Sunday, February 13, 2011
TRAPPED! (an "I Read It" Review)
One of the most useful devices I've gotten in the past decade has to be the Kindle from Amazon. I could write a book about how much I use and love it! Obviously over the past year I've spent more time reading than writing...so be prepared for lots of reviews in the next weeks about some terrific books (ebooks) I've been treated to.
I'll start with the most recent book I've read (finished less than 10 hours ago) - TRAPPED by J.A. Konrath. Hearing some great online buzz about the book, I downloaded it via my Kindle and dove right in. To say TRAPPED is a great horror/action novel would be an understatement. It's an exciting read that paints visuals in your mind so powerfully that you can immediately picture it as a movie. The pace is unrelenting. The characters are placed into unique and frightening situations. And, the villains/monsters...are scary.
The quick lowdown is that TRAPPED focuses on a small group of teens and their counselors who spend a weekend on a small island in Lake Huron. It's supposed to be a fun camping/team-building outing...it isn't. Turns out the island is home to an evil scientist, his "monster", a sociopath, and a pack of rabid cannibals. Trust me, "fun vacation" isn't going to happen. Smart money is on, dismemberment, brutal deaths, and running for your life 24/7.
Like his previous novel AFRAID (which I am a huge fan of, and last I heard was being made into a movie), Konrath is a master of giving you reason to keep turning the page. Each character's section ends with some form of cliffhanger that makes the reader need to keep going. His visuals reminded me of scenes from horror movies and the entire novel plays out like a Friday the 13th movie mixed with a bit of Frankenstein...then add tons more torture and gore...truthfully, the word "tons" probably won't do it justice so just don't read while you're eating anything.
One of the things I enjoyed most about my Kindle download of TRAPPED was the extras (see there's a reason I love the Kindle so much). This was my first time getting anything additional with my download and I've downloaded plenty. Mr. Konrath includes the published version of TRAPPED, along with his original version which was turned down by his editors (I won't tell you which version is presented first when you read). In between the two novels Konrath gives us a letter of explanation about what happened during the editorial process and why changes were deemed necessary. This is much like watching a commentary track on a DVD. To delve into the creator's process, is something I truly enjoy. There are also some excerpts from other Konrath novels. This is a lot of material (easily 500+ pages) for a $2.99 download. Just too much material that you would miss if you merely bought a book at the store (and you're paying alot less for the Kindle version).
Still, there is a flaw and it's one that J.A. Konrath does need to focus on. Two words, spelling and grammar. I'm not sure if TRAPPED has spelling mistakes due to the conversion to a Kindle file or merely slopping editing. But each of the spelling mistakes has the look of a computer doing the spell-check. There are around 20 word goofs similar to this..."hatched" instead of "hatchet"...and each one unfortunately took this reader out of a very exciting novel. I hope for future Kindle releases a few more editorial spell checks are made (trust me, I’m a fan…I’d be glad to assist).
And, if you're a fan of horror and action...TRAPPED will keep you turning the page. In the end isn't that what a good novel and a good author should do? YES! And for $2.99 Mr. Konrath succeeds perfectly.