Books on Tape. Jan. 2023. 12:42 hrs. ISBN 9780593663547. $95. HORROR
Crouch’s (Upgrade) latest goes to a remote ghost town steeped in mystery. On Christmas night in 1893, all the residents of mining-settlement Abandon disappeared without a trace. In the present day, a team of nature guides, photographers, an academic, and his estranged daughter venture into what’s left of Abandon, but weather and nefarious forces might make them disappear as well. The two narratives of past and present run somewhat parallel, but they could also exist in separate novels, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. The book oscillates between being a blood-red Western (the stronger story, with more fleshed-out characters) and a white-knuckle action thriller. However, the narratives have an undercurrent of survival horror in common, especially when compared to the short story included in this audiobook. The voices of Soneela Nankani, Jennifer Jill Araya, Timothy Jackson, and Max Meyers embody the characters, all of whom have lived very full and tragic lives before stepping into Abandon’s maw.
VERDICT This early work of Crouch, only recently brought to life as an audiobook, is ultimately a tale of how humanity, under the right circumstances, can become very inhumane.
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