Book Review: The Leaping by Tom Fletcher

7897941Title: The Leaping

Author: Tom Fletcher
Genre: Horror
Age Group: Adult (18+)
Rating: 2,5 stars
Purchase: Amazon

Jack finished university three years ago, but he’s still stuck in a dead-end job in a sinister call-centre in Manchester. When the beautiful (and rich) Jennifer comes into his life he thinks he has finally found his ticket out of there. Trouble is that his boss is interested in Jennifer as well, and there’s something strangely bestial about him…
So when Jennifer buys Fell House, a mysterious old mansion out in remote Cumbria, a house party on a legendary scale seems like the perfect escape. But as the party spins out of control on a seemingly neverending night, they must face up to the terrifying possibility that not all their guests may be human – and some of them want to feed.
An astonishing and innovative blend of horror, folktale and disturbing realism, The Leaping is the first instalment in what is shaping up to be a genre-defining series.

The Leaping has an interesting premise, but it doesn’t realize its potential. Three years after finishing university, Jack is still stuck in a dead-end job in a call centre. His best friends and roommates work in the same building, and that’s also where he meets his girlfriend, Jennifer. She reminds him of Morgana le Fay, of some mythical goddess, and he falls over her heads over heels. When Jennifer buys Fell House, an old mansion in remote Cumbria, Jack moves in with her. For his birthay, his friends plan the most epic birthday party ever, over in Fell House. But the guests might not be who they seem to be at first glance…

First, the good. The book is told from the dual POV of Francis and Jack, and each character has an unique voice. It’s easy to know which character is doing the talking. The characterization is no doubt, the best part of the book. Despite a rather large cast of characters – Jack, Francis, Taylor, Erin, Jennifer and Graham being the main crew – the author did an extraordinary job giving each character an unique personality. The characters are three dimensional and likeable (even Graham, who I started out disliking). The writing was good for the most part.

Now, the bad. The “big reveal” wasn’t as original as I had hoped. The book isn’t exactly scary. There was a slow build up, so I had expected a lot from the big climax, but that didn’t happen. It ended up being a dissapointment more than anything. I don’t want to give it away, but it was just ‘meh’ for me. Also, while the writing was good for the most part, sometimes it rambled on for ages, seemingly going nowhere, and the pacing was tediously slow at times. It takes about 200 pages before the story actually starts – or at least, before the horror starts, and although it was a rather pleasant read until then, that’s simply too long before a story to take flight.

So while I liked part of the books, I disliked a lot of it too. It wasn’t original or gripping or scary enough. If you enjoy horror that is rather mild (although gory, but not scary) then I would say ‘go for it’, but if you like really creepy horror, I wouldn’t really recommend it.

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