Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free of charge for review purposes only. Receipt of a book does not guarantee a review or endorsement. My reviews are my honest opinion and are not biased for the purpose of personal gain.

Fourteen competitors, seven days, one abandoned theme park. The game is hide and seek, how hard can it be?

Mack is a survivor, her father killed her family and she’s still alive because she hid. When she’s offered the chance to win a life-changing amount of money, she knows she’s in with a chance. She just has to stay hidden in a creepy old theme park for a week.

She hoped to disappear while alive, but something about all of this feels inevitable. The end of a game that started so many years ago when she took Maddie’s hiding spot.

The other competitors all have their reasons for being there; half are aspiring, they’ll be the next big influencer or their startup will take off any day now, the other half down on their luck, they all just need their one break. This reality game show must be it. Right?

If you’re into your Greek mythology the number fourteen is significant and you’ll soon work out what the inspiration for this story is. But if you don’t really like retellings, it doesn’t really matter, the story stands well enough by itself.

I can totally see a game show being based on hide and seek in abandoned places. It’s all very hush hush, they sign non-disclosure agreements and their phone signals are jammed. Of course this is to keep up the secrecy of the show, not at all for nefarious reasons… The players are all convinced this is a TV show, even when doubts start to creep in, they convince themselves it’s all part of the entertainment.

At the start, it may feel like there are too many characters to keep up with, but it follows a classic horror formula, picking them off one by one. The longer they survive, the more you get to know them and the more they seem like real people. I was a bit upset some of them didn’t make it, others I wanted gone quickly.

If you don’t want any hints on what the myth is, stop reading now.

It’s an exclamation mark of blood, not an ellipsis. And certainly not a question mark. The story is ended.

I did think it was an interesting premise; how in this modern day and age do you go about placating the beast you’ve ended up being tied to? In ancient Greece, it was all very well for a king to summon youngsters to offer up for sacrifice, but people might notice now. Well if you lure in those on the edges of society with a promise of success, maybe their absences will go unnoticed.

The theme park is deliberately maze-like, hard to find your way out of. One might just think that was to keep guests in and spending money longer.

There is a societal message in amongst all this. The rich just keep getting richer off the backs of the poor and the young. It’s easy to scoff at their life choices, but they never stood a chance, things are set in motion that they have no control of.

Eventually the rumours died. The plants grew. Nature slowly co-opted the buildings, the rides, the roller coasters. What didn’t crumble rusted, and what didn’t rust leaned, and what didn’t lean sagged under the weight of ivy and neglect.

Hide is published by Del Rey and will be available in hardback, ebook and audiobook formats from 24th May 2022. Thanks go to the publisher for providing a copy for review via NetGalley.

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