Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Guardians by Andrew Pyper

Mr. Pyper writes a decent, if somewhat predictable psychological thriller / ghost story set in a small Canadian town. Four members of a boys’ hockey team get involved in the disappearance of a local teacher, and their lives are forever changed by their exposure to the supernatural, and the eeevil that lurks within the hearts of men. The first quarter of the book borrows heavily from Stephen King’s IT, in which the return of evil summons back a far-flung collection of adults to their childhood home. The back half of the book wallows in a predictable resurgence of the events of the past and the troubles an adult has facing up to the deeds of his childhood and the misspent years since. Structurally, the book also mimics IT; even chapters are set in the present, odd chapters set in the past.

The setup to the big surprise is so wrapped up in the hammer-heavy themes of the book (you never know who might be evil!) that the conclusory chapters feel plodding in their obviousness. Also, the sex is dry and boneless.

Still, the book moves quickly, and some of the imagery is decent. Overall, I give it a C+.

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