Cover Image: Into the Sublime

Into the Sublime

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Member Reviews

When four girls go looking for a mysterious cave, they find something that makes everything fall apart in the story. Let me explain...

Characters: H and Gia both only had 1 thing about them, and it was superficial. H loved horror movies but her whole thing was just wanting to have the horror movie experience. Gia was the super prepared Scout like character. There wasn't much depth to their characters. Devon disappears at one point, and I honestly would've liked Devon to have gone full villain. Amelie becomes distrustful of Devon, but other than some implications at the end, that really didn't add much to the story. Everyone's character kind of falls apart when they find the lake.

Atmosphere: This is where the book shines the most. The cave that they're exploring gives off a claustrophic vibe to it, and it's the perfect place for a horror novel. 

Writing: The fact that this was set up as Amelie telling the story to the police officer makes me have doubt about what happened. It's sort of an unreliable narrator. I think that if the author leaned into that more, that could've been more interesting.

Plot: Again the plot falls apart at the lake. For a majority of the novel, they are trying to find this lake. Then they get to the lake, and Amelie becomes distrustful of Devon. Once they leave the lake area, the paranormal stuff just stops happening, and I wish that hadn't happened because there's still a sense of the paranormal by the end of the novel with the final chapter. 

Intrigue: I was intrigued by how the paranormal aspects were going to play out. Then they left the lake, and there wasn't much intrigue past that point. 

Logic: I felt like the book was following its own logic up until the lake scene. Then things were confusing and didn't make a ton of sense. Then they were trying to get out of this cave. The ending left me with more questions than answers.

Enjoyment: Just felt kind of meh. This could've been more interesting and could've leaned more into the horror aspects. Ended up giving this 3 stars.
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Thoughts

This book comes with a solid premise, and it is decently executed. It's just not perfect. It's certainly a fun addition to the genre. It's very self-aware and pokes and prods at the conventions it employs. It just isn't scary (which is a problem in a horror thriller like this), and that's just too bad. 

Pros
Strong Opening: Is there any better way to start of a thriller than with a body? A washed-up body sets expectations--high expectations--which is especially important in a story like this, a story that does not necessarily need to end with a body. There are many ways this story could unravel, and so having the body front and center sets up a sense of unease and distrust--and, of course, readerly anticipation. 

Journalistic Style: This book flips between perspectives and angles, switching from the first-person account that Amelie gives and the more detached, journalistic third-person of the investigators on the scene in the aftermath. That cold, formal style is a good choice for the most part. It helps to frame a very subjective narrative in something tangible, concrete, and real. Amelie's story might otherwise be over-the-top and melodramatic, but having that grounding in firm, solid reality sets her high-key story in a brand new light. 

Philosophic Horror: This book is rife with name-drops. One of the four girls on this treacherous descent is a horror buff, and she's not afraid to pull out references and point out all the little things they're doing wrong--if, of course, this were like a horror film. But it's not just the philosophy of horror cinema that makes its way into these pages. Real philosophy does as well--as the "sublime" title might point toward. Having this bit of philosophy undergirding the story laces the book with a sense of nihilistic dread which only goes to heighten the overall horror. This book is very self-aware, and I appreciate that.  


Cons
Horror Trailer: Are you looking for something unique? Some wholly original, spine-chilling horror? That's not what you're going to get here. This book feels, on some levels, lie a horror film trailer--ultra spooky but not ultimately more than that. It's like a tease--all the elements to entice you in but nothing new in the end. Kate A. Boorman's storytelling is great; don't get me wrong. But if new is what you're into, this isn't it. 

Slow Progression: Like the cops who get frustrated with Amelie's slow story, readers might feel similarly. Amelie really does string out this story to "tell it from the beginning." It unfolds so, so slowly--maybe too slowly for some readers. Certainly, parts of the spooky tale were diminished in tension due to the narrative length alone. 

Not Scary: Slow progression plus low plot momentum gets rid of a lot of the spook factor here. It just doesn't feel scary. The storytelling is great--the atmosphere, the characters--but if you're looking for some spooky horror or psychological dread? Well, I just wasn't feeling it here, and you probably won't, either. Which is disappointing in the end. 


Rating
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
7/10

Anyone looking for a weekend-trip-gone-wrong story after Kara Thomas's That Weekend will appreciate this new group of teenage hikers. Those who like a self-aware read like Victoria Lee's A Lesson in Vengeance will appreciate the name-drops and genre conventions of this new psycho thriller.
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Into the Sublime is perfect for fans of The Descent. The story is a YA psychological thriller about four girls who descend into an underground cave system in the search of a lake of local legend said to reveal your deepest fears. When four teenage girls go missing in a cave for five days for only three to come out, while one is covered in blood, and only the blood-covered girl is willing to talk, you know you're in for a a mysterious, creepy read. It's hard to know if you can trust the narrator or not even as she tells a tale that could be supernatural or not. Is she changing things to deal with her guilt or is it what really happened? If you enjoy YA horror, this is an excellent book to check out.
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Thank you NetGalley and TBR and Beyond Tours for the chance to read and review this book!

I will be posting my review on the 30th of July.
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Four girls enter a cave, only three of them emerge five days later. This premise isn’t super original but it can be the foundation for a really good and thrilling horror book. In my opinion Into the Sublime struggled at some points to really bring out its potential.

First off, I didn’t connect with the characters. Over the past years I learned that I really have to connect with the characters to feel the story and in this book the characters didn’t do it for me. Amelie was whiny and unreliable, we only see the other three through her eyes and I don’t think Amelie is capable or truly liking somebody beside herself, so I as a reader didn’t get the chance to see their real character traits. 

The story itself was creepy and suspenseful at times, especially the longer they stayed in the cavern and the air got thinner. I really could feel the dread that was going through them. The supernatural aspect didn’t intrigue me as much and I had the feeling the author didn’t really know if they wanted to lean into the supernatural or if they wanted it to be more in the characters mind, it felt inconsistent. 

Overall I don’t regret picking this book up. I had fun with it and will definitely give the author a new chance with a different book.
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This cover says creepy scary but what you won't except is odd and creepy. This book wasn't anything I thought it would be. It held my interest and it was a peculiar creepy. I know the YA and older middle school kids will grab this book up!
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Man, so freaking scary. I'm not a fan of tight spaces. Add the dark and some creepy sounds and I'm ready to have a heart attack. This gives you major The Descent vibes (as mentioned in the book) and I haven't seen As Above, So Below but I'll make it a priority. The characters are well developed and you can see this horrible, scary cave and lake. You can hear the scratching, smell the blood. And I like the ending, nothing too clean but some closure. Well done Boorman.
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Four young women are on a journey to find an underground lake known as The Sublime in a cave system located in the White River National Park in Colorado. They know each other because they all take part in an online group known as Dissent. Dissent is a group of thrill seekers who participate on some unusual and sometimes very unsafe challenges. The girls have not told anyone of their plans and go into the caves ill prepared to take on the dangers of spelunking. Of course things go awry when the girls are in the caves.  Our main character is Amelie Desmarais and she is our extremely unreliable narrator who is telling the story of what happened in the caves to the police. The story she tells is like a combination of the horror movies The Dissent and The Blair Witch Project. The atmosphere is very creepy and if you have fears of the dark and tight spaces, then this book is an excellent choice if you want to be scared. I didn’t find the book very scary (but I am a long time horror aficionado), but I did like the legend behind the lake. Overall I really enjoyed the book and it was a fast easy creepy read.
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Into The Sublime by Kate A. Boorman is a YA horror novel that should be enjoyable for most fans of horror in general.

When the cops arrive, only a few things are clear:
- Four girls entered a dangerous cave.
- Three of them came out alive.
- Two of them were rushed to the hospital.
- And one is soaked in blood and ready to talk.

Certain aspects of this story worked well for me and others sort of missed the mark. The writing style and Characters all clicked with me and I found each of the characters Amelie Gia, Devon, and H to be relatable characters and rang true but they seemed a little shallow as well. 
As others have noted this had a very Decent/Blair Witch vibe--and one of the characters even notes this in a sort of meta moment that made me sigh.
Another thing that I found was that I kept forgetting the characters were underground--I'm not sure why-- but the environment never seemed that oppressive or claustrophobic to me. 
Thanks to #NetGalley, #MacmillanPublishing, and the author for the ARC of #IntotheSublime.
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This book was a mixture between the <i>Blair Witch Project</i> and <i>The Descent</i> but executed in a way that fell flat on it's face. I kept waiting for something actually exciting to happen because the story has so much potential to be a horror story success, but I was mostly just bored. The character's backstories were confusing and lacked heart that made me not really care whether or not they survived their trip. The pacing was really jumpy and kept floating in between this past/present/nightmare narrative that was exhausting to follow and made me really want to DNF, but I pushed through hoping the story would get better.
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I always fall for books with this plot. This was very Decent/47 Meters Down (the 2nd not the 1st). This story follows four girls who enter a cave without telling anyone around them after finding instructions regarding the lake on the dark web (sounds like a great, safe idea). Once they are inside, their own horrors start to bleed out and they slowly start to turn on each other. No story like this would be complete without untold secrets that conveniently come out during the worst experience of their lives. However, they find themselves in serious trouble when only three exit the cave. 

I would have really liked a little bit more character building from the girls. But, I would still absolutely recommend this book to people who enjoy creepy YA books. Specially thanks to Net Galley for the opportunity to read this in return for an honest review.
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Four girls enter into a cave... only three come out. Two of them are injured and rushed to the hospital and the remaining one is soaked in blood and ready to talk. The story follows Amelie Desmarais, a girl who’s been sick all her life but has somehow found a hobby in a now-defunct thrill-seeking group, she use to go with her cousin and best friend until a terrible accident that has injured her cousin Sasha. Now Amelie is ready to go on the trip that Sasha so badly wanted to go on, a trip into a dangerous cave to find a lake that the Colorado locals call “The Sublime” that is filled with lore... and believed will change you after you face your greatest fear. Along for the journey is Devon, Gia, and H. All four girls have their own reason for going on this trip but the moment they go into the cave things begin to get complicated. The story is told between present day ( with Amelie being interviewed by the cops) and past with her recounting the journey. The cave is dangerous... but there might be something in there with them, hunting them down, and the only way out is through, but as they begin to lose each other, and secrets spill out, who knows what will happen next as they are forced to face the darkness. Amelie has her own dark secrets and the story reveals her part in her cousin’s accident as well as what truly lead to the four girls going to the cave. The story had a nice “The Descent” movie kind of vibe to it but lacked the actual scare and good execution that the movie had. The story does have a lot of atmospheric parts, but the characters were hard to get attached to and the plot just wasn’t as interesting as I would have hoped. The overall ending was okay, I guess I was just expecting something a little more from a book with such an interesting premise and beautiful horror cover. Overall, it’s a good read if you like a little bit of horror so definitely give it a try, even if it was lacking for me it might be for you ( I’m a hardcore horror lover so I might have judged it a little harder than I normally would have). 

*Thanks Netgalley and Macmillan Children's Publishing Group, Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) for sending me an arc in exchange for an honest review*
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Absolutely thrilling, I honestly wasn’t able to go to sleep on a few nights of reading this. Definitely one for the year! I loved the atmospheric writing and the tone!
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Four girls enter the cave, but three of them return. Two of the three are rushed to the hospital. The last wants to talk and she is covered in blood but is what she is saying is true or is she hiding something.
This horror young adult book had a great premise and had times where it had me interested with its creepy moments. My biggest issue is that I just could not connect to the characters. I just did not feel like we had a lot of detail about the characters. This could have been remedied with the main characters being friends or at least have a longer period of acquaintanceship. Overall, this book is great for fans of young adult books who like creepy twists. Thank you Netgalley and Macmillan Children's Publishing Group for a chance to read this book.
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A really fun, creepy, thrilling underground adventure...or nightmare? That's actually my personal nightmare in real life, and in this story it is the nightmare and horror story belonging to Amelie, Devon, H, and Gia - four thrill seekers trying to locate an underground lake said to change things, called The Sublime.
The four head underground without telling anyone based on some instructions obtained through a dark web horror fan site. They are trying to see if the lore tied to the lake is real - or at least that's what they tell each other. But when they each start to experience their own personal versions of their biggest fears come alive, they start to slowly turn on each other. Secrets are revealed along with revelations on why each has made this dangerous trip. And when only three girls come out of the cave, they have some serious explaining to do.
This is told through Amelie who is intentionally vague as she wants to tell the truth but she doesn't want to own up to the bad stuff she's done that's resulted in serious consequences for others. I really enjoyed this - the author does and excellent job of toying with the reader's adrenaline levels. Brining you to the peak of the story only to back up a few steps and fill in some other details. It works in favor of the story as it reads like a full length ghost story. I would definitely watch the movie adaptation of this, I'm just saying.
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This story was a really fast paced YA horror story that I think most will thoroughly enjoy. I think that the last bit was a bit predictable, but the lead up to the end was such a good ride that I'm not really that upset.  I think that the unreliable narrator in this story really did a good job of setting the tone/narrative voice and made me question what was really happening. Solid, entertaining YA horror: I'm always down for a good horror story, so I hope you too will give this one a try!
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I can't stop thinking about this book. I am tempted to read it again.
There were so many nuances to this story and the suspense was kept at peak level throughout the book.
Even when you knew things, you wanted to keep reading to find out how everything happened.
Great book.
Very suspenseful.
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Full review will appear in Fangoria Magazine; please contact reviewer directly for a copy of the write-up.
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Claustrophobic narrative that would appeal to fans of the movie The Descent. Unreliable narrator, Amelie, that made me question what was real and what wasn’t. The middle could have used some breathing room but overall, an entertaining read!
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A fast paced YA horror for fans of the genre who needed their next claustrophobic cave book. 

I'm a little torn on this one honestly. I really enjoyed it up until the very end where instead of leaning in, things got a little formulaic or predictable. However, the book was an easy read, had some seriously creepy moments, and made me consume it in a single sitting.
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