Friday, February 1, 2013

Travis Thrasher’s “Hurt”

The events that propelled teenager Chris Buckley into an ever-escalating horror story are coming to a head. The question is, will Chris and his loved ones survive?

Welcome to Solitary, North Carolina, and welcome to Hurt, the fourth and final novel in Travis Thrasher’s Solitary series.

It is in Hurt that Chris (and the reader) gets all of his questions answered, and the answers are usually terrifying. He learns he’s been selected to assume the family “responsibility” from his dying great-grandfather, except that responsibility is a kind of ownership of evil.

And it is in Hurt that Chris discovers what faith means. But he may lose his life, and his girlfriend Kelsey may lose her life as well.

Thrasher maintains a fine tension between what looks like the regular life of a high-school teenager and the growing horror of what is happening around that teenager. It’s no mean feat to consistently move back and forth between normal and abnormal (or paranormal), and Thrasher pulls it off. He makes it look almost effortless – which usually means some serious sweat equity went into the writing and rewriting.

As in the other books in the Solitary series, the right is tight. Chapters are short, likely to appeal to the Young adult audience the book is aimed at. How the book is structured has the effect of propelling the action of the story forward, and forcing the reader to confront the same choices Chris must confront and make. This emphasis on brevity continually heightens the tension, and makes Hurt a very fast read (and you want to keep reading).

It is just the right conclusion to the story. Thrasher has managed to maintain the interest and excitement across all four of the books in the series, and it’s quite an achievement. 

Related Reviews of the Solitary Series:

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