A character-driven science fiction/horror blend, KC Jones' Black Tide is Stephen King's Cujo meets A Quiet Place.
It was just another day at the beach. Then the world ended.
Mike and Beth were strangers before the night of the meteor shower. Chance made them neighbors, a bottle of champagne brought them together, and a shared need for human connection sparked something more.
Following their drunken and desperate one-night stand, the two discover the astronomical event has left widespread destruction in its wake. But the cosmic lightshow was only part of something much bigger, and far more terrifying.
When a lost car key leaves them stranded on an empty stretch of Oregon coast and inhuman screams echo from the dunes, when the rising tide reaches for their car and unspeakable horrors close in around them, these two self-destructive souls must fight to survive a nightmare of apocalyptic scale.
"This is gasp-for-your-breath, peek-through-your-fingers horror, and I loved every page of it." —Jonathan Janz, author of The Siren and the Specter
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Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 101 members
With suspense galore and near-nonstop, intensely harrowing cinematic action, Black Tide is one of those books that has claws — once the “woah” moments began, they did not stop, and it was utterly riveting!
The book starts out on a somewhat slow note with no foreboding whatsoever, but then it launches into total apocalyptic creature-feature mayhem that doesn’t let up until the end in the vein of A Quiet Place meets Cloverfield. It’s a survival-based sci-fi thriller following two characters (and a dog) who just have really, really rotten luck and face a gauntlet of monstrous misfortune, all while confined to a Subaru and a small slice of beach.
Even with a limited setting, the author does an incredible job of keeping things open and flowing, and the characters were excellent — neither are very likable at first, but as they began to shed their hard shells and detail bits of their backstories, the pieces started to fall into place and it became hard NOT to root for them.
Really really enjoyed this despite some of the gut-clenching, turn-all-the-lights-on moments of horror (and not knowing what happens to Jake ugh talk about emotional damage)!
Thank you to Tornightfire and Netgalley for an eARC of Black Tides!
The is KC Jones debut novel, and it is not only a fast, action packed horror read, but one that is an emotional rollercoaster. I think its an authors greatest success when the story truly makes a reader feel and reading Black Tides, and the story of Mike, Beth and Jake, made me laugh, cry, and sit on the edge of my seat with the situations they had to navigate through.
And that ending! I applaud you KC Jones, for leaving the reader filled with hope at the end of apocalyptic horror story.
If character driven stories that are filled with heart are your jam, and some seriously horrific and skin crawling horror scenes, then pick this book up.
I really, really enjoyed this book. I went into it without knowing much about it and because of the extremely well-crafted suspense, characters and twists, I couldn't stop reading. As the two stranded protagonists struggle to survive an apocalyptic event, they are led through moments of both visceral and existential horror. The novel jumps back and forth between their perspectives, giving the reader more insight into both characters while also layering sadness, sarcasm and some self-aware humour into the narrative. It's entertaining, frightening and the ambiguity of what has actually happened will stay with readers after they finish the book. Take it to the beach this summer. I dare you.
Black Tide ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Beth is house/dog sitting for a couple that live on the beach and one night she starts up a conversation with her neighbor Mike. They end up sleeping together and that same night there is a "meteor shower," that changes the world as we know it.
This book is described as A Quiet Place meets Cujo, which I get, but there were parts of this book that reminded me of The Langliers. I remeber watching that movie when I was younger and the whole time they can hear the Langaliers coming but they dont know what it is. It leaves you with this dread because you know something bad is coming you just dont know what it is. I also loved our main characters Beth and Mike. They both start off pretty unlikeable but I found myself relating a lot to Beth and really rooting for Mike and Beth (and Jake)! The action in this book starts at about 15% in and it is constant. As soon as I recovered from one scene something else started happening and I loved every minute of it!
Beth is a bit of a hot mess and she's the first one to admit it. She drinks a tad too much and has been known to flee in the face of responsibility; at least before. Lately though, Beth has been turning things around. She's been pet-sitting and feels like she is getting good at it. She's even getting referred to new clients by happy patrons.
That's how Beth ends up at a beach house on an empty stretch of the Oregon coast on the day the world ends. She is staying with the best good dog, Jake, and all has been going well. She's been spying a little bit on the man next door, but that's to be expected, isn't it?
He's handsome, in a mysterious, scruffy sort of way. He seems lonely. Beth is all kinds of curious about this mystery man. So, when she sees him drinking expensive champagne on his deck one evening, she heads over to introduce herself. His name is Mike and he is a film producer. The two hit it off and spend the evening enjoying each other's company in every way you can imagine.
That night, at Mike's place, Beth doesn't sleep well. Her drunken dreams are full of horrifying images that are still rattling around in her brain upon waking. She finds Mike and Jake together on the beach. Apparently, Mike had gone to the dog's rescue. Beth can't believe she left Jake alone in the house next door overnight. That's what the booze can do; great decision-making, Beth.
Mike tells Beth all about the insane meteor shower he witnessed from the beach. There's still evidence of the destruction it wrought. Plus, there's the thing that he found. The power is out, so they have no way of listening to any news. How wide spread was the event and what exactly was it? They decide to drive up the beach and investigate where they believe one of the meteors actually struck. Maybe there will be someone around who knows more of what's happening.
Black Tide is the most intense book I have read in a long time. Edge of your seat doesn't even begin to describe it. From that very first night, as the meteors start to fall, the tension begins. Driving down the beach the following day, they become stranded and the circumstances continue getting worse for the trio; yes, I am counting Jake.
The entire thing was a nail biter. I was yelling at the book, advising them what they should do: protect Jake at all costs!! I love Sci-Fi Horror and I found this one to be incredibly fun. The concepts were unique, the character development was great and the build-up of intensity was fantastic.It had such a claustrophobic feel. Oh My goodness, I am squirming even thinking about it!
I grew to really care for these characters. In particular, Beth and Jake. I felt like I was able to relate to Beth so much. It made the stakes feel a lot higher for me. I just wanted them to be safe. I would definitely recommend this to any Horror Reader, but particularly to those who enjoy a lovely blend of Sci-Fi and Horror elements.
Thank you so much to the publisher, Tor Nightfire, for providing me with a copy to read and review. Black Tide releases on May 10, 2022. Be sure to add it to your Spring TBR!!
Black Tide really sucked me in once I got into it. A little slow going at first, but once the "meteors" fell, I was hooked. Mike and Beth really grew on me as time went by. I went into this book without having any expectations about it. Sci Fi and alien stories are hit and miss a lot of times but this one had a great balance and really played on how our existence could collide with alternate realities full of monsters that we cannot understand. Even a couple of weeks later when I saw this book, I could still remember details from it and character interactions, which is a strong sign that it is a book that will stick with you for some time.
A special thank you to NetGalley and the publisher, Nightfire, for providing me with an ARC for honest feedback.