Thrall is a very hard one for me to review. I’d never read any of Mary SanGiovanni’s stuff before, but the premise seemed interesting, she’s the girlfriend of Brian Keene, who’s writing I love, and a few of my friends seemed to like this one. So, I downloaded it with modest hopes for an entertaining read. To say that Thrall didn’t work for me would be the understatement of the year.
Jesse gets a call from an old girlfriend who he hasn’t seen in seven years and begs him to return to their old hometown and rescue the daughter Jesse never knew he ever had. He escaped from the town years ago because it was having a strange effect on its inhabitants and not allowing them to leave. So far so good, right? Wrong. Thrall is so chock full of BS moments that its hard to tally them all up. The town isn’t permeated wiith an evil that holds them. It is actually a living thing. Yes, the town has a set of lungs, heart. liver, brain, etc. It also has a thick red mist fog that overtakes the town every night and has monsters in it. Sound a little like Stephen King’s The Mist? I thought so too. Meanwhile, no one outstide of Thrall, which happens to be in New Jersey, doestn’t realize anything is wrong with the town. I guess no one happens to drive through it. The characters are wooden and unrealistic. At one point, SanGiovanni was having Jesse and one of his male friends having a discussion and all I could think was that I’ve never heard two guys ever, EVER talk this way. Nadia, Jesse’s female friend that he brings along with him to Thrall, seems to accept all of the monsters and death like its completely normal. Jesse’s seven year old daughter, after being terrorized for years in this crazy world, doersn’t act like a scared kid with death all around her. At no point, could I ever suspend my disbelief and get into the story. It was one guffaw after another and it really is too bad, because SanGiovanni’s writing style is something I could get into if she had better material. But it pains me to admit that Thrall is the worst thing that I’ve read in over three years. Do yourself a favor and avoid it like the plague.
2 yawns out of 5, and the only reason it gets a 2 and not a 1 is because Mary actually has a decent writing style
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