Book Review: REEK by Bradley Freeman


Title: REEK

Author: Bradley Freeman

Release date: August 21, 2014

Can’t believe I’m going to start a review by saying this (and I know he’ll print it and screenshot it blah blah blah!) but David Sodergren – YOU WERE RIGHT.

You see, ever since I became friends with Mr. Sodergren, author of such fantastic books ‘The Forgotten Island,’ ‘Night Shoot’ and ‘Dead Girl Blues,’ David has been telling me to read ‘REEK.’ At one point it was probably every other day, then weekly. But it would always be so casual. “Oh, hey, wow, I see you read another thirteen books last week, was one of them REEK?”

So, here we are. I finally got to it in my TBR. At the same time I started this, I saw the amazing Char was reading it and I was excited to see her thoughts. Spoiler alert – she had a blast.

I will admit, at one point late last year, I was a bit put off by reading so many ‘abandoned island’ books, but after taking a break from them, ‘REEK’ was the perfect re-introduction.

What I liked: ‘REEK’ has a very straight forward premise. Former famed director Kojima is trying to return to greatness. He has an idea, that will surely be a blockbuster. So, he gathers a group of unsuspecting people to come to an old abandoned island to film a documentary. You see, Pokere Island is said to be haunted and Kojima plans to film a ghost.

From that simple idea, Freeman delivers a gore-filled story. There are a number of characters in this, but instead of being overwhelmed by the volume, Freeman deftly introduces them, creates great interpersonal relationships and as the story unfolds, fills in their back story’s and why each person is experiencing what they are.

The island itself plays a smaller role than I expected, as it was more the haunted inhabitants that inflict damage, but the isolation and mythology that’s been built around it are fantastic and work well to create havoc when the chances of rescue occur.

Bradley really created some outstanding deaths in here. We’re talking top of the line video game carnage. For readers who love vivid descriptions going over all of the gruesome details, you won’t be disappointed.

What I didn’t like: Incredibly minor, but I found no reason for the police officers back story to come about. It felt forced a bit, as though he absolutely needed a reason for his actions, but I really didn’t see why we needed to have any of those details. It really doesn’t detract at all, but felt unnecessary.

Why you should buy it: Well, I mean, has Sodergren been messaging you all the time? If so – buy it. Shut him up! Ha! Otherwise, for the rest of you, Freeman has an incredibly easy writing voice to allow the reader to fall into the story. It flows and the book has short, snappy chapters. Freeman makes sure to give this book a ton of emotion, which in turns gives us some great moments and heartbreaking punch as things go from bad to worse.

If you like found footage movies and found footage books, the premise here should really appeal to you, as well, if you love the abandoned island plot, you can’t go wrong.


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