Red Tash's Reviews > The Slab

The Slab by Jeff Mariotte
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Oct 30, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: paranormal, horror, thriller
Read from October 30, 2011 to January 07, 2012

Okay, I have finished The Slab. Here's the blurb: "In the grim days following 9/11/2001 three veterans of different wars, whose lives have been intersected by magic, find themselves thrown together in California's cruel desert - while a group of serial killers ply their deadly trade, and an ancient evil grows beneath them."

There is so much going on in this book besides just this, though. The first thing that truly struck me was how awesome it was to have not one, but two female characters that were young, capable, and confident in their survival skills. You truly are rooting for Lucy & Penny in their respective storylines, and they're not treated like token females. I found their reactions to situations very realistic, and Lucy, in particularly, was inspiring. I was excited to see how she would escape from captivity and relished her individual "wins."

Having said that, The Slab is a book about good and evil, and there are no Luke Skywalkers or Princess Leias anywhere to be found. Most of the characters were neither totally good nor totally bad. The further they swung to "the dark side," the more they were corrupted, naturally, but there were no saints in this book, either, and that was lovely. It made the characters so real.

I was intrigued upon reading the final pages & doing a little googling, that The Slab is based on a location also heavily depicted in the movie Into the Wild. I'd seen Jeff's Slab photos on his website, but hadn't made that connection, until I visited SlabCity's website. I'd already recognized the location mentally, so finding confirmation of that online is a testament to Jeff's scene-setting, as well.

If you lived through the aftermath of 9/11, you'll recognize the tense confusion of the period immediately following. If you've loved someone with Alzheimer's, you'll appreciate the full-fledged characterization of someone dealing with its limitations on a day-to-day basis. If you've ever lost a loved one and grieved deeply, and if you've ever had a change of heart about what's right and what's wrong, this book will hit you where you live--and take you on a thrill ride through space and time (and a cave filled with man-eating mushrooms), each in good time.

It was a little slow for me to get into in the beginning, due to the number of different characters. That's just the nature of a story like this, though. I personally like stories like this--not unlike The Stand, but with a much more compact pace. Ultimately, this a wild fantasy thriller with horror as its middle name, in my opinion. And it's totally worth the read. Give it a download and tell me what you thought.
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