Final Girls are all the rage these days and no one knows that better than Jade. The powers that be in her town of Proofrock are building a new gated community on the site of, (what townies call), Camp Blood, and only Jade seems to know how that will end up. But as is often the case, no one will believe her when she tells them. Unfortunately, Jade doesn’t have the best track record, as she suffers from depression, she verbally rambles, referencing films most people have never heard of, and she has attempted suicide at least once before. Will Jade ever get anyone to believe her? Will she be able to locate the final girl, help prepare her and in so doing, save Proofrock? You’ll have to read this to find out!
I’m a huge fan of Stephen Graham Jones. THE ONLY GOOD INDIAN was my favorite novel last year, and NIGHT OF THE MANNEQUINS was among my favorite novellas. I just didn’t connect with this one, as I did with those. It might be my lack of love for slashers. I’ve loved horror movies since my parents took me to Dusk to Dawn events all throughout the 70’s. I saw the original Halloween, and Friday the 13th and loved them. I did not love the sequels. At all. This here novel was made for the slasher lover. The references to films and character’s names went mostly over my head, I admit it.
I did however, love the psychology of those movies-specifically the ways that Jade adopted the stories of those characters. It was like she took those film tropes and overlaid them on her reality and as a result, she had a loose idea of how things were going to go.
As it stands, I am blaming this rating on my lack of love or knowledge of most slasher films, (other than the original 70’s versions of most of them), and on the fact that I felt no connection to the characters. Mild spoiler: It seemed like the bigwig townies were all there as props and everything was preordained; it all felt too far-fetched. Just like a slasher. The thing, the character, that kept me reading was Jade. Her humanity-I felt it in my soul like a physical thing. Her circumstances, her loneliness, her love and passion for film were all almost tangible. I wanted to hug her and one of those good long hugs, too.
Lastly, I felt like this narrative went on too long. Maybe that’s another reason that I didn’t connect with this tale? Maybe I read it wrong, I don’t know, but this is honestly how I feel about it.
After thinking it over for a day or two, I’m going with 3.5/5 stars, which pains me. I did enjoy this book, I just didn’t love it and I was hoping I would.
Thanks to NetGalley and Gallery/Saga Press for the e-ARC in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.