Wednesday, August 13, 2014
The Killing Woods
by Lucy Christopher
One day, Emily Shepherd’s father, an ex-soldier suffering from PTSD, stumbles out of the woods carrying the dead body of Ashlee Parker, a girl from Emily’s school. Emily’s father pleads guilty of manslaughter, saying he was enacting one of his flashbacks from battle, but Emily is convinced that he didn’t murder Ashlee. The story is told in the alternate viewpoints of Emily and Damon, Ashlee’s boyfriend.
Sadly, there wasn’t much I liked about this book. I didn’t really like the writing style, especially Damon’s voice. I didn’t like Damon much at all. He thinks like he’s trying to be a tough guy in his head, and his attitude changed significantly as a character depending on whether the reader was in his head or viewing him as Emily. Emily was fairly decent as a character, and she had reasonable doubts about her father and dealt with the difficulties of being viewed as the daughter of a murderer in a reasonable way. However, she also felt superfluous. I don’t think much of anything would be lost if her chapters were cut out entirely.
My main problem with the book was that it hinged on Damon waiting to remember what happened the night Ashlee died because he had been drunk and high. He and his friends had been in the woods that night playing the Game, but they lied to the cops, saying nobody else had been in the woods, making everyone even more sure that the murderer really is Emily’s father. I’m still not entirely sure exactly what the Game is. Something that involves running around the woods with collars and fighting each other. That really could have used some explanation and made the book a lot more disconcerting than it needed to be.
This is a 1.6. I didn’t like Damon, I didn’t like the plot, and I didn’t like the writing style. There was too much waiting as I read. It was not, however, as bad as some other books I’ve read. It’s flavored water because it tastes artificial and a little overpowering in the wrong way. Plain water would satisfy your thirst better.