Review: Near The Bone by Christina Henry


Rating: 9/10

Synopsis

A woman trapped on a mountain attempts to survive more than one kind of monster, in a dread-inducing horror novel from the national bestselling author Christina Henry.

Mattie can’t remember a time before she and William lived alone on a mountain together. She must never make him upset. But when Mattie discovers the mutilated body of a fox in the woods, she realizes that they’re not alone after all.

There’s something in the woods that wasn’t there before, something that makes strange cries in the night, something with sharp teeth and claws.

When three strangers appear on the mountaintop looking for the creature in the woods, Mattie knows their presence will anger William. Terrible things happen when William is angry.

Review

Do you remember a time where you were sitting around a campfire and told creepy stories to scare each other? Well, Near The Bone is a story that would be worth telling before you send your troops to bed. It got the tropes of a Stephen king novel, about human beings at their worst or best, mixed with a chilling story involving a beast in the woods. 

“We came up here to do some research and now we’re in a horror movie with a monster and an unkillable redneck with a gun.”

Love this snippet from Christina’s novel, which in short represents what this book is about. At 336 pages, this thriller involves a woman, Mattie/Samantha, who is cornered in an abusive relationship in a cabin, by a mountain with a relentless monster. This story reminded me of Stephen King’s Misery, but with the added benefit of having a dreadful monstrosity popping up now and then and doing human carnage in a manner reminiscent of the Predator movies.

We spend quite a bit of time exploring Mattie’s past and present, and her abusive husband William—therefore the main protagonist and antagonist are well established. As a small cast of supporting characters come into the fray to either help or worsen the situation for our major character, it builds the tension for Mattie, who we DO care about. The more we delve into the story the more we learn about who she is, why she’s stuck in this near-devoid-of-humans mountain and ultimately what she needs to do to get out of her unsettling dark relationship. It definitely was more about the ruthless human evil that is her husband (William) than it was about the creature outside.

Yet, the combination of all the events which occur in the book; the fact she’s trapped in her shack with her husband, but also unable to escape because of the creature outside, truly keeps you engaged in the story and makes you want to devour the book in one sitting. In the end, Near The Bone feels like a perfect page-turner-thriller and has all the right spices to become a movie adaptation. I’d love to see this story on the big screen.

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