What’s fun about trying out horror books from indie authors is that you get to find new reads that stray off the beaten path or stuff that goes beyond what the mainstream can offer. I sure am glad I took the plunge with “The Terror At Turtleshell Mountain” by Sean McDonough.
The photo that accompanies the famous “Abandoned By Disney” creepypasta.
WHAT IS IT?
Written by Sean McDonough and published in 2015, “The Terror At Turtleshell Mountain” is horror-thriller about a group of friends who find themselves trapped in Turtleshell Mountain, a theme park populated by characters from popular family friendly films (much like Disneyland). On one fateful day, a sinister force turns the once “Most Joyous Place on Earth” into an unforgettable hell.
WHAT DID I LIKE ABOUT THE BOOK?
I like that the author doesn’t waste time with flowery prose. He gets down to business in no time flat yet no expense is spared for character development. I thought we get to know our heroes and villains quite well without overly dedicating page time to them that halts the plot. I especially liked our main protagonist, Tess, who is nearing the end of her life but wants to spend one more time at Turtleshell Mountain, where all have fond memories. There’s also a side character named Minister Ed, who is also a favorite. I thought it was interesting that he is fully realized as a man of faith but isn’t just one-dimensional. He’s not a regular minister, he’s a cool minister.
Then, there’s the character of Raylene, who is described in the book as the “Evil Queen Bitch,” she exudes #BossBitch energy in the nastiest way possible…yet she’s a hoot to hate! While Turtleshell Mountain is a Disneyland parallel, I’m also glad that the author was able to make the theme park characters his own. I’m able to distinguish them from one another.
While Turtleshell Mountain is a Disneyland parallel, I’m also glad that the author was able to make the theme park characters his own. I’m able to distinguish them from one another.
Finally, it’s very much worth noting that Sean McDonough does not hold back when it comes to the violence and gore. No one is safe from a grisly fate. After all, Turtleshell Mountain admits all ages.
Characters from the FNaF franchise, similar to the animatronics featured in the book.
WHAT DIDN’T I LIKE ABOUT THE BOOK?
While I enjoyed the story, the characters, and the gore, it took me a while to get used to the book’s format as the text was aligned to the left. I don’t blame that on the author, though, as that’s his way of writing the book. It’s just that I needed time to adjust to it. I was all good after the first couple of chapters, though!
“The Terror At Turtleshell Mountain” is a rollercoaster ride of a book with characters you want to root for and love to hate. It’s got great gore and set pieces, and it’s the kind of ride where anyone can fall off any moment.
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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.