I enjoyed this story. At one level it’s a fast-moving thriller, but at another it attempts to deal with deeper issues such as the mental illness/emotional and psychological problems of the main protagonists.
Said protagonists are teenagers in therapy, sent to a therapeutic weekend in an abandoned warehouse with only two doors and no windows. Hm. Also no connected water, due to it being a building site in the process of renovations? Double hm. But I can overlook that sort of thing, within reason, and it honestly didn’t bother me too much.
Masked baddies break in and apparently hold the teens as hostages, because one of them has a very wealthy father. But no fear, despite their PTSD and other even more deep-rooted problems, our two main heroes Riley and Max contrive to half-escape, and spend a lot of time running around this fortress-like building before they realize the evil plot is maybe even more evil than they can imagine.
It would be quite easy to pick holes in this story: the set-up is definitely unlikely, the mental illness aspects actually became somewhat repetitive (Max’s uncertain grasp on reality in particular, though I could see where the author is coming from), and the extremely convoluted ultimate solution to the kidnapper’s mysterious motives. But I felt it was a solid, sympathetic approach to the experience of mental illness (and the use of the word “crazy” by Max was entirely consistent with his fears and in context with his attitude), plus it was a highly entertaining, exciting thrill ride. Four stars.
What Works And Why?
We read to escape, enjoy, engage, and find out more about our world. So reading is great - but what makes a great read? A page dedicated to short analyses of how writers engage readers.