“I already know all your names. As for me… you can call me Mr. Do-Good.”
Five strangers have woken up in a white room.
Apparently chosen at random, they have been kidnapped, drugged… and chosen to play the world’s most high-stakes scavenger hunt.
Run by Mr. Do-Good, a madman who ides his identity behind a bloodstained smily-face mask, the contestants are given a series of deadly tasks to complete.
All they have to do to survive is…
… complete every task…
… on time..
… and not break any of Do-Good’s rules.
Breaking the rules is forbidden, and failure is not an option. Because Do-Good has plans for these strangers, and refusing to play the game carries the most deadly of consequences…
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Horror After Dark Review
SCAVENGER HUNT is the latest horror novel from author Michaelbrent Collings. I found this to be a great, complex story with many separate threads that eventually collide.
“. . . A great many things should be. Few . . . ever are . . .”
After a brief prologue, we are brought into a room with five distinct characters. Each of these is an enigma to the reader; the only thing visibly in common is the “SAW-like” setting they find themselves in. Instead of Jigsaw, we have “Mr. Do-Good”–a smiley face masked person on a wall mounted iPad.
His instructions? The group is to go on a Scavenger Hunt, of his own devise. The main rule being that they must stick together at all times, with further instructions given via a special “watch” attached to each participant’s wrist.
“. . . stopping a person could be a fine damn thing.”
The formatting of this novel keeps the reader on their toes. During the actions currently being conducted, we have interludes in which we learn a bit of the backstory to each of the “players”. Some of these didn’t surprise me in the least, but at least one had me in complete shock.
“. . . Something expected and something hoped for weren’t always the same thing.”
The characterization for each person here felt “complete”, and made me able to view them as a real individual, as opposed to a cardboard cut-out stereotype. The best part, in my opinion, was that events didn’t always go as I expected. The unpredictability of a situation is something I love to come across, as a reader.
“. . . The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting a different result . . . “
The atmosphere was another factor that worked in this novel’s favor. Suitably dark and dangerous, it left the reader not knowing “what” to expect–only that it would be something . . . unpleasant.
“. . . he had created a world there, and that made him a god . . . “
The only thing that disappointed me slightly was that I was able to predict a few of the key elements ahead of time. I think that withholding some of the information given–at least until closer to the ending–would have made a difference in regards to this. Still, it did not diminish my enjoyment for the novel as a whole, or cause me to fail to appreciate the way the various lines eventually crossed.
“. . . . Hope was the most dangerous of feelings, because it existed in places where you had nothing but hope . . . so it was the only thing that could still be taken away . . . “
Overall, I loved the idea of this novel, combining a “game” (reminiscent of the SAW movies) that individuals had to complete to survive. The complex threads that ran throughout were subtlety woven in, so that the “connections” were revelations that came about only gradually. With the exception of a few parts that I was able to anticipate, this novel kept me on my toes, anxious to know more behind each character’s backstory.
“Everything in here was on the verge of breaking . . . Maybe especially him.”
A solid novel that highlighted some traits–perhaps all too real–in our society today, with characters of varying oral constraints.
About The Author
Michaelbrent Collings is an internationally-bestselling novelist, multiple Bram Stoker Award nominee, produced screenwriter, and one of the top indie horror writers in the United States.
He hopes someday to develop superpowers, or, if that is out of the question, then at least to get a cool robot arm.
Michaelbrent has a wife and several kids, all of whom are much better looking than he is (though he admits that’s a low bar to set), and also cooler than he is.
Michaelbrent also has a Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/MichaelbrentC… and can be followed on Twitter through his username @mbcollings. Follow him for cool news, updates, and advance notice of sales. You will also be kept safe when the Glorious Revolution begins!