Book Review: THE STRING DIARIES

PrintE-mail Written by P.M. Buchan

The String Diaries Review

Review: The String Diaries / Author: Stephen Lloyd Jones / Publisher: Headline / Release Date: Out Now

Verify everyone, trust nobody, and if in any doubt, run.” With a story based on sinister Hungarian folklore and a plot that jumps between past diary entries and present-day narration, this supernatural thriller reads like The Thing by way of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, with all the pros and cons that such a description entails.

In the present, Hannah Wilde and her family are hunted by an unnatural creature, fighting for survival. Through a series of decaying diaries bound by string she traces the creature back through five generations, learning what drives the monster referred to only as Jakab. I read the whole novel in one sitting, so it isn’t all bad, but my overall feeling about The String Diaries is that this could have been so much better. The author reads like somebody that wants to borrow common themes and tropes from the horror genre without any great appreciation of the genre itself. This means that despite some supernatural elements, the novel is very much a thriller.

As the plotlines begin to converge it all just starts to feel too familiar, as if the Watcher’s Council from Buffy the Vampire Slayer were gatecrashing the end of the Twilight Saga. The human interest and the love elements carry the plot and humanise the characters, but when so many lovers are killed off you begin to feel disconnected to the survivors, who have little going for them other than their relationships. The deaths themselves are brutal enough, and have impact, but the characters very rarely have enough interesting facets to make you care about them individually.

Call this a callous review from somebody overly invested in the genre, but I LOVE horror, and I want to read original voices, not more retreads. The String Diaries gets points for an interesting premise and strong female protagonist, but stumbles in the execution, with cookie-cutter characters, too much fantasy and not enough grit. If you’re looking for a little menace in your thriller, then give it a go, but well-read horror fans should give it a miss.



Suggested Articles:
Few could argue that the character of Captain Phasma was severely underused in The Force Awakens. Pr
Now that the critical and commercial disappointment that was this year’s live action version of Gh
There is a swathe of Star Wars books being released at the moment, covering all era’s and topics f
Good News Bible: The Deadline Strips of Shaky Kane is exactly what the title says. The book collects
scroll back to top

Add comment

Security code
Refresh

Other articles in Book Reviews

STAR WARS PHASMA 17 September 2017

GHOST IN THE SHELL 16 September 2017

STAR WARS KIRIGAMI 12 September 2017

GOOD NEWS BIBLE: THE DEADLINE STRIPS OF SHAKY KANE 12 September 2017

MURMURS OF DOUBT 04 September 2017

STAR TREK THE NEXT GENERATION: THE ART OF JUAN ORTIZ 01 September 2017

WYCHWOOD 01 September 2017

STAR WARS VISUAL ENCYCLOPEDIA 01 September 2017

DOCTOR WHO PAPER DOLLS 01 September 2017

ULTIMATE MARVEL 01 September 2017

- Entire Category -

Sign up today!
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner