Page Count 320
Publication date September 2020
Publisher Saga Press
Stranger Things meets World War Z in this heart-racing thriller as a group of teenagers attempt to survive the night in a town overcome by a science experiment gone wrong.
A small town nestled in the hills of western Oregon becomes the epicenter of an epidemic of violence when the teenaged children of several executives from the local biotech firm become ill and aggressively murderous. Suddenly the town is on edge, and everyone must do everything it takes just to survive…
I pre-ordered The Loop long before Netgalley approved me for an ARC, having seen it everywhere I turned and with such great praise, it was a definite on my wishlist.
Small town takeover horror is my jam, especially scary when we’re talking hive-mind, which is clearly where we are headed going into this novel.
You need a strong stomach for The Loop, Jeremy doesn’t hold back on the gory descriptions, gruesome body horror is the backbone of this novel. The writing is descriptive enough to provide detailed imagery without losing a moment of tension under any heavy prose. It doesn’t take long to leap into action and once it does there’s no stopping!
The Loop is told in present tense from the first person point of view by Lucy, interspersed with some entertaining podcast scripts by your stereotypical internet conspiracy theorist. The narrative of these podcasts is so well written, I felt like I was listening to them rather than reading them.
I very much enjoyed reading The Loop, however I must say it is a cookie cutter. The structure of the novel, the setting, the characters, all of it will be familiar to any fan of this genre. The arc of the plot is almost comforting in its predictability.
This is the story of Lucy and her misfit friends Bucket and Brewer escaping a science experiment gone wrong. The characters were one dimensional, their roles in the story were basic and nothing much about them changed between before and after their world crashed down.
The blurb pitches this book as Stranger Things meets World War Z, both of which I loved. Now if that’s what hooked you too then disregard it entirely. Aside from the age of the main characters, distinct lack of adult intervention and cannibalistic behaviour there was no comparison to either of those. In fact if you’ve ever seen the 90s horror movie The Faculty, I’d liken it to that.
The ending to this high speed horror novel redeems it’s previous lack of ingenuity. A powerfully moving chapter that left me feeling glad I’d picked it up.
For a fun, quick read I’d recommend The Loop, but if you’re looking for detailed character development or an intriguing plot you’d strike out with this one.
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