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In The Arctic Sun by Rowan Hill

In The Arctic Sun book cover

Set in the mountains of Alaska during the season of constant sun, our main character Sarah is alone following a domestic violence incident involving her husband. She is struggling to sleep and suspects there is some sort of animal or creature living in her basement.

This wilderness horror novella from Rowan Hill is well written with a strong lead character in Sarah, the classic unreliable narrator, whose declarations of a creature in her basement are viewed as improbable as her sanity is questioned by a local Police officer who is also a friend of her husbands. She seeks solace in a new neighbour, but ultimately she will be forced to confront her fears, both real and imagined.

While the setup is strong, the plot is one that is quite familiar, and some elements stretch credibility. And despite the books strengths (character / setting / writing), I felt like there weren’t many surprises along the way. The creature itself felt a little arbitrary after being kept in the shadows for most of the book. I did like the late spanner thrown in the works about Sarah’s state of mind but it was all too easily resolved to get to the monster action.

But it was still a fun, quick read and I will be sure to check out Rowan’s future work (her story in the Slice of Paradise is fantastic).

3.5 out of 5.

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