Recently I was lucky enough to receive a promotional copy of Matthew Quinn’s new book, The Thing in the Woods. Today, in celebration of the Amazon release, I’m here to share my thoughts on the title with you guys.
(This is a spoiler free review, so feel free to safely take a look under the break.)
While this book lacked the tightly written, smoothly polished quality of Quinn’s short stories, it was great to see one of his imaginative and vivid monsters depicted on a larger scale. I enjoyed the story immensely and was sad by how quickly it came to a close.
With all of the things covered in this book, it’s a surprisingly quick read. The horror doesn’t come just from the ominous thing in the woods, but also from the small southern community the story is set in. There are fears it’s all too easy to relate to, loss, isolation, prejudice, and of course, helplessness.
The one drawback of the story, as far as I saw it, was the romantic subplot. While I suppose relationships are part of a healthy, well-rounded story (especially one set in a town with such conventional ideas about relationships) I feel like they don’t add much to the story in 9/10 cases – which unfortunately I found to be true here. I felt like the chemistry was lacking in what was ultimately a rushed relationship – but then again, there are only a handful of literary relationships that I haven’t felt that way about.
Aside from not feeling the romance, I was very invested in what was happening from start to finish. The characters were sympathetic, the style was engaging, and the monster kept me quickly turning pages, and wanting to see more.
Though the story wraps up neatly, it leaves the reader with a lot to wonder about. The implications of the monster’s existence is a good example of just how little we know, and how dangerous the unknown can be.
I would definitely recommend checking this out if you haven’t already. Anyone looking for a light horror read that’s easy to fall into but will still make you a little paranoid will probably love this title.