Drive-by Review & C*ntest: Last Days by Adam Nevill

First, the daily news of note…
·        Thanks to everyone who hopped over to the new group blog I’m part of, ParanormalUnbound. There are grand plans afoot, including lots of giveaways this week. Today, author Celia Breslin is talking about one of her favorite new reads, Tricia Skinner’s Angel Bait.
·        My paranormal romantic thriller Storm Force(written as Susannah Sandlin) is being reviewed and featured by Toni at MyBook Addiction today, and by Maghon over at HappyTails and Tales. And I’m giving away a copy, so enter at both spots. Hope you’ll stop by and say hello! Episode three will be auto-downloaded today if you’ve already signed up for the serial; you can learn more about how it works at the Susannah Sandlinwebsite.
Now…Welcome to the Preternatura “Drive-By Reviews.” It’s my way of passing along books in my TBR Pile on Steroids to you. I read the first 50 or so pages of a book (might be new, might be not-so-new), tell you what I like or didn’t like, and give it a grade of A (wish I had time to finish it, and resent that I have so little reading time these days); B (I’m not head-over-heels but I am interested enough to keep going); or C (I’d keep reading but there are some red flags for me). If it’s a DNF, I won’t cover it at all.
Today’s book, Last Days by Adam Nevill, came out in late February with St. Martin’s Press. Read on for a chance to win an ARC of the book…. 
ABOUT LAST DAYS: Last Days by Adam Nevill is a Blair Witch style novel in which a documentary film-maker undertakes the investigation of a dangerous cult—with creepy consequences. When guerrilla documentary maker, Kyle Freeman, is asked to shoot a film on the notorious cult known as the Temple of the Last Days, it appears his prayers have been answered. The cult became a worldwide phenomenon in 1975 when there was a massacre including the death of its infamous leader, Sister Katherine. Kyle’s brief is to explore the paranormal myths surrounding an organization that became a testament to paranoia, murderous rage, and occult rituals.  The shoot’s locations take him to the cult’s first temple in London, an abandoned farm in France, and a derelict copper mine in the Arizonan desert where The Temple of the Last Days met its bloody end. But when he interviews those involved in the case, those who haven’t broken silence in decades, a series of uncanny events plague the shoots. Troubling out-of-body experiences, nocturnal visitations, the sudden demise of their interviewees and the discovery of ghastly artifacts in their room make Kyle question what exactly it is the cult managed to awaken – and what is its interest in him?
Drive-By Review: Remember last week’s review was a quick, snappy, summer beach read? This one? Not so much. It’s a big book, it’s not a fast read, but it is fascinating. I’m not sure where I’d put it on the genre shelves. It straddles the line between urban fantasy and horror, I guess. Although it’s more creepy than gross or keep-the-lights-on scary. Then again, I only read fifty-eight pages, so it might be a keep-the-lights-on read by the time it’s done.
Because Last Days is a big story in a big book, it unfolds slowly. So here’s what I can tell you from the first fifty-eight pages. Kyle is an independent British filmmaker disillusioned with the Hollywood scene, and on the brink of bankruptcy. His independent films to date have focused on cultural aspects of heavy metal music, funded on a shoestring by letting his rent go and charging his credit cards to their limit. So he’s leery–but desperate–when he’s made an offer that seems too good to be true: full creative control over a film on a Manson/Jim Jones-like cult from the 1970s, with a huge advance and all the distribution taken care of. The catch? It has to be filmed in less than two weeks with a three-person crew.
Why not? The bill collectors are on his tail, and he’s on the verge of being evicted. 

Of course, the whole project starts quickly going south as Kyle and his two friends begin filming.
My drive-by didn’t give me a chance to gauge what goes badly, and how badly, so all I can really tell is that I liked the plot and how it was going. I liked Kyle’s “voice,” and found him likeable enough to want to follow him through a few hundred more pages. I was sufficiently curious, in fact, to read some other reviews of the book, and the general consensus is that once it gets going, it’s very tense and dramatic indeed. There were a few who didn’t like the way the book ended, but others who did. So, can’t help you there.
OVERALL: I liked the way the book starts once I got used to the pace, and I liked the characters of Kyle and his sidekick Dan. I found the writing style a little dense at first, but adapted quickly. There was some filmmaking jargon that I hope doesn’t continue too much, but overall it’s an intriguing premise and a book, had I the time, I would like to give another fifty pages before making a judgment call. Since I had only fifty-eight pages, however, I’ll give this one a B. Not a must-keep-going, but I’m intrigued by the plot and would be curious to see how it progresses

I have an ARC of Last Days to give away. Three entries possible–one by hitting the Twitter share button below; one by hitting the Facebook share button; and a comment: Do you like an occasional scary story? As a Stephen King fan, of course, I’m gonna say yes. What’s the scariest thing you’ve read? For me, the answer would be Stephen King’s IT. I still can’t look at a clown too long!

9 thoughts on “Drive-by Review & C*ntest: Last Days by Adam Nevill

  1. Oh, I do love a good horror! The scariest thing I’ve read? That’s a tough one, I’m going to go with YOU COME WHEN I CALL YOU by Doug Clegg. I was in college and living alone in my first apartment, reading this one LATE at night. The combination of circumstances and writing made it one of the few times I had to check to make sure all the doors and windows were locked!

  2. I like scary but not bloody horror. This sounds like a good book. I used to read Stephen King years ago but haven’t read much scary stuff since then.

  3. I love a good horror movie or book. I actually sat down last week and watched three seasons of Walking Dead in about 4 days. I about had a shiny spot wore on the couch were I kept squirming around while watching it. Several times I realized that my hands had twisted by shirt into knots. I also find myself griping my Kindle as if for dear life when reading a good horror story -rather the way I grip the steering wheel when driving on snow or ice.
    My fav are pretty much anything by Dean Koontz or Stephen King

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