Book #5 of World’s Scariest Places (books can be read out of order)
Published by Guillinnein Books (5th May 2018)
My rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Actual rating of 4.5
February 1st 1959, nine Russian hikers die mysteriously. They slash open their tent, the only thing that is shielding them from the harsh environment, and go off into the blizzard to die. When the bodies are found, more questions are raised than answers. The bodies were found in differing states of decay, and some with wounds that could not have been made by human hands. With no clues as to what happened to them, the mystery has remained unsolved to this very day, known as The Dyatlov Pass Incident…
Enter an American true crime writer with a fascination for the pass incident. He sets out with his friend to hike the same path that the Dyatlov group did, he is determined to try and uncover some answers to this mystery, giving him fuel with which to write his upcoming best seller. What he finds, however, will change his life forever…but will it be for the best? or the worst?
I have been absolutely OBSESSED with the Dyatlov Pass Incident since I first learned about it however many years ago. It’s one of those unsolved mysteries that literally could have been caused by anything…ANYTHING! So when I came across Bates’ book in the kindle store, I clicked the buy link so fast I’m surprised I didn’t break my phone screen.
This story is told from alternating points of view. The first is from the pov of the American crime writer (who’s name I have totally forgotten because I waited so long to write this review, don’t ask me why), his point of view is in present day as he starts his trek to follow the path of the doomed Dyatlov group. The other view is told from the perspective of the Dyatlov Pass victims. It begins from the first step they take on their journey, and it concludes on the night they died. I absolutely LOVED this for the story. It was so thrilling getting to follow the Dyatlov group through their trek and get to know a little bit about the characters (whether true information or not, I do not know), what I also found pretty cool, was there are actual real life photographs of the Dyatlov group on their trek. I believe cameras were found at the site of their demise, and the film developed, which gives us photos of the actual people. It just made the story more enthralling for me.
I am a massive lover of horror, I can’t tell you why, I just am. It’s something about the thrill of being creeped out, of being scared that just makes me so happy (I know, I’m weird), and the Dyatlov Pass Incident has always had this air surrounding it that you just KNEW it would make an amazing horror story. I think it’s born from the fact that the mystery remains unsolved to this day. So I was super excited to see what Bates would do with the story and in which direction he would head with the explanation of what occurred that night. I’ll admit, at first, I was a teeny bit disappointed with the road that he ended up taking, but as the story progressed through the last quarter, I found myself falling back in love with the story. I actually love what he chose as the cause, and I loved the way we actually got to see the different sides to it (if you read the book, you’ll get what I mean). I found myself still absolutely terrified and hoping against hope that someone would make it out alive. This definitely gives the thrills, I can tell you that!
This was my first novel by Jeremy Bates and I absolutely love his voice. The story was incredibly fast paced and was a page turner from word go. His characters are really well written and fleshed out. I found myself endeared to the writer and his friend virtually from the beginning, and I really empathised with the writer’s internal struggles due to an event which happened before the book began. If an author can make me care about even one character, they’ve done their job, Bates made me care about them all, even the doomed hikers which I knew were not going to make it. His research into his chosen subject is super high and I applaud him for his efforts. I loved that he used his imagination and made this story his own, even though it is already a true story, he put his twist on it, and it worked so well. The story was so well thought out and executed, I’ve been recommending it to people who don’t even read horror, or read at all!
All in all, this was an absolutely fantastic read that was was well executed and researched. The only reason that I’m downrating that half a star is because it wasn’t entirely what I hoped it would be, but even in saying that, the book was bloody amazing. If you love a good horror and are intrigued by the Dyatlov Pass Incident, do yourself a favor, and read the book.
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