The Chill

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 01 Feb 2020

Member Reviews

Enjoyed it immensely. Such a creepy read, I'm telling you. Characterization, plot, narrative: very rich. About the plot, it's all about mistakes from the past and retribution, supernatural style. Nothing we have not seen before but done with tremendous talent and style. We are dealing with some flawed people in this but Carson, always the keen writer (he is best-selling author Michael Koryta after all), tags on to his narrative a likability from the least likable character, and that's never a bad thing, is it? He even throws in an emotional moment or two just to seal the deal. Yes, THE CHILL is that kind of a novel. The scary moments are precious and though the focus on the dam is aplenty, in the end it scarcely differs from the overall delight of getting involve in this gem. One of the best of 2020. My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC.
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As a New Yorker fascinated with local lore, I remember reading about the flooding of several towns and villages in the early part of the 20th century to create Great Sacandaga Lake in an effort to control flooding downstream. This has to be the basis for the fabulously inventive story told in The Chill. 

It’s been awhile since I’ve read a really good, bonechilling, hair-raising scary ghost story, so I reveled in this creepy story. The strong female protagonist, Gillian, is much appreciated and written realistically. The ghosts and what they do will make you shiver for sure. I’d love to see this as film. Well done.
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I had a tough time deciding between 3 and 4 stars for this one. What pushed me over to 3 stars was the fact that I had to stop reading with only about 30 pages to go in order to get dinner going, and didn't fall over myself to get back to it. That was my feeling pretty much the whole way through - I liked the characters and the story was pretty good, but it lacked any intensity until the last quarter and by then, I could take it or leave it.

This thriller is about an as yet untapped reservoir for NYC where, years before, a dam was erected and a town was drowned. All of the people were bought out through eminent domain, and I didn't get the feeling anyone stayed there and died in the flood of water, but there is bad blood between the townspeople and the city and engineers. So, there are ghosts - ghosts of the people who died digging the tunnels (a body a mile) - and they want to teach the city a lesson...maybe?..and they have been completing tunnels that were started long ago. Meanwhile, in NYC, people are still digging tunnels to one day connect to the Chilawaukee reservoir.

Maybe I didn't understand the need to teach the city people a lesson. Or I didn't understand why the tunnels were still being dug from NYC heading upstate when there are two perfectly good reservoirs, but it seemed like a stretch to make this into a thriller.

My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
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If you're a fan of supernatural haunting books, you'll likely enjoy this book. 

The pace is active, and the mystery is interesting enough to keep the reader engaged, for the most part. There are a few too many characters who don't seem critical to the story, and that causes a bit of confusion midway through the book. There is some overdetailing on the weather and scenery at times that could pull the reader out of the story, but it's an okay read overall.
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There’s a dark secret lying in wait deep in the cold waters of the Chilewaukee reservoir. Early in the 20th century, a small town in upstate New York was evacuated and destroyed when the river was damed to create a reservoir for the rapidly expanding population of NYC. At least that’s what politicians said. But in reality it was a reservoir in reserve—never actually used. Now, more than a hundred years later the dam is in disrepair and the rain isn’t stopping. The townspeople vowed revenge. Will they finally succeed?

First I need to say that Michael Koryta is a master at creating a haunting, supernatural feeling from nature and historical events. Others have likened the feeling of reading The Chill to the feeling they had when they first read Stephen King’s The Shining and I totally agree! And even at 400+ pages, it is not too long! Put this one at the top of your list. 

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an early copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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This was a mediocre horror read.

I liked the prose and the overall mood created in The Chill. 

The story follows police officer Gillian Mathers and Coast Guard reject Aaron Ellsworth as they battle ghosts of the past who threaten the safety of New York. New Yorkers don’t realize it, but their lives hinge upon the Chilewaukee dam doing its job.

The dam was erected at the cost of a town known as Galesburg in the early 20th century. The residents fought against the idea of the dam…and lost in a horrific way. Now they’re determined to teach others a lesson about human arrogance and denial.

Overall, it’s a classic spooky town horror/mystery story.

The characters are solid and well-rounded and really help carry you through the story, which brings me to my only complaint–I personally think the story was a bit too long. There wasn’t a lot of action that helped carry the story (this job was mostly handled through characterization), and I think the story would be more fulfilling if it were shorter. Sometimes the pacing felt a bit laggy, but nothing serious enough to make me quit reading. The story also seemed a bit too heavy on dam terminology and dam and tunnel construction.


Personally, I also thought there were shout-outs to Stephen King–a county named Torrance (Jack Torrance, The Shining), and a similar idea along the lines of “You’ve always been the caretaker.” Basically, the miners were ghosts who had continued working on tunnels even after their demise, and certain people (Gillian and Aaron) are “meant” to be there to help destroy the dam. Just like Jack Torrance and his hotel. In addition, there’s several references to a site known as the Galesburg overlook (Overlook Hotel, anyone?).


In conclusion, it’s not a story I would read again, but it’s worth a read if you like water, dams, and ghosts. Interesting enough characters, but overall the story fell a bit flat and a bit slow.

Special thanks to Atria books and NetGalley for the opportunity to preview this title.
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This was not a BAD book, but something about it just didn't work for me.  It is written well, but I found myself searching for more action.  There are also some great opportunities for some super creepy things to happen, and it just didn't get there for me.  I think other readers may enjoy this, it just wasn't a favorite of mine
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I had to think a bit before writing this review.

I liked the book.  I found the author’s world so incredibly vivid and his characters so wonderfully compelling that there were times I didn’t want to stop reading.

But…there were times I did.

The author gives us so much information about dams and water and, while it’s all fascinating, it also tends to take a rather informational tone – almost a lecture – and you lose the story once in a while.  In fact, I put it down for a full five days and read something else before returning to it.

Our author’s plot is a good one.  You have a truly chilling ghost story which just teeters on the edge of epic.  But it will take a dedicated reader to read past all of the information on dam construction and maintenance. 

A good read overall, though.

*ARC provided via Net Galley
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This book kept me up way too late most nights until my eyes just had to shut me down for the night. If you love supernatural haunting stories you'll love this book. Especially with spring rains and flooding soon, this story will make you think twice. The story is fast paced but builds character and tension perfectly to lead up to the haunting end.
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This book is definitely a different kind of ghost story. A lot of history involved, about the land and the families name, to let you know why everything needs to happen. It was well written in a way that you don't need action, "activity" to have things in motion. 
I had to put the book down couple of time because the author added a lot of  information about dams, water tunnels and how they work, it is a VERY important aspect of the book. You'll see. 
Each characters had their role to play, no matter how tiny....even the dead ones. 
Finishing this book just made be happy that I do not live close to a dam and not planning to live anywhere near one.
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Water is important for all civilizations to survive.  What would happen to the people who live and/or work in a large city, if something major happens to their source of water?

The Chill is written by Scott Carson, and he developed a fast paced novel to prevent a disastrous event, in a race against time. Little does some of the characters know, is that this plan has been in the making for a century!  

Carson’s presentation and detail of the main characters was strong and brought them together. He created a mystery behind a few characters, which I enjoyed to try to figure out throughout the book. There was a part in the book I was confused about the introduction of random characters. It felt like I joined in the middle of a book, but didn’t have the connection of all of the individuals discussed in the scenes. 

In general the feeling of the book was dreary, though the pace and characters kept me reading. There were times in the novel I did have a hard time with weather and what it was doing. The scenery and weather explanations appeared to be an important aspect of the book. I was surprised when I would find I was completely wrong with the scene created, with a sudden darkening of the sky or the sun was gone, when I didn’t know the sun was out and thought the weather was windy and/or raining. 

For an experienced screenwriter & author spreading his wings into the supernatural, Scott Carson wrote a great novel and I am very excited to read any new book from him in the supernatural genre. 

Thank you to NetGalley, and Atria Books for advance copy of The Chill for my honest feedback.
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A chilling foray into the dark wilds of history unknown.  The Chill is a feat of writing that depicts what happens when we forget to be afraid of the dark.
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I love this author but this book is hard to review. I thought the story was very exciting. My problem is that the characters left me cold.  I think that the character development is lacking and i didn't like any of them very much. The book is long, about 450 pages, and full of dread and ominous portents but just didn't come together for me. I'm afraid this one is a swing and miss for me.
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I am all for tales of ancient evil. Sacrifices made to drowned gods, curses screeched at lesser demons.

I’ve heard my share of flooded towns. Man made lakes built OVER towns as reservoirs of water. Buildings, communities, people becoming watery graveyards. Haunts.

The most infamous one I know of is Lake Lanier that makes news every single time because of its infamy. Nobody comes out of its waters alive, it’s foolish to even deep a toe in it.

I have to say that this was quite disappointing. The premise is interesting enough. Drowned town, haunted people, sheriff’s son trying to do right. The plot is fine but that’s it. The characters are caricatures of themselves and I was lost, BEYOND lost, in all of the dam lore. There was just way too much of that. I was bored halfway through and honestly I’m still not quite sure what





I’m actually still quite confused about it all and while I enjoyed reading the first half, the second greatly floundered and was disappointing.

Thanks very much to Netgalley and the publisher for this copy of my ARC.
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There is something lurking in the dark waters of the Chilewaukee reservoir better known by the locals as The Chill…something that demands payment in the form of a sacrifice…something that is rising to collect on past dues…

To be honest, the only reason I requested a copy of this book was Stephen King had pimped it out on his social media. I’m sure there is an audience for this book, but I’m sad to say, as much as I love a good supernatural story, this one fell a little flat for me. While there were passages that held a spooky element, I was bogged down too much with all the information on dam and tunnel construction and the back and forth between the past and the present, that I got lost as well as a wee bit bored. Over all, I’m still trying to determine if The Chill is a mystery, a ghost story, or an engineering handbook on dam building and water works.

While I was underwhelmed with the story, it could be another reader’s next fav, so if the blurb grabbed your attention, give it a try…

**I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book that I received via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own. **
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This book is definitely different.
Honestly that's the kindest thing I can say about it.
It was a bit mystery, a bit ghost story, and a bit historical fiction.
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I loved this book! The story was a great combination of the best of Stephen King and Dean Koontz. Compelling characters, the supernatural, mortal bad guys, etc. Fabulous.
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4 1/2 Stars

The Chill is a perfect example of horror can be written where it’s not action-packed, yet still packs an emotional punch due to the complexity of its characters and storytelling. It’s also a timely reminder of humanity’s tendency toward baser instincts like greed and outright stupidity, something I think will resonate with many readers. I highly recommend this this to fans of Michael Koryta.
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In upstate NY Galesburg was an old community drowned when the Chilewaukee dam was created in response to more water needed for the city. Its residents did everything in their power to stop officials from ruining their land and flooding their buildings, all for naught. Galesburg might be under water but some of original families remember and hand this knowledge down to their future generations. The people of Galesburg still want revenge, especially as the dam was never completed and used as a water supply. 
Now in present day  unprecedented rains and poorly maintained infrastructures, set the stage for a chilling ghost story. Complicated and nuanced real characters bring a richness to the book creating an intertwined second story, as well as interesting history of how dams work, how the city gets its water, and how the tunnels beneath the city deliver this water. . Growing up under the Kensico reservoir,  imagining as a child what would happen if the dam broke, added an additional chill to my reading. 
Still, I found the reasoning behind the ghosts revenge a little hard to swallow, and their scope of their retribution a little too damning.
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THE CHILL (written under a nom de plume) is one extraordinary novel: Supernatural thriller, family dysfunction, average small-town in contrast with highly dysfunctional cultish village. No need for suspension of Disbelief: I leaped immediately into the story on Page 1, and I devoured every bit of it without a pause. The story is so "real" I seemed to be living it, not reading it.

The "Chill" is an Upstate New York dam and reservoir, initially intended to provide water supply to New York City, but instead left as surplus to requirements. Unfortunately its construction came at the cost of submerging a village, and herein lies the tale. I've been fascinated by "drowned communities" since reading Stuart Woods' novel UNDER THE LAKE  in the latter 1980's, and I will probably always be simultaneously fascinated abd repelled by such examples of human greed and cupidity.
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