I liked Trapped very much. It’s a fun and leisurely read. My only real complaint is that the first third of the story falls a little flat, characters continually running about in the dark, searching for dropped flashlights, their fellow campers, and so on. Fortunately, the rest of the book totally makes up for this. The heroes become far more fleshed out. Character goals spur the audience onward. Colorful backstories make readers sympathize with the protagonists, abhor and fear the villains. And that is the true vein of gold in this story – the villains. Konrath does a bang-up job creating a host of outlandish antagonists, each more original and horrifying than the last.
A handful of small subplots are featured, though the main storyline is strong enough that it requires no assistance (Honestly, does someone being pursued by bloodthirsty cannibals have time to stop and ponder their relationship with their significant other?). Plants are well handled. No dreadful deus ex machina pops up and ruins the conclusion. Events transpire at such breakneck speed that, by story’s end, the reader will believe he’s just traversed a gore-laden waterslide.
J.A. Konrath has penned over a dozen novels, including seven in the Jack Daniels series, such as Whiskey Sour (2004), Fuzzy Navel (2008), and Shaken (2010). Stand-alones include Origin (2009) and Afraid (2008). His short stories number in the dozens. He is the recipient of numerous awards, like the 2006 Bob Kellog Humanitarian Award, the 2004 Derringer Award for Flash Fiction, and 2nd place for the 2005 Ellery Queen Reader’s Choice Award. He was also nominated in 2004 for the Macavity, Anthony, and Gumshoe Awards.
I won’t lie to you. Trapped is a knockdown, drag-out gorefest of a story that Konrath did not write for the faint of heart. However, if you've got the guts for evisceration, the cojones for castration, and the psychological fortitude for a little brain scrambling, then by all means, happy camping.
Trapped was published in paperback November 8, 2010 by CreateSpace and is 330 pages.