by Sarah Langan – This novel is a followup, but not really a sequel, to The Keeper. Set one town over from Bedford, where the first book takes place, this book has all new characters… and an even more rapacious evil for them to contend with. The prologue tells you that the town is doomed (so there’s no risk of a spoiler here), then the first chapter dives right into the horror. Much like Stephen King’s Under the Dome, you are left to wonder who the narrator of the prologue is. He or she is clearly a survivor, and you don’t know how many others (if any) there are. The killings and the deaths (not at all the same things, sometimes), the psychosis-inducing infections and the insanity (also not at all the same things, sometimes), the heartbreak and the pain (sometimes at the same time) rip the town of Corpus Christi, Maine, apart. And the evil behind it wants to take over the whole North American continent, then perhaps the world.
The Missing is almost unrelenting in its darkness. There are few moments of grace or respite, which I would have welcomed, if only to make me more aware of how high the stakes are and how much the world has gone to hell.
If you are extremely sensitive to explicitly disgusting imagery, don’t read this book. There are some pictures you just can’t get out of your head, once you’ve visualized them. If you love a creepy, gory horror story, by all means, read Langan’s books. You won’t be disappointed. (finished 8/14/11)