Review: Afraid by Jack Kilborn

Title: Afraid
Author: Jack Kilborn
Obtained: borrowed from library
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Format: paperback
Rating: 3/5

Blurb (from

Welcome to Safe Haven, miles from everything, with one road in and out, this peaceful town has never needed a full-time police force. Until now…
A helicopter has crashed near Safe Haven and unleashed something horrifying. Now this merciless force is about to do what it does best. Isolate. Terrorize. Annihilate. As residents begin dying in a storm of gory violence, Safe Haven’s only chance for survival will rest with an aging county sheriff, a firefighter, and a single mom. And each will have this harrowing thought: Maybe death hasn’t come to their town by accident…

My Thoughts

It’s really rare for me to have to put a book down because it’s really creeping me out. I’ve heard a lot of hype about how gore-y this book is, and it definitely delivered. It’s done in such a subtle way sometimes, at first leaving what happens up to the imagination of the reader before slamming what actually happens in your face. At the same time, the book isn’t so full of gore that the reader would want to put the book down due to a gross-out factor.
There’s a lot of talk about panic, whether it’s a panicked reaction or how panic affects the body. I loved how each character had their own reactions, their own reason for doing things specifically the way they did them.
I was torn between liking the fact that you don’t really get to know the characters, and disliking the book for the same reason. It’s good, because you’re not so invested in the characters that it’s a huge let-down when they die, but at the same time I felt like I wasn’t connecting with any of the characters enough for me to really care about them dying.
After a while, the book started to become a little convoluted to me. The team’s entire objective is to find Warren Streng, and there’s so much going on between the characters that I found it hard to keep track of what was going on, and who was doing what. The book kind of redeemed itself at the end, though, when the main characters finally come together.
While I liked the book, I did pick it up for its gross factor, which kind of failed to deliver. I felt like a lot of it was mediocre, every-day torture, and I was really looking for something new.
I also felt like the book had a little bit of a political agenda, which turned me off a little to the book because I’m just not into that.
Overall, though, I liked the book. I’m just not sure whether it would be worth a re-read or not.


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