Date finished: May 19th, 2020

Format: Kindle Edition

Pages: 400

First time reading?: Yes

From Goodreads:

Do you want to play the game?

“Once a year, a road appears in the woods at midnight and the ghost of Lucy Gallows beckons, inviting those who are brave enough to play her game. If you win, you escape with your life. But if you lose…

It’s almost a year since Becca went missing. Everyone else has given up searching for her, but her sister, Sara, knows she disappeared while looking for Lucy Gallows. Determined to find her, Sara and her closest friends enter the woods. But something more sinister than ghosts lurks on the road, and not everyone will survive.”

I like a creepy book, and this one was brought to my attention via Instagram when someone posted about it sounding like a brilliantly spooky read. It’s written in a mixed media style: between prose, interviews, and text conversations, and I think this method of telling the story really worked.

I liked the play on local legends, and explained how the original myth or story snowballs with each generation and becomes something supernatural and fantastical within a short period of a few years. Also, the way Kate Alice Marshall described the scenery and setting of the different parts of the story truly immersed you and set you down firmly in the eerie woods.

As the book and story progressed, things did get a little confusing, and I did find myself going back over and re-reading one or two parts to check I hadn’t missed something, but I don’t feel that this detracted from the storytelling and pacing too much. I imagine some people might find it slightly jarring and disconcerting though.

Overall, the book was a wonderfully creepy read; my primary criticism is that the ending felt rushed and anticlimactic. I feel this is due to the nature of the mixed media so there’s technically no ‘found documentation’ of the finale … but this also meant you felt slightly unsatisfied with the outcome of the book. That’s not going to stop me recommending it to people who like a good ghost story though!

My rating: 7/10