I love reading horror novels but growing up there really weren’t any horror books for teenage readers, although I loved Stephen King, Dean Koontz and Richard Laying among some of authors that were available to me. These days there is much more choice available and I was delighted to read a book from the YA Horror genre, the first book in the Question Mark Horror YA Horror series – Camp Death by Jim Ody.
The Question Mark Horror series is a series of horror books aimed at the young adult (YA) reader, for readers aged 13+. This series of books are written by various authors and are perfect for fans of Point Horror, Christopher Pike and Nicholas Pine.
Camp Death is the first book in the Question Mark Horror series and also the first book in the Eerie Things series by Jim Ody.
Welcome to Camp Deathe
Camp Deathe is a holiday camp for adults and children. It is a spa retreat for adults and an activity holiday camp for children. The children are housed in wood cabins with other similar aged children whilst the adults relax and unwind away from the stresses and strains of family life in the main building. Parents can relax, children can make new friends and have fun. Sounds perfect for everybody – or is it?
Ritchie and Sophie, brother and sister, are teenagers with their own troubles and are taken on a family getaway to Camp Deathe. Ritchie is an outsider and is grouped with likeminded teenagers who ignore the organised activities, and bunk off in the old abandoned cabins deep in the woods. But these cabins have a history that earned the camp the unfortunate name of Camp Death.
Around the campfire, stories are told of a beast that lives in the woods and hunts teenage victims, these stories that are just meant to scare the teenagers and not really true, are they? Ritchie is convinced that something is watching them from the woods. Then the group’s teenage leader goes missing! Ritchie, along with his new friends, will have to uncover the secrets behind the camp’s terrifying history in order to get through it.
Overall, I really enjoyed Camp Death. It is a novella (213 pages) and a quick and enjoyable read. Whilst it is a psychological horror it written perfectly for the YA reader, with teenage angst, friendships, love interests and of course fear (but not so scary that teenage readers will have nightmares).
It opens with a scare, drawing the reader in very quickly and keeps the tension right on the edge until the very satisfying ending.
Camp Death is a story with different layers, a camp within a camp, rumours of a murderous beast that lives and hunts in the woods, and teenagers that need help with their own personal and individual problems. Whilst it is a quick read, the pace of the story is spot on and reveals a few unexpected dark twists and turns along the way to really capture the imagination.
The characters are great, very interesting and written well. The main character of Ritchie has been well thought-out and is very relatable and likeable.
The story is fascinating, packed with enough tension to keep the reader engaged and interested. The plot twists are rather odd (probably for me as they weren’t explained in more detail) but enjoyable and did make for a unique end to the book.
Camp Death is a very good horror tale not just for teenage / young adult readers but adults as well. It provides tension-packed fear, enough mystery and scares to engage the reader without going over the top or being outright frightening and has a dark underbelly creeping throughout the pages.
Camp Death is an enjoyable horror tale for teenage readers as well as adults that like a scare without all the horrific and gory details.
RRP: £6.99 (Paperback) / £1.99 (Kindle)