecting something of the supernatural nature, but if you are looking for a decent mystery/thriller, this will be well worth looking into.

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