Vicki (The Wolf's Den)'s Reviews > The Strangers Outside

The Strangers Outside by Vanessa  Morgan
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's review
Dec 16, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: realistic, horror, e-book, the-wolfs-den-reviewed, author-requested, novella
Read in December, 2010

For a horror story, I was surprisingly not put on edge. Okay, so I did jump at a noise behind me while reading it, but I call that being because it was late at night.

We begin with introducing Jennifer and Louise traveling to their 'remote cabin' for a relaxing holiday. The entire first scene is there for the sole purpose of setting up their characteristics. We are told Louise is the elder idealistic of the two, who worries her younger sister won't let herself find happiness. Jennifer is the mopey younger sister who refuses to believe in luck or good fortune.

Once they get to their cabin out in the middle of nowhere, they stop for a dance-break, but quickly realize they're not alone. I guess seeing guys dressed in black outside your house with no rational explanation for being there isn't a red flag for these girls. They retire to their cabin for a few minutes, deciding they'll freshen up and go see a movie. But surprise, surprise, the Men-In-Black haven't left, and now more of them are appearing.

With their paths of escape now blocked, the sisters have to look to each other to survive.

I had a lot of problems with this story. Without ruining the plot, I found the writing simplistic and unrefined. There was little flow, the dialog was robotic, and the little description there was was blunt. Story-wise, the concept is solid, but the execution is sloppy with the time elapsed bordering on insane and the exposition coming in one huge clump at the end.

Unless you have some extra time and money on your hands or you're looking for a spooky source for inspiration, I think I'd pass on this one. As I said, I think the story's there, but The Strangers Outside could have stood a good round or three of editing to get the tone to match the subject. On the bright side, I do think the movie that is being made off this work will be terrifying, so look out for that.

Approximate Reading Time: 30 Minutes

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