Wednesday, September 30, 2015

R.I.P. X Review: In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

R.I.P. X is hosted this year by The Estella Society

In a dark, dark wood has been compared to Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train. It seems the trend now for Gone Girl to be the go-to comparison. I can't say that I see the similarities, other than it being a mystery with a female protagonist. However, like my feelings for The Girl on the Train I was not a huge fan of the main character. 

When Nora receives an invitation to her old school pal Clare's hen night, she is reluctant to go. She hasn't seen Clare in ten years, hasn't even talked to her in as long. She decides to go, after being told by Flo, the matron of honor, that Clare really wants Nora to be there. 

So she travels with  another friend to a remote wood in the middle of winter, to stay in the glass house that Flo has borrowed from her aunt for the small hen's weekend. Cell service is spotty, and there is no one else around for miles, just trees and snow and that winter silence. Can we say creepy? It doesn't exactly scream bachelorette party to me!

(Side note: I found this place online on a few years ago, and always thought it would be fun to stay there. Not so creepy here but rather peaceful)

The party commences, complete with cocaine, a trip to a shooting range, and the use of a spirit board. To me, this party would not be fun, and I found it all kind of odd. Like teenagers who had more money were throwing this shindig. But then something goes wrong, and it all goes to hell. 

The reader learns that at some point there was a falling out between Nora and Clare ~ they had been close friends for years, Clare was the more natural leader while Nora was the quiet one, more likely to follow Clare's lead. It adds to the suspense of the story, what happened, what happened, you want to know! 

When I was in high school, I used to read Christopher Pike all the time. That is what this book reminded me of. A grown up Christopher Pike book.

 I wasn't in love with this book, but I was definitely hooked enough by the mystery to want to just keep reading it until I found out all the answers. I disliked Nora thoroughly - I found her weak, and I have a hard time with weak main characters. Again, not sure why this was compared to Gone Girl as Amy was evil but brilliant and vibrant, not like this watered down milk toast of a character. (wow I guess I really disliked Nora!)

I give this book a creepy rating of 5/10 for setting and for mood.


  1. Ha-- tell us how you really feel :)
    Thanks for a great review, because now I have a good feeling for what genre it is, what it sets out to do, and what it accomplishes. My kids and grandkids were fans of RL Stine and Christopher Pike, so I know just what you are describing.

    A hen party (bachelorette party) doesn't seem to fit in a cold, creepy winter woods setting, complete with coke and guns... lol. As much as you didn't empathize with the MC, I still want to read this-- I'm so curious! Thanks, Erin!

    1. Lol I know right? I didn't know I had such strong feelings about her!

      The overall mystery itself wasn't too bad - it was compelling enough that I needed to know what happened. But the book itself wasn't all it was hyped up to be, in my opinion. :)

  2. Loving this cover, simple and yet very atmospheric.

    Alas this isn't something I'm participating in but it has to be said I'm really enjoying learning what people are reading as part of the challenge.

    Great review. I too have a dislike of weak characters, liking them (the female ones in particular) to be feisty.

    1. I love this cover too!

      Thanks - I totally agree. I like feisty main characters!

  3. I would like to recommend reading the book The Girl on the Train: A Novel.
    I finished reading it today, and my conclusion is that its a very good book to read.

    I brought mine off Amazon and I got it in only TWO days.
    Here's a link for the book on Amazon:
    The Girl on the Train: A Novel


I love hearing from people, don't be shy! I would love to hear what you think! I always reply back, although it takes me a bit longer these days due to the little guy.