Oct 23, 2018

Mini-ish Review--Relic by Gretchen McNeil

From Gretchen McNeil, the author of Ten and Possess, comes this teen horror novel perfect for young fans of Stephen King, and Lois Duncan's I Know What You Did Last Summer

For Annie Kramer, the summer before college is bittersweet—both a last hurrah of freedom and the last days she'll spend with her boyfriend, Jack, before they head off to different colleges. So she and her friends plan one final adventure: a houseboating trip on Shasta Lake, complete with booze, romance . . . and an off-limits exploration of the notorious Bull Valley Mine.

The legends of mysterious lights and missing persons on Shasta Lake have been a staple of sleepovers and campouts since Annie was a kid. Full of decrepit bridges that lead to nowhere, railroad tunnels that disappear into the mountains, and terrifying stories of unexplained deaths and bodies that were never recovered, Bull Valley Mine is notorious and frightening—perfect for an epic conclusion to their high school lives.

The trip is fun and light—at first. But when a deranged stranger stumbles upon their campsite, spouting terrifying warnings and pleas for help, it's clear that everyone is in danger. And when their exploration of the mine goes horribly wrong, Annie and her friends quickly discover that the menace of Bull Valley Mine doesn't stay at Shasta Lake—it follows them home.

As one by one her friends fall victim to this mysterious and violent force, Annie must do whatever it takes to discover the ancient secrets of the mine and save her friends . . . if she's not already too late.

I finally, finally read Gretchen McNeil's Relic! It's novella length, longer than a short story and shorter than a novel and it's the perfect creepy, horror read for Halloween! It was a story I wasn't expecting to hit me the way it did, it was totally surprising and shocking! I will admit to still being a tad confused with the history and lore of the legend within the story, but I blame that for stretching out the reading of this one to over a week long due to a vacation!

Annie and her friends and boyfriend decide for their last summer together before heading off the college they would take a trip to the legendary mines. Bully Valley Mines isn't a place people go to, in fact, it's really forbidden to go there because of all the strange and dangerous things that have taken place there over the years, but naturally, the teenagers decide to forgo the rules and do what they want. The majority of them don't really believe in the curse anyway.

After an eerie encounter with a strange man the night before, they are almost scared off from their trip, but they all persevere and head there anyway. Strange things happen in the mine when they get separated, but it's not long before they all find their way out and head home.

Then the first body is found...that of the man that accosted them, one who's mummified body is claimed to be years old, though it was very much a lively body when they saw it. And that is only the beginning of the horrors to come. Soon Annie realizes something very, very strange and wrong is occurring when the next bodies that start dropping are those of her friends.

Annie is the only one who seems to believe that the curse they all wrote off is real and if she doesn't figure out a way to stop it, there's no telling who else she might lose. It will be up to her to save what friends she has left.

Wow. Just wow! This story was pretty intense! There was a heavy creep factor going on and yet, at the same time it was very mysterious because you couldn't quite pin down what was happening. Was it supernatural in nature or a simple madman-psychopath going on a killing spree? It's hard to say considering Gretchen's previous works! Lol! And that's what I loved about this one!

I didn't realize that Relic was already over two years old, nearing its third "birthday" in March and just whoa! Because that ending was just slightly teasing. Is there more story to tell? Since it's been almost three years, I am kind of leaning towards the no, but you never truly know with authors! Needless to say that this bizarrely twisted and creepy read was a perfect choice for Halloween reading time! If you like a good creepy book that keeps you guessing long past its finale, then this is definitely one you will want to check out asap!

Overall Rating 4.5/5 stars

1 comment:

  1. Love your review and this does sound like for my reading list. I do wonder what lurks in the mine.
    sherry @ fundinmental


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