In this terrifying thriller, a supernatural force—set in motion a century ago—threatens to devastate New York City.
Far upstate, in New York’s ancient forests, a drowned village lays beneath the dark, still waters of the Chilewaukee reservoir. Early in the 20th century, the town was destroyed for the greater good: bringing water to the millions living downstate. Or at least that’s what the politicians from Manhattan insisted at the time. The local families, settled there since America’s founding, were forced from their land, but they didn’t move far, and some didn’t move at all…
Now, a century later, the repercussions of human arrogance are finally making themselves known. An inspector assigned to oversee the dam, dangerously neglected for decades, witnesses something inexplicable. It turns out that more than the village was left behind in the waters of the Chill when it was abandoned. The townspeople didn’t evacuate without a fight. A dark prophecy remained, too, and the time has come for it to be fulfilled. Those who remember must ask themselves: who will be next? For sacrifices must be made. And as the dark waters begin to inexorably rise, the demand for a fresh sacrifice emerges from the deep…
Title: The Chill | Author: Scott Carson | Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books | Pub. Date: 11th of February, 2020 | Pages: 448 | ISBN13: 9781982104597 | Genre: Horror | Language: English | Source: Received from the publisher for review consideration | Starred Review
The Chill Review
I’ve always loved stories about towns underwater. Just the thought of buildings under the water is just so creepy. They usually have tumultuous backstories, as well. So I was very excited to receive this in the mail. The last book with that plot was…disappointing.
I really liked all of the characters in The Chill and that really surprised me with the way some of them were introduced. Aaron, for instance. I didn’t really like him when he was first introduced. But it was really interesting to watch his character grow throughout. Sheriff Steve was a good, solid character maybe a shade stereotypical Small Town Sheriff but not overly so. Gillian was a great character, as well. In fact, I don’t think there was one that rubbed me the wrong way.
The pacing stays pretty steady throughout for such a long book. The author does a good job of maintaining the atmosphere of the creeping dread of billions of gallons of water ready to descend on the town. Truthfully, the water was far creepier than any of the ghosts that showed up.
If I had an issue with it, it would be that there wasn’t a whole lot of scare to it. I would have loved a bit more backstory to the town. Don’t get me wrong, it was there but it didn’t feel immediate. I think flashbacks would have worked well to show the tensions between the Galesburg people and the city people that clashed over the dam.
The Chill does capture some of that tension but it would have been nice to be shown it instead of told through Gillian. I was also very curious about the character of Curtis Haupring. Unless I missed something but his character is left mysterious which, surprisingly, I was ok with. I generally don’t like unnecessary loose ends. But leaving his character unexplained worked. I have my theories. If you read The Chill let me know yours below!
The Chill was well written and engrossing. Scott Carson is the pen name of Michael Koryta, more well known for The latter half was very tense. Especially when we were tagging along with Mick. Just feeling that impending doom of the town. It’s set up well with a partial breach. Just enough to give you a taste of what will happen if the whole dam were to go. I’m not going to tell you whether it does or not, though. You’ll have to find out for yourself and you really should. It’s a well-told story with excellent characters. I highly recommend it.
You can find The Chill via its Goodreads links or if you’d like to help support literacy programs you can find it through Better World Books
GracieKat was the first co-host of Sci-Fi & Scary, Lilyn’s partner-in-crime, and sub-head of the Kali Krew. She reviews horror books, movies, and games for the site. She also does a weekly Focus on the Frightful feature, and is the site list-maker. She is also in control of the Sci-Fi & Scary podcast which will relaunch soon.