*Some Spoilers Ahead**
I love Stolarz's writing. I have read a few books by her and have enjoyed them all. This one was also enjoyable. I did have a few problems with it though. The writing was stellar. I enjoyed the plot and the fact that each character had a distinct nightmare and various things they were scared of. I must admit that the book did read like a horror movie. A cheesy 80's horror movie, but still. Not saying it's a bad thing. I love me a good 80's cheesy horror flick.
The problems I had with the book were that I found it hard to keep the characters straight. Even when the chapter gave the name of which character was being discussed, I still found it confusing. The book was written from a first person point of view, but they all talked in that way. So "I was running and fell" could have been any character, sometimes I had to refer back to the chapter to see who was talking. I think the writing would have been easier to follow if told from one character's point of view.
I did love the setting. The creepy house they were staying in was easy for me to visualize and there were plenty of scares happening throughout their time in the house. When the action switched to the theme park the scares picked up even more. I certainly think an abandoned theme park in the middle of the woods, in the dark, would be enough to make my hair stand on end. Some of the "rides" were a little hard to buy into, but they did a good job of bringing the nightmares to life. I also had a hard time believing that one person could pull all of this off, which leads me to believe that several people were in on this scheme, although we are never really told who was in charge.
The fact that most of the characters were too naïve to figure out what was going on was also slightly unbelievable. Although, also not unlike a horror move. We all know that several horror movies have characters making decisions that we know that are too smart to make, but somehow follow through anyway.
There are many unanswered questions at the end of the book. What happened to Taylor? Whose idea was this all? What happened to Parker? I have been told that this is book one of a series. It would be nice if there was a sequel so I can find out exactly what was going on. For me the book was a success, but don't pick it apart too much. Just read and enjoy, cause it won't stand up to scrutiny.