Bentley Little- The Disappearance


I love Bentley Little's writing style but I don't know how I feel about The Disappearance. It was entertaining. At some points, I was so into it I couldn't put it down. The story was fairly well-written. (Little is a great writer after all.) But, it was so different from his other books. 

It didn't have the supernatural element I like. Also, Little's books didn't have any boundaries. It was something I always admired about his writing. He wasn't afraid to experiment. He created some really disturbing images but this book was very tame. It was far too normal for me.

For a Horror novel, The Disappearance wasn't scary or even mildly chilling. A cult has kidnapped Joan, a college student. Her friends, in their search to find her, become enemies of a cult that's determined to keep Joan by any means necessary. Not the most original plot but that's fine. Unfortunately, Little decided to check is usual flair at the door. The cult leader wasn't terrifying, he was just annoying.

But, I'm probably not a good judge of what is or isn't scary. So far, I haven't been scared by any modern horror story, and I've read quite a few. I can watch a horror movie alone in the dark with no problem and be able to sleep soundly at night. I didn't go into this story looking to be scared. I was expecting to at least be mildly creeped out. Sadly, I didn't even feel a small tingle in my spine.

On top of that, the characters were so flat. Little could've wiped them all out and I wouldn't have cared. I didn't believe their situation. The only one I had any interest in was Reyn and it was simply because he had an awesome name. They didn't become real. They were merely tools to advance the plot.

Little's novels are usually plot-drive though; character development always goes out the window. The plots in his previous books were usually good enough to carry the story but The Disappearance would've been better if it had been both plot and character driven.

If Little wasn't going to make this story more character focused, he should've come up with another way of immersing us into this cult. I'm not sure I'll be rereading this one. It was nowhere near what I expected.

By the way, who writes the blurb on the back of a book? This is the second Little novel I've read where the blurb was nowhere near what the book was actually about.