Review of “Crash” by Platt & Wright

CrashFirst up, let me say that I’m a huge fan of the Self-Publishing Podcast, on which Platt and Wright are two of the three hosts. While I try not to let that bias my review, I always like to point those kinds of things out.

I’m not a horror fan. It’s probably my least favourite genre, but I picked up Crash after hearing rave reviews of it online. It then sat in my Kindle for a couple of months, staring at me. I have a couple of hundred books on my Kindle now, most free or discounted, so I’ve adopted a new policy.

New policy might be a little bit of a stretch, since it’s something I used to do when I was a teenager. I read the first page and if it doesn’t grip me, I drop the book. I’ve been struggling through a lot of so-so books of late, so after I finished Lock In by John Scalzi, I thought I’d eliminate some books from my queue.

About the fourth one I tried was Crash and surprisingly I was enthralled. I read the first thirty percent in one go, which is very unusual for me. Then I picked it up and read it the next day.

A number of times I shivered at the great sense of creeping dread in the book. There are a number of things that the main character experiences that were frightening. But over all of it, was a mystery of what was happening. I wanted to find out what would happen and was drawn through the story.

Spoiler for the ending

Unfortunately, though, the ending is what lets the whole story down. It’s a variation on the “then I woke up and it was all a dream” ending. All of the mysteries setup through the book aren’t resolved. I was left extremely disappointed. What had been an expertly told horror story wasn’t that at all.

Up until that point, I’d been ready to give the book a five star review, but the ending really is the most crucial point of a story and this one was a letdown. Wright explains in his author’s note that he was worried about being derivative in the ending. While I can’t say that I would have been shocked by any of the other endings he had planned, they would have been more satisfying than the ending that’s there now.

The book shows that Wright & Platt have honed their writing skills to a fine point. Their style is excellent, they can suck readers in, they just need a very harsh set of beta readers or one very harsh story editor. If someone pushed them just a little more, I believe they could reach another level of storytelling.

Overall, I give the book 3/5 stars (4/5 on Amazon) meaning that I liked it:

  • Great style;
  • Intriguing mysteries;
  • Emotional and frightening moments;
  • Weak ending.

Grab a copy on Amazon here: http://hyperurl.co/crashwright


 




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6 thoughts on “Review of “Crash” by Platt & Wright

  1. I liked the ending very much. Or, as much as you can like such a an ending. It’s not excactly unicorns farting rainbows 🙂

    It’s not a “The 6th sense” type ending. When you re-watch The 6th sense, you can see the ending coming. There’s no way to see the ending coming in this one, no matter how many times you re-read it.

    But I guess it’s just a matter of taste.
    I read the book in one day last summer, in the car on our way to France. Not a cheery start to a holiday, I’ll say, but I really liked the book a lot 🙂

    • Yeah, it’s a matter of taste as you say 🙂 I guess I really just wanted to find out what was happening with the ghosts. There was so much there that when it’s all a dream, I was disappointed.

      The trouble was mostly from bringing Sam into it so late. There was no hint of the alternative truth, so when it crops up it makes everything else kind of pointless.

      It reminded me of something someone else did. I won’t mention the book so I’m not spoiling it specifically, but they had a book where you’re following some characters. Then in the second last chapter it says they all died. Then in the last chapter it says “Not really. They’re fine.” That annoyed me in that book. If something is happening in a book, I want it to be really happening or there me a strong hint that the narrator is unreliable.

      EDIT: And I did enjoy the book otherwise 🙂

  2. The way the ending flipped the story on its head made the book for me. As Anita said, you couldn’t see it coming, and it wasn’t like a “Dallas” cheat. The story had integrity.

    I read the story in one sitting on a dock surrounded by hummingbirds. Maybe environment influences enjoyment. ;>() }

    • I wouldn’t have minded if there had been some hints of what was really going on. The way I thought it would go would be that he was in a coma and Kayla was alive. So it wasn’t so much the waking from the coma, although that was disappointing. It was mostly baby Sam. I had the same issue with the ending of another book last summer. I guess it was the level of writing up until that point that convinced me there was going to be an amazing ending 🙂

  3. Love this review. Crash is one of my favorite S&S books, and I agree it definitely shows the potential of what they are capable of. I am SO looking forward to the next CI stand-alone 12

    • Thanks, Amy. Glad you liked the review. I’ll have to give them a second chance with 12. If they solve their occassional story hiccups, they’ll be unstoppable 🙂

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