Book Review: The Ridge by John Rector

The Ridge by John Rector
My rating: 🌟🌟🌟 (3 stars)
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

This was just okay for a good amount of the book but in the final chapters it kicked up to a book I can say I liked. I had this in my ebook pile for a long time and I picked it up thinking it was a mystery. It's more a hybrid mystery/speculative fiction story. I was completely fine with that because I'm a fan of both. But there were some problems and because of those, a huge dose of predictability.

In the first third of the book, I was sure of some of the most important aspects of the whole story regarding Megan and The Ridge. There were too many markers lying around that no fan of science fiction or speculative fiction could miss or discount. Megan has no friends in Chicago, nor anyone outside of The Ridge to call. Nothing about her husband's job is explained nor is whatever important work the Institute is carrying out. Her only means of transportation is a car that's never going to make it to the Interstate. There are no cell phones, internet or children at The Ridge and Megan doesn't seem to notice, nor does anyone else find it odd. Her dreams all feature a blue light and lo and behold when she sees a blue light during waking hours, she's has a response that I didn't read as fear but more like a transfixed deer in headlights. (view spoiler)

So the middle and most of the final thirds were a bit of a slog for me both waiting to be vindicated and surprised by some epic twist. Luckily, there was a twist when all the answers were revealed (it was good, not epic) in a very well done denouement. I don't know that I'd recommend this to fans of science fiction or speculative fiction as I wouldn't want anyone else to be largely bored by more than a third of the book. Still, this was a quick read so it's not like it'd be a long time slog. I'd totally recommend this to people who aren't as familiar with those genres and think it'd be quite thrilling a read with a much better payoff.

Summary: With its manicured lawns, pastel houses, and quiet, tree-lined streets, Willow Ridge seems to be the perfect place for Megan and Tyler Stokes to start a new chapter in their lives together. But soon after settling in, Megan begins to notice cracks in the neighborhood’s bright suburban facade—cracks that reveal a darker secret hidden just beneath the surface.
After an angry encounter with a neighbor takes a horrifying turn, Megan’s waking nightmare truly begins—growing ever more chilling and bizarre with each shocking twist. Suddenly forced to question everything around her, Megan finds herself trapped between the specter of madness and the shadow of something far worse. Her only hope is to expose the community’s pretty lies and discover the truth about what is really going on in Willow Ridge—a truth so devastating that her life will never be the same.

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