The Ruins - Scott B. Smith,Patrick Wilso...
This is one of the books set aside for the Horror Aficionados May reads. Up until now I had heard that this book was fantastic, scary, and thought provoking. Remind me to never trust people again when they mention a book is scary, my idea of scary is apparently different. This book had a lot of gross situations that tried my stomach, but that was about it.
So, this tale begins in Mexico (Yucatan peninsula). We have four Americans who are on vacation before they go off and start school. There is Eric and his girlfriend Stacy and Jeff and his girlfriend Amy. The reason why I wrote it that way was the simple fact that Stacy and Amy may as well be named Frick and Frack for as much attention as Mr. Smith pays attention to them over the course of this book. This book was primarily about the issue between the boys in this book. We all know that girls are stupid.
The foursome befriends a German tourist named Mathias and some Greeks, one specifically named Pablo. Mathias is trying to find his brother Heinrich who has run off to find the love of his life (he says) that is off to do an archaeological dig. And this is how I know I am a terrible person. If I am on vacation, and one of my friends says, "hey, let's go with this guy we just met to go find his brother." I would lower my sunglasses down, look my friend right in the eye, and ask them had they lost their damn mind. Bah.
The group of now 6 decides this is something smart they should do and off they go with a poorly drawn map to find Heinrich. After Amy is warned by their driver (I think it was Amy, honestly I can't even remember, and I refuse to go back and re-listen) about this being a bad place, the group goes forward. Coming across a Mayan village, the group finds a hidden path and chooses to take that. And that's where things go from bad to worse for the group.
I am not going to spoil what happens to the group or what they find except to say that I had a hard time believing it and maybe it would have been set up better if Mr. Smith had set up a prologue or something describing the "bad" thing and how the hell the "bad" thing was even able to do what it did because it made no damn sense at all. I am going to keep saying "bad" thing because why not be repetitive in this review, the entire book was repetitive to the point it almost made me bang my head to knock myself unconscious.
I am not even going to get into the characters because they all as one had no depth. They were six faceless characters who kept making dumb decision after dumb decision. Being trapped and you decide to just sit in the sun and get drunk on tequila? You also take some of your water to wash the pee off your foot because some splasehd on you when you went to the bathroom? I mean good grief.
Seriously, this was one of the worst books I have ever listened to. I think it was a combination of poor writing and the lack of life in Patrick Wilson's voice. Let us not speak of his horrible attempts at an accent for Mathias and when he voiced Amy or Stacy. It was terrible. There was no inflection in the man's voice at all. He might as well have been reading the Sunday papers out loud to a blank wall.
The setting of the Yucatan peninsula wasn't very well used. We just had a lot of Mayans who were sitting around and did not speak English or Spanish, but could hold guns/bows and arrows, etc. Riddle me this. If you know a place is dangerous, wouldn't you put up something besides some fronds to keep people out? Wouldn't you go around and ask someone who does speak English/Spanish to put up a Danger stay out sign? I mean the driver who took the group there spoke English and apparently knew what was going on in the area, so what the holy hell was going on there? I mean I guess the Mayans were in on it? Or not, who knows, this book doesn't do a great job of world building so there is a lot of guessing going on.
The ending was anti-climatic. It wasn't shocking, wasn't surprising in the least, and then I rolled my eyes at what looks to be same shit, different day, with another group. So do I recommend this?