Thirteen Days by Sunset Beach, A Horror Fan’s Paradise
Thirteen Days by Sunset Beach Book Details
Writer: Ramsey Campbell
Release Date: September 6th, 2018
Publisher: Flame Tree Press
Isbn: Trade PB: 978-1-78758-031-2 /
Its Ray and Sandra s first family holiday in Greece, on the newly developed island of Vasilema. The family weren’t to know that the skies are cloudier above the island than anywhere else in Greece, and they re mostly intrigued by the local eccentricities and customs the lack of mirrors, the outsize beach umbrellas, the saint s day celebrated with an odd nocturnal ritual. Only why are there islanders who seem to follow the family wherever they go? Why do Sandra and the teenage grandchildren have strangely similar dreams? I was in this huge place with no light and I didn t want to see. Something sounded… huge. And has Sandra been granted a wish she didn t even know she made? Before their holiday is over, some of the family may learn more than they can bear about the secret that keeps the island alive…
Anyone needs a vacation. Especially one on a small, Greek isle where the resort town is called Sunset Beach. Thirteen days lying in the sun and sand, sampling local cuisine and fair, and taking in all of the island’s treasures. That is exactly what this book provides everyone, but it is truly the horror fan who will thoroughly enjoy their vacation at Sunset Beach.
Sunset follows the main character, Ray, and his family throughout their vacation on the Greek island of Vasilema. The family is to go on a holiday, since they are British, for thirteen days. The family – consisting of Ray and his wife, Sandra; Ray’s grown son, Doug, and his family and Ray’s grown daughter, Natalie, and her family. The large group has three younger members as well, two teenage cousins and the youngest, five-year-old William.
The book is broken down as a calendar of days – each chapter is equal to a day. While a lot of activity can happen throughout the day, the chapters seem jam-packed with excitement. Throughout the family’s stay, they venture deeper into the inner-workings of the resort they are staying in, which is located just outside of the town of Sunset Beach.
The characters struggle to easily communicate with the townspeople, which does convey across to the reader well. But this also comes across as a tad choppy and broken. The idea that the resort caters to tourists would favor the idea that many languages would be spoken, and English would be one that some travelers would communicate. The idea behind almost all of the townspeople speaking very little to no English is quite astonishing.
Being that this tome is drafted between writers and countries (as the reader learns as quickly as page 2), this may be the cause of the choppy nature of the story. Perhaps it was the transfers back and forth between authors that created such transactions as turbulent as the waves of an ocean, but all do stick to the same story well. The entire plot and main focus stay in focus, which should be triumphed in such a writing fete.
Throughout the story, many things are referred to multiple times. Once the reader catches onto these nuggets, the writers do not let up. They are continuously referred back to again and again; almost as if doubting the reader’s ability to have picked up on the items at all. Without giving away critical pieces of the story, this review cannot explain these items in details. All of these do come together well at the end of the family’s vacation, but only slowly.
How does this fit into the horror genre exactly? Without giving away the mystery of Sunset Beach, fans will not be disappointed in the gruesome details of epidemic, corpses, monasteries, and graveyards. The aire of macabre is felt as heavy as the darkness of night in Sunset. So much so that Ray is even questioning his own sanity at points.
Like the rise and fall of dusk and dawn, Sunset pulls the reader in over choppy waves of words, but pulls them into a trance with the beauty of suspense. After about three days, the reader almost feels like one of the family members, venturing through the holiday.
Vasilema boasts that visitors always come back, and it would be an interesting follow up to see what would happen to Ray and his family if they decide to book another holiday to the island in the next volume of this story.