I loved this totally unique horror book! The setting, the characters, the plot were all so well done. It was weird and quirky which is what I love in a horror. Definitely one I'll remember plus add in 90's references and you got me!
The cover of this book is beautiful. I do wish I loved the content of the book as much as the cover. I would say this book is very similar to the village by m night shamlayan. If you enjoy the themes of that movie you will enjoy this book.
This was way too slow for me that I had to DNF!
Thank you to NetGalley and to the publishers for giving me this arc in exchange for my honest review.
Very slow moving and not as suspenseful or scary as the description stated. Not a lot happened and had very weak explanations that didn't quite make sense.
This was such a slow read! I didn't think there was enough of a payoff by the end either. The pacing just felt so off and I struggle to pay attention. I was hoping for a super creepy slow burn!
This unique book takes the typical ghost story a bit further, with an entire island being haunted.
I really enjoyed the setting: being from the Midwest, I’ve certainly heard of Door County! There were several creepy moments in the book, but there isn’t over the top gore. I think this book would be appropriate even for people who don’t typically read horror.
I liked the way the book was set up, with chapters told from different POV and in different formats (texts, newspaper articles, etc.).
I was onboard for the first half. Really dug the low-key folk/cosmic horror going on, and the epistolary format works for the subject. But once the ~explanations~ started trickling in, my interest began to dwindle… maybe they come too soon? Or maybe the second half should be trimmed? (Reminder: my ratings are not attempts at objectivity assessing “merits”, merely a reflecting of my taste.)
QUICK TAKE: I found this to be a slog. Mysterious for the sake of mystery without much satisfying payoff. Wanted to love it as much as I loved the cover, and...I didn't.
I loved the premise here - our narrator is investing his sister's disappearance and where she was last seen was a mysterious island where everyone lives like it was frozen in time in the 1990s.
I also loved the thematic connection between the island with how grief can be processed, especially for the character of Willow.
The overall plot didn't live up to the premise for me, and I found some of the characters more engaging than others, but overall it was a fun horror-lite read.
I have told so many people about this book. I loved the oddness, the mystery, and the reveal. Everyone watching the OJ Simpson Bronco highway chase, and other little 90s details, made this fun.
When I heard about a new release horror book about an island of people who live like it’s 1994 24/7, I was like, SAY LESS! I’m in! 😂 because, as a child of the 90s, who has a deep love of nostalgic content from that decade, I was so excited to get into it. And luckily NetGalley approved me for an ARC
And, while I did enjoy the premise of the book, it unfortunately fell a little flat. ☹️ I just felt like the buildup took too long, and I was getting bored at times. I almost DNF’d. I’m glad I didn’t though, because the ending was actually pretty good! I wish the whole book had been as tense and suspenseful and creepy like that!
It definitely has IT by Stephen King vibes. The town reminds me of Derry, and there’s the malevolent creature in the abandoned house as well. And, I mean, I really liked IT, so no complaints on that front really.
I’m from the Midwest so a lot of the scenery is something if familiar with, which is always fun.
Overall, perfectly fine, 3 star read. ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️
Flashback to the 90's with this story! That was the most fun with this book. I'm trying now to revive my leg warmers.
This is classified as horror, but I would classify it as a book about grief. The grief of loss and how do you let your monster of grief define you. Hide it? Bury it? Try to forget it? Relive the past?
I enjoyed this debut novel and just know Jimmy will be an author I will follow into the future...
A creepy island, a lost woman, and supposedly true story.
I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this - to me the cover says one thing and the story another. It starts off with the author assuring us this is a true story…which, as an author myself, it reads like “trying too hard” to convince us of something. I believe it to be a tactic but could it be that he believes it’s true? I have no idea.
He writes as if this is a story he himself investigated and it starts with him on an island looking into the disappearance of his sister amid some type of raging evil in a town where everyone is stuck in a time warp by choice.
I liked the interweaving of story’s and the somewhat creepy aspect of things but perhaps it just didn’t hit me right as an audiobook. It was well done, but I think I just wanted more. Either more answers or more creep.
It may be the right read for someone looking for something somewhat spooky for the fall season. I’d is atmospheric at times and twisty at others.
I think I was left with some questions which is what took it down a star for me but it did entertain.
My rating: 3*
Thanks for the gifted copy from NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
The cult behavior of the residents of Clifford Island took me in. Immediately, the mystery of Willow's disappearance, the circumstances surrounding her son's death, and Harper's search for her compelled me to continue reading. I highly recommend this book to fans of horror, suspense, and those who long for the return of the 90's.
Spooky tale of Clifford Island, the island that no one ever leaves unless you die. Horrible things happen here, events that defy nature. The island occupants are stuck in the year 1994, each with a dead family member to haunt them.
After Willow’s son dies in an accident she becomes obsessed with preserving his room @- just as it was when he was alive and she even ‘sees’ him. A reference to the island is discovered in his room that starts Willow on a journey to the island to find a connection to her son.
Months later, Willows brother goes in search of her, only to uncover the occupants secrets and the horror of the island.
Very enjoyable story that I couldn’t put down.
The brief introduction of this book got me interested in opening this book but after 200 pages, I had to put it down. I couldn't get into it. The secret of the town, the need to keep reading didn't occur and I felt that the thrill was elongated without enough bait for me to keep on going. I really wished I could have written a better review. Perhaps I will give it another shot in a year or so.
Although the premise of this novel was right up my alley as a 90’s baby, I truly couldn’t find myself getting excited about the plot or characters.
This book felt very long and the plot progression seemed to drag on and on. What made it less appealing was that the ending didn’t have the payoff that you’d hope it would given the amount of time and effort it took to get to the end. I also didn’t find it to be very scary, which is a bummer considering it’s meant to be horror.
📼 Its the year 1994, or at least everyone on this island seems to think so. Someone new arrives on the island and finds themselves being pulled deeper and deeper into the strange island.
📼 A spooky, yet amusing read that is perfect for fans of Grady Hendrix.
I absolutely loved this! It's a fun one to go in blind! If you like David Lynch, and weird mystery stories, you'll love it as well!
Thank you to NetGalley and Dutton Publishing for the ARC!
Heck, I really enjoyed this one! Fantastic atmosphere, told from a few different points of view, and you're never sure at any point what's true and what's just how someone perceives the world. Or if there's any difference between those states at all.
The dead don't seem to stay dead on Clifford Island. No one goes there, and hardly anyone leaves. They're a bit stuck in their ways, most would say, those that get glimpses of the people... and those ways are somewhere in 1994. And in the chapters with points of view from people from outside the island, no one explains why. It's an intriguing mystery. Add to that a missing sister (whose POV chapters have a subheading of 'days until they go missing' to build delightful tension) and those desperate to make sure all is well, and it makes for a hell of a book.
It also provided an interesting narrative on grief and how different people process their whole world changing in a moment, and also changing not at all.
I said outloud 'What the heck?!' more than once along the way, and was eagerly flipping each page until the end. I wondered of the meaning of the title for a good 70% of the way of the book, which absolutely made sense once it was revealed.
If you're looking for something with buckets of atmosphere, that just slightly 'off' feeling where you can't trust anyone or even yourself, but want a more modern story, I definitely recommend picking this one up.