I love slasher films and I love horror books, yet before the recent years, I seem to be hard pressed to find any slasher novels. Imagine my surprise upon discovering Cameron Roubique’s Kill River books! Right now, I’d like to discuss the first book in the series.
WHAT IS IT?
Written byCameron Roubique and first published in 2015, Kill River is about a young teen named Cyndi and her friends who run away from their boring summer camp only to find themselves trapped in a hidden water park in the woods. Once inside, a mysterious masked maniac picks them off one by one.
WHAT DID I LIKE ABOUT THE BOOK?
Cameron Roubique definitely knows and loves his slasher flicks. There’s a ton of references in this first book that will please slasher fans like me. That said, they’re not intrusive or disrupt the story in any way, rather these references seamlessly mesh well with the material. Unlike a lot of slasher films, though, the author knows how to flesh out his characters to the point that you don’t want to see anything bad happen to them. This makes it all the more painful when the kills do come as Mr. Roubique does not mince words and let’s us know how these characters are dispatched.
Despite the references and the slasher genre being commonly considered formulaic, this book surprisingly keeps everything fresh, thanks to the aforementioned character development and the unique setting. I don’t really recall a lot of slasher films (or books) set in a water park, aside from 2001’s The Pool.
Finally, as the book is set in the ’80s and our main girl Cyndi loved music, we do get some needle drop moments when certain delicious ’80s songs are mentioned. Interestingly, the author has listed the songs mentioned in the book in a neat little list so you can create your own playlist — or mixtape, if you will — to listen to while reading the book or after.
WHAT DIDN’T I LIKE ABOUT THE BOOK?
I can’t say that I have any negatives for this one. I’m a big slasher fan and Cameron Roubique delivered. Call me a happy camper!
Kill River a fast and smooth-flowing ride that doesn’t skimp on brutality. Characters are fleshed out and detailed enough that you don’t want them to face a gruesome fate. I’d like to talk about the other Kill River books next time around, and I look forward to reading the author’s other works.
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Dustin is a horror fan and sometimes short story writer who hails from the Philippines. He likes a lot of the horror genre but usually goes for slashers and arthouse/slowburn stuff. Currently, he’s trying to make up for lost time in the horror literature world by digesting as many horror books as he can.