Kill Creek by Scott Thomas
Book Review by Lilyn G
There are lots of people out there who love Kill Creek. Many of them are bookish friends whose opinions I value. After I finished the book, I went through and read their reviews and wished my experience had been like theirs. I found Kill Creek to be a competently told story, but not particularly memorable. I also had to force myself to finish it once I hit around the halfway point.
To be fair, I went into this knowing a very major spoiler about the book. One might argue that it took away a bit of the magic for me. However, I don’t think it did. It was something I think that I would have guessed fairly early on. Thomas doesn’t exactly make pains to keep it a secret. I like the idea. It’s one that I was examining before I even read the book and it’s the whole reason I decided to read the book. I wanted to see how he worked it.
Some things about the book rubbed me the wrong way, and that’s probably what killed it for me. The idea that all books have the right to exist is one that I vehemently do not agree with. If a book that someone writes preaches racism, homophobia, xenophobia and/or general asshole behavior then that book – and that author, by extension – can kiss my ass. It’s kind of like I tell my child when she’s doing something she shouldn’t be doing. “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.”
Moore annoyed me. She grated on my nerves on a level I can’t even begin to describe. I think partly it was because I recently read a blog piece from Christy Aldridge (https://christyaldridge.wordpress.com/2019/02/06/the-final-girl-being-a-woman-in-horror/) where she talks about how she feels she needs to push that much harder, go that much further than men, just to prove that she can hold her own with the men-folk. Moore felt like this thought stepped up to caricature level. I wanted to like her, but she came across more vaguely pathetic than bad-ass. If I had read Kill Creek before becoming involved with LOHF, before reading more women horror writers, maybe I would have had a different opinion of her. I don’t know. I just know I don’t like her now.
When it comes to Cole, Slaughter, and McGarver, I just don’t have much to say. I didn’t connect with any of them. I should have with Slaughter, given something that he goes through in the book, but I just didn’t give a shit. Especially the way it’s used later on. It was just kind of boring, truth be told. Most of the action scenes involving the characters were ones that have been written time and time again. While that’s true of most things, a good story makes me not care. Kill Creek failed there.
Kill Creek was a slow burn, and very, very rarely have I enjoyed that in a novel. I like death and destruction on pace that firmly plants one’s balls to the walls.
However, I don’t want to lose sight of the fact that this is a debut horror novel. For a debut, it’s not bad. Realistically, it’s not bad any way you look at it. It’s just not a book that I find particularly interesting, original, or even mildly creepy. Still, Scott Thomas has proven he can put a story together competently enough, so I wouldn’t object to laying eyes on his next novel.