Horror Book Review: Guised Passage by James L. Boanerges

Horror Book Review

Guised Passage
Author: James L. Boanerges
Publisher: Social Construct Inc
Publication Date: Feb 28, 2021
Genres: Horror

A backpacking adventure that's already full of tension and disagreement becomes a survival nightmare in Guised Passage by James L. Boanerges. This is a claustrophobic sort of tale in which fear and paranoia are heightened by starvation and dehydration, and where the only thing worse than being lost is being found.

It all started as a backpacking adventure into a remote stretch of the Canadian Rockies, but the four friends soon find themselves drawn into the dangers of an unmarked, unmapped canyon - half pulled by a small University team, half pushed by an unfriendly Indigenous tribe. The worst part of it all is that they know it's a mistake, they know they have no business being there, but turning back is no longer an option.

Boanerges does a superb job of exploring the breakdown of social bonds, the slow erosion of friendships by fear, paranoia, and desperation. Aubrey, Brook, Chrissy, and Lizzie are well-developed characters whose friendship we can feel tearing beneath the strain. When the only thing that should be on their minds is escape, their flight becomes bogged down by lust, greed, and obsession. The pacing of their mad scramble through the passage and the slow reveal of its dangers is a perfect mix, heightening the anxiety of finding out who (or what) is stalking them, and yet never straining our patience to the point where we become disinterested. Oddly, it's the two most mysterious characters - Shaman and Wen - who are the most captivating, with our uncertainty as to their motives yet another thread of tension woven throughout the tale.

While stories like this often falter in the end, with climaxes that struggle to capitalize on the emotional investment, Guised Passage pays off in both a final confrontation and an enigmatic epilogue. The final twenty pages are intense, with more than one gut-wrenching twist in store.

Rating: ♀ ♀ ♀ ♀ 

My sincere thanks to the publisher for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.


Post a Comment