The Hike

Viking. Aug. 2016. 278p. ISBN 9780399563850. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780399563867. FANTASY
OrangeReviewStarWhile on a routine business trip to a hotel in the Pocono Mountains, Ben decides to go for a walk in the woods before his meeting. Along the way, he encounters two men wearing masks who appear to have killed a little girl. In his desperate attempt to avoid the same fate, Ben becomes lost and unwittingly enters an alternate world complete with talking animals, giants, monsters, and apparitions that test the limits of his sanity. There is only one rule: Ben must stay on the path if he ever hopes to make it home. Magary's second novel (after The Postmortal) features elements reminiscent of Homer's Odyssey, Stephen King's "Dark Tower" series, Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, and the PC game King's Quest. Mostly, it is a reminder of not only how easy it is to get lost but also how difficult it can be to find one's way back.
VERDICT Fast-paced and immensely entertaining, this is highly recommended for sf fans and adventurous literary readers. [See Prepub Alert, 2/21/16.]
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