BY MIKE SALT
AVAILABLE NOVEMBER 2020
A weekend retreat with your friends – what could go wrong?
The Valley was my first time reading Mike Salt, so I went into this novel completely blind.Once the group has stumbled through the fog into the hidden town, the terrifying and weird crank up drastically for an exciting and curious time.
This ride isn’t without its hitches, though. There are things that happen and actions by characters that don’t seem to make much sense, much of the cast is forgettable, and the ending left me thinking I had an unfinished ARC. That being said, Salt shows a lot of promise throughout this novel, enough so that I did have a good time and I would read more of his work.
Salt has also hinted on writing more of this location, so chances are I’ll be rereading this title down the road prior to my return in …
Highlights: The sequences in town are very atmospheric and sometimes trippy … Johnny is a genuinely likeable character that you feel bad for throughout … a lot of potential for things to be terrifying and weird in prequels or sequels … a backdrop that brings to mind Silent Hill, The Endless, and The Hills Have Eyes
Shadows: Some additional editing necessary (too many instances of rephrasing) … some unanswered questions … unclear ending … a cast that blends together … actions by characters that didn’t make sense
For fans of: Horror fiction that leans on the weird … time loops in horror … weekend retreats gone wrong … group slaughters … atmospheric reads … isolated settings
Takeaway: Though it could have benefited greatly from some additional beta reading and edits, The Valley introduces an atmospheric and eerily weird universe that I would like to explore further. This novel becomes so much more interesting after the first hundred pages.
Would I read this author again? Yes