By Sarah Langan
Published by Harper
Review by Budd
This Bram Stoker award winning novel is Sarah Langan’s sophomore effort and follow up to her first novel The Keeper. The Missing follows the citizens of Corpus Christi, Maine, as they are infected and destroyed by an ancient evil.
The plot for this novel is actually pretty decent. A more supernatural look on a zombie type infection. It seems like a fairly unique story. The pacing came off as a little slow. The reader knows that there is something strange and evil going on, but it takes forever to get there. Once it does, it is a fairly fun ride.
The weakness of this novel is its characters. Langan tends to rely strongly on stereotypes. All the males are distant, womanizing, abusive, chauvinists, and all the women are submissive, dependent, weak, and conniving. Because of the cliched characters, the reader is inundated by references to their stereotypes. The only thoughts running through the mind of the angsty teen daughter are of global warming and losing her virginity. The preteen boy can only think of video games. A result of the author’s characterizations are that the reader doesn’t really care about any of the characters.
There are plot holes and I wish the author would have done some simple research on the military, as almost anything to do with the military in this novel is completely wrong. The author doesn’t really answer any lingering questions at the end. It was like she was setting it up for a big reveal and then forgot to include that in the book.
Overall it was an interesting book. As the author continues to grow and develop, I look forward to seeing some pretty good books. If you are a hard core horror fan you might want to skip on this, but casual horror fans should really enjoy it.