Review: The Hole by William Meikle
Publisher: Dark Fuse
Publication Date: May 30, 2013
It starts with an odd hum that brings headaches and nosebleeds to the inhabitants of a remote, sleepy country town. Then a sinkhole begins to form…and out from that hole comes the townspeople's worst nightmares.
Facing their fears and the growing madness, a group of survivors descend into the collapsed area in an attempt to save what is left of their town. Sacrifices will be required, but will they be enough?
The hole is growing…spreading…and the horror within it is growing stronger…
When I started reading The Hole I thought I was settling in for 266 pages of Horror goodness. However, I quickly realized that this book was much more than just holes in the ground swallowing people up for some malevolent reason. Truth be told I would of been perfectly fine with a story like that but instead I was given so much more to work with. The Hole might be Horror at its core but it also blends in a fair bit of the otherworldly including ghosts, aliens and demon spawn. While multiple genres existing in a single book isn't new I did like that it kept me guessing as to who the true villain of the story was.Now while I did like The Hole it wasn't without faults.
First off, I really didn't like how stereotypical the characters were. We know by the accents of some of the townsfolk that this is probably a small southern town in the middle of nowhere filled with good ole country folk. You also have the town drunk who is redeemed through his selfless actions, the bumbling overwhelmed sheriff trying to do his best to maintain order, the war vet, the town Doctor who btw is way to overqualified to be working in the town in the first place and of course the annoying older lady who is also deeply religious. Everyone played their roles perfectly but it was just a bit to Horror 101 for my tastes.
Next up, I wanted to know more about the holes. Why was this town targeted specifically? Why does it seem holes only opened where groups of people resided? What's with the accompanying nose bleeds? Way to much plot development backed with few to answers.
Lastly, I hated the ending. Everyone left conveniently coupled up and those left didn't seem to care that the things in the Pods very well could've been all the townsfolk or that the nosebleeds hadn't stopped. I was also really hoping to have some sort of concrete evidence as to whom was to blame but I came away with even more questions than I had to begin with. I really hope this book has a sequel because I refuse to believe an Author would write a standalone with that sort of ending.
While The Hole had some solid story ideas I just think the execution could've been better. The story started out quite strong but then petered down into this bizarre mishmash of genres and ideas. In all honestly I wouldn't be surprised if the story was born out out of the viewing and reading of several books and films which then in turn were haphazardly pieced together to create his story. While I did enjoy the book enough to finish it I can't say that it warmed me up to reading more by this Author either. Would I recommend The Hole? Yes. I think if you don't read a ton of Horror this book might be a completely engrossing and frightening read for you. Just for me personally I was reminded of to many other works to find full enjoyment out of it. With that being said, I'll be rating The Hole by William Meikle ★★★.
*Copy reviewed provided by Netgalley. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in an which way for providing them.