The Remedy is the debut novel from Asher Ellis and, upon first glance, seems to be a watered-down derivative of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Brian Keene’s Earthworm Gods, and numerous 80’s slasher films. The plot appears to be taken directly from Slasher Movie 101 – get a group of partying hard college students, throw in the one friend that is a reserved braniac (and just so happens to be hot in a non-bimbo kind of way), have them score a bunch of pot that they now have to get across the Canadian border which they decide that the first hitchhiker they meet would make a great candidate to help them. He actually decides to help them without thinking twice. He happens to know the one hiking trail that gets you across the border without any danger of meeting up with the border patrol. So the group splits up, one group hikes in the woods with the stranger, the other drive across to meet them at a rendezvous point. Guess what? Something bad happens in the woods. OK, who didn’t see this coming? But thats where The Remedy gets hard to lump into any category. Ellis actually does a nice job with the material. The writing is clear and I enjoy his writing style. The problem is the well-worn material he’s trying to sculpt into a story. Some will say its a homage to the above influences. Others will look at it as another rehashing of some very familiar territory. I would argue that its somewhere in the middle. If you’re looking for orginality, keep on looking. If you’re wanting to take a tromp down Slasher from the 80s Boulevard without much thinking involved, The Remedy isn’t a bad way to go. For myself, I enjoyed it for what it was but I’d really like to see Ellis bite off a little more in the material department. I think we have a good author here lurking in the shadows just waiting to bust out.
3 1/2 out of 5 stars
The preceding was based on an eARC obtained through Netgalley as made available by Full Fathom Five Digital.
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