I’m a huge fan of horror stories set against the backdrop of a frozen winter land. Add to the setting a story that delves into the psychological, with a simmering suspense that slowly dials up, and you’d think I would have loved this one.
Not sure if it was the characters feeling a little wooden, only playing a single note, or if the style of writing was what kept me from really sinking in, but I constantly felt on the outskirts of the story rather than being drawn into the middle of it.
Lately, it seems there’s a trend to move toward subtle storytelling, a less-is-more approach, where huge concepts instead of being fully explored are dampened. I look at Joe Hill’s The Fireman as an example, or even Paul Tremblay’s Disappearance at Devil Rock. For me, Stranded falls into a similar category. (Meaning for all of you readers out there who LOVED these books, you’ll probably condemn me for not 5-starring this wintery winterland). Some great ideas that never fully took off the ground, at least for me.
I’d definitely be up for checking out more of MacLeod’s work, this one just left me — dare I say it? — chilled. 3 out of 5 stars.