cover image Don’t Move

Don’t Move

James S. Murray and Darren Wearmouth. Blackstone, $26.99 (226p) ISBN 978-1-982678-32-6

This half-baked horror novel from Murray and Wearmouth (who previously collaborated on the Awakened series) delivers some solid scares but fails to offer readers a reason to care. Megan Forrester, wracked with grief over the death of her husband and son, hopes to find some solace in her church group’s annual camping trip. The group members, already at each other’s throats, make a critical mistake on their way to Davies Canyon, leading them into the uncharted depths of the West Virginian forest, where they begin to be picked off at an alarming rate. They soon discover they are being hunted by a prehistoric arachnid. With horrors closing in on all sides, it becomes a race against time to outwit the monster and escape the forest alive. Though this is a gleeful creature feature, the arachnid’s origins remain mysterious, making its attacks—and very existence—feel random and unexplained. Each character’s death feels like a foregone conclusion, leaving little room for surprise. Murray and Wearmouth succeed at creating a creepy atmosphere, but the story remains frustratingly muddled. Fans of monster horror can skip this one. (Oct.)