Today I’m going to be reviewing The Forbidden Zone by Tom Trott.
Here is the blurb –
Genre – Supernatural/Paranormal Suspense
Every summer camp has its campfire stories, and that’s all they are: stories. But not here.
On the surface, Boys Club Camp is just like every other British summer camp: strict officers, woodland games, and night-time pranks. But Tommy remembers that summer in ’97, the year he turned thirteen, when he was the only one plagued with those little niggling questions: Why does the sound of howling cut through the cold night air? Why are the officers so obsessed with the legacy of Boys Club’s long-dead founder? Why aren’t boys allowed in the east woods?
A scream heard in the night led Tommy and his friends on a journey of discovery, to solve a mystery a hundred years in the making: what is the real purpose of Boys Club? The answer could only be found in the dark heart of the woods: the Forbidden Zone. Now an adult, Tommy needs to understand what they found there. It is his last hope of saving their lives.
The Forbidden Zoneis the retelling of events that transpired when Tommy attended Boys Club Camp in 97.
Things start as you’d expect as the boy’s setup camp, dig trenches and such. We get to know the boys and the officers a little better.
Tommy been coming to camp for a while now and he’s kind of outgrown it. I actually quite liked Tommy. He knows where his strengths and weaknesses are and from my own experience as a boy scout the author showed how difficult it can be for a young boy in an environment when you need to show physical skill when your talents lay elsewhere. It’s hard to feel like one of the group at times.
Side note, I still remember my first day at camp.. slipping on a cow pat as soon as I got off the bus…not my finest moment I must say.
I loved how the author described the different camp events such as tent inspection which I recall myself very well and the frustration your tent mates would have if you let the side down. All these little events add some depth to the character of Tommy, you like him and things progress fairly ok for him, at times it actually seems like this year is going to be his best yet, but that vibe never leaves you.. it’s the suspense as you know at any moment something has to happen right?
Well the title says it all. The Forbidden Zone is an area near camp out of bounds to the boys but there’s some troubling events connected to the area that are quite unexplainable at first.
It’s all about the build-up here as Tommy discusses his worries with his friends at camp and they agree to keep an eye on things. Things start to get creepy to say the least, officers are taken ill, friends start to act strange, and this is where things really get interesting as the author adds the supernatural edge to the tale.
Character development and plot flowed nicely together. When you look back you can see just how much time is given to the character development and it pays off as you feel a kind of personal connection with the boys. Tommy wants you to learn how he became the man he is.
I really don’t want to spoil the ending at all but its rather good I must admit. The history of Boys Club merges with the present and causes one hell of a headache for Tommy that he will never forget…Well he might forget..as the supernatural events progress there’s every chance Tommy may loose himself..it’s a rather confusing mad dash for the Tommy at the end, and you feel this confusion with him..who can be trusted? And what can he do to stop this evil from ever hurting anyone else?
I very much recommend the book, but maybe not if you are planning to go camping..
My thanks go to the author for supplying a review copy, I’m glad to say I purchased my own also. I pride myself on doing fair honest reviews and I put my money where my mouth is 🙂