Title: The Hike
Author: Drew Magary
Genre: Fantasy, fiction, contemporary
Publishing year: 2016
I got this book at Comic Con, it was supposed to be a ticketed ARC and signing, but I was there at the right moment and they gave me a copy too and I got it signed.
This book is about Ben, a thirty-five year old man, married and father of three kids, he goes to
a business trip to rural Pennsylvania and decides to go hiking
before his business meeting. Ben gets lost at the forest and ends up in a path
he must follow no matter what or something may kill him. He is desperate to
return home, to return to his family and will endure anything to do so. Ben has
several odd encounters with different type of creatures, from a mysterious old
lady, to a giant cricket, to a man eating giant. He will find help in
unexpected forms, from a talking crab to magical seeds and objects. He’ll do
anything to go home, even if it takes out the worst of him.
|Drew Magary signing |
"The Hike" ARCs
I know, the synopsis sounds actually boring, a grown up man that gets lost in a forest while hiking? But the story goes beyond that. Ben is trapped in a fantasy kind of dimension or world where time doesn’t matter and everything is possible, and the only thing that seems real it’s him. The path will make him confront his fears, and will make him take decisions to assure his survival.
I must say this book was such a nice surprise, it’s really entertaining and enjoyable. I had the lowest expectations, but it surpassed them with honors. Despite “the path” being a really unusual and unreal place, Ben is one of the most real characters I’ve read. He cries, screams, rants, he fails, he is not perfect, he doesn’t know what to do, and he wants to give up sometimes. You can feel his desperation, anger, and frustration, and also you can know and feel how much he loves his family and how much he misses them.
|My ARC, you can see the final cover|
changed a little.
I thought this would be like a “wonderland” kind of place, full of crazy stuff, and well, it was something like that, but “the path” is a really bad place, it would torture ben showing him or making him do something horrible, and then it would reward him for it, and then repeat the same pattern over and over until exhausting ben’s soul and determination. During the book we get to know Ben a lot, we see how much he changes while following the path, we have glimpses of his past, and of his relationships with his family.
About the writing, I think the author did a good job, the book starts kind of slow but then something surprising happens, and from then on, the book has a fast pace with a lot of action happening and then it gets slow again, and then more action, it´s a pattern. In those slow moments we get to know better the main character and his story.
|"Stay on the path"|
I really liked the ending, in the last page, in the last paragraphs there is an interesting revelation, and when I read it I was really surprised, you get a hint of that in the middle of the book, but it doesn’t make sense until the end, it was great, a fabulous way of ending a story with a last minute revelation.
I highly recommend it if you want to read something different to usual, it has action, drama and a lot of cursing. It reminds me of videogames like Mario Bros, where the character follows a straight path and suddenly he enters to another place and then another and there are enemies or puzzles the player must solve.
Have you read it? Would you like to read it? Leave your opinion in the coments :D