Ellen Gail's Reviews > Disappearance at Devil's Rock

Disappearance at Devil's Rock by Paul Tremblay
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really liked it
bookshelves: horror, avoid-kindle-edition

IMPORTANT PSA: Please, for the love of tiny grasshoppers and baby hedgehogs, DO NOT under any circumstances get the Kindle edition as it currently stands. It's terrible. It makes crucial parts of the story unreadable, and unless you can zoom and enhance times infinity, you will not be able to read it.

*Thankfully, this has been corrected in updates on the Kindle edition! Yay for readability!*

Please learn from my mistakes. I struggled through 2/3 of the Kindle edition before giving up and getting the hardcover. I thought surely it was just me. That there was some mistake. That maybe I was just fucking dumb, that I didn't know how to read it?

Examples, because what is life without visual evidence.

A key point of the story is revealed through handwritten diary entries. Here's a look at Tommy's diary on Kindle.

And the same page in the hardcover.

Hello shitty formatting issues!

Okay. Now that we've established that you will learn from my mistakes, (also don't move furniture on your own and don't mainline dark rum), let's talk about Disappearance at Devil's Rock!

"He could only see the devil out of the corners of his eyes. You know what I mean? You know how to look out of the corners of you eyes, right? You can only see him when you're not really looking at him."

Disappearance at Devil's Rock is a excellent read. My anticipation was up at the top of the beanstalk, and that can be hard on a book. But despite the Kindle formatting fuckery, I was very happy. It feels less horrory than A Head Full of Ghosts, which isn't a negative. It's a less forward horror, more insidious. There's some creepy, lurky shadowy stuff going on. I love what Tremblay does with mixing more human horrors (view spoiler) with those of the supernatural sort (view spoiler).

I didn't find it to be scary as AHFUG. (I was going to abbreviate A Head Full of Ghosts, but I can't type AHFUG with a straight face either.) It's not as scary as that other book he wrote, which you should also read in addition to this one. But you know straight up scary isn't everything. I don't need something to grab me by the balls and scream in my face and scare me. First, because I do not have balls, and second, because sometimes building a spine tingling tension can be just as effective.

She believes ghosts are everywhere and anywhere. They are always watching and they are always coming for you. They can be in any room, in any closet, under any bed or desk, behind the door, in any dark corner, more dark or less dark it doesn't really matter.

A big thing I loved? The family dynamic. Elizabeth, her daughter and mother, and of course her missing son Tommy round out the family story in many ways. They are so well written. I felt their anxiety, fear, and panic. When they shut down and stopped communicating, when they turned to distrust and accusations, I cared so much what happened.

I particularly liked Kate. As a general rule, I'm not a fan of children in fiction. That sounds super bitchy? Probably is. Whatever. But Kate is old enough and smart enough that she feels real. She wasn't there to be the precocious kid, or the creepy horror movie child. She was herself, and I liked that.

(Side note: If I leave this review unfinished, it's not my fault. I was typing, but then Chloe farted on me. What the fuck, cat? I can't even be in the living room. What part of Lucifer's ass did she eat? If I fall victim to cat-butt-fumes, someone read The Winds of Winter to my grave.)

The writing, as I have already come to expect, was A+. Dude's got a way with words that I have not. It's a very easy style to read and enjoy.

Final Thoughts: I can't say I liked it more than A Head Full of Ghosts. That book is still one of my favorites. However, they are such different animals that comparing them may do them both a disservice in the end. I'm not chilled to my core and sleeping with the lights on, but I was sufficiently creeped and thrilled by Disappearance at Devil's Rock. It was a story that I enjoyed reading. My gut says yes to it as a whole, and I go with my gut. When it comes to pizza and books, it has yet to steer me wrong.


Original pre-release book flailing:

I need this right now or I may explode from book-craving.

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Reading Progress

February 6, 2016 – Shelved
February 6, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
February 6, 2016 – Shelved as: horror
June 20, 2016 – Started Reading
June 20, 2016 –
1.0% "Finally this is released. I think a fuck yeah is in order! Prepare to be read, book!"
June 21, 2016 –
11.0% "I've seen every single zombie movie they just discussed. I've watched a lot of undead people eat human tartare."
June 22, 2016 –
20.0% "How is anyone supposed to read a letter printed that tiny? My eyeballs are only human."
June 24, 2016 –
29.0% "Alright, things are finally starting to get creepy! Bring it!"
June 25, 2016 –
42.0% "Totally into this. Between this and going to see The Conjuring 2 the other day, I am a happy horror puppy!"
June 26, 2016 –
65.0% "Someone who has read the print edition of this please help me! Are Tommy's diary entries completely unreadable, or is it just on the Kindle edition?"
June 26, 2016 –
70.0% "I returned the Kindle edition. I'm missing huge, potentially vital, chunks of the story and that's not okay. I'll pick up the hardcover soon, hopefully tomorrow. DO NOT get this on Kindle. Terrible decision."
June 29, 2016 –
77.0% "I have my hardcover!"
June 29, 2016 – Shelved as: avoid-kindle-edition
June 29, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-18 of 18 (18 new)

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Jess ❈Harbinger of Blood-Soaked Rainbows❈ Haha Ellen you are fabulous. Great review!

Ellen Gail Thanks Jess! =)

Jack Tripper Great review, Ellen. Just started this last night. It's my first Tremblay (other than a couple shorts), and I'm really into the mystery of it all so far. Dude can write.

Ellen Gail Damn straight he can write! =) Hope you love it Jack!

message 5: by TL (new)

TL Great review hun

Ellen Gail Thanks dear! =)

message 7: by TL (new)

TL Ellen Gail wrote: "Thanks dear! =)"


Alexandra wow that's awful to have paid for the kindle book and then not be able to read certain crucial parts of the story :|
this is a silly question but it's driving me crazy lmao, the gif where the lady is writing A+, what movie is that from?

Ellen Gail Thanks Stephanie!

Alexandra, I was able to return it for a refund thankfully! It was super frustrating though, having to stop the story and wait for the hardcover to arrive. The gif is from A Christmas Story! =)

message 10: by Deanna (new)

Deanna Ohh that formatting would totally irritate me!!

But great review!!!

Ellen Gail Deanna wrote: "Ohh that formatting would totally irritate me!!

But great review!!!"

Oh that formatting thing was so frustrating! Thank you Deanna! =)

Claudia Putnam you can usually double click the image at it opens as its own thing that you can enlarge. I had this book on Kobo, where I could do that, but usually I can do it on a kindle too.

message 13: by Mervyn (new)

Mervyn Illsley Claudia is correct, why didn't you simply use the magnifying option on the Kindle to read the diary entries? That's what I did, it was easy.

Ellen Gail Mervyn wrote: "Claudia is correct, why didn't you simply use the magnifying option on the Kindle to read the diary entries? That's what I did, it was easy."

When it was first published, the diary passages had no zoom option, there was a whole kerfuffle about it, which has since been corrected thankfully! I'm glad it works on Kindle now.

message 15: by Gina (new) - added it

Gina I LOVE your review! Hilarious and informative! Definitely adding to the top of my list!

Ellen Gail Gina wrote: "I LOVE your review! Hilarious and informative! Definitely adding to the top of my list!"

Thanks Gina! I hope you love it :)

Nefeli Loved your review! Unfortunately, I had the exact same problem with my kindle edition..

Ellen Gail Nefeli wrote: "Loved your review! Unfortunately, I had the exact same problem with my kindle edition.."

Thank you! Glad I'm not alone in my kindle troubles lol!

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