We all have those authors whose books always sound so good, yet every single one you pick up, you just cannot get into them. That author was, for me, Kiersten White. Until I picked up Hide. It turns out that what I was looking for from her was an adult horror thriller, and I’m so glad that I got an early copy of this book. Thanks so much to Del Rey for sending me a physical proof of this book after I mentioned wanting it on Twitter!
Hide is White’s debut adult novel, and it follows a young woman called Mack, who has been invited to enter a competition of hide and seek. All she and the thirteen other competitors have to do is hide in an abandoned amusement park for a week and ensure they do not get caught. The winner will get enough money to change their life. But as the days pass and the competitors start turning up dead, the remaining group realise that they have to stick together if they want to survive.
Though this book does have a protagonist with Mack, it also follows all the competitors. There are even a few bits following the organisers of this deadly game. You obviously don’t get a lot of detail on many of the characters, and I’ve seen many reviewers comment that they seemed a little flat. It did, in some ways, feel that way, but it worked with the tone of the book. Some of the characters you get to spend little to no time with, so it’s going to be difficult to show them in any depth. For the characters who lingered longer, you do get to understand them. One of my favourite characters was a contestant called LeGrand. A lot of his focus is on getting out to protect his disabled sister and get her away from their family, who won’t let her get medical help. As someone with a disabled younger sibling, plot lines like that always tug at my heart. I really felt for him.
Other characters I really liked were Brandon and Ava. Both of them were good people who wanted to do their best for others and had a rough time before they joined the competition. I was sad about Brandon, but I totally understood why he did what he did.
If you’re looking for a horror or thriller book with a queer romance, this is the book for you. The romance does happen within a short space of time, but with everything going on, that makes sense. They were in a period of heightened emotion, so though I’d usually find the romance a bit quick, I do see how it worked. It would be interesting to know what was going to happen to them after this, but I also wouldn’t want a sequel as this is very much standalone.
When I requested this book, I thought it was a thriller, but it turned out to be more of a horror novel than anything else. It has supernatural elements that I wasn’t expecting, but I found them interesting. White talked about how this novel was written in a fit of rage at the thought of kids being trained for school shootings. You can see that within the lore of this. You have a group of people hurting others who should know better but are only thinking of themselves. They’re in many ways loners, but their whiteness and power keep them safe for sure. White did a great job of writing them in a way that you are just as angry at them as she was at shooters when writing this book. The organisers think they are in the right, but as readers, we understand that the only ones they are protecting are themselves. They are bad people, and you want to see them get what they deserve.
This is definitely a book that’s good to read in a single sitting. I read it in two and wound up having to go back to check some names and things when things popped up. This book is less than 250 pages, so that should be pretty easy to get through. You will be hooked from the first page but it’s the end of the prologue that will really grab your attention.
I really enjoyed this book, and I definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a new horror book this spring. You’ll have a lot of fun with it.
Author: Kiersten White
Age Range: Adult
Publisher: Del Rey
Release Date: 24/5/22