Mack, a young woman who has lost everything, is offered the opportunity to compete in a week-long extreme hide and seek competition set in a derelict amusement park. Mack is good at hiding, that’s how she survived her murderous father, and she could use the money so she joins the competition. But soon, it becomes clear that this competition and the park is far more sinister than they seem.
This is a fast-paced, intricately plotted horror novel that switches perspectives between the 14 contestants of the competition. I’ve been reading more horror this year than I’ve ever read before, and I thought this was a compelling read, though it wasn’t super scary and I found the ending to be a little unsatisfying. White has previously been a YA author and I thought this book skewed more YA, though it is marketed to adults. Still, there was a lot to enjoy in the story.
My favorite thing about the story is the multiple perspectives. Each character had a rich backstory and reason for coming to the competition, and it was interesting to occupy their minds. The multiple perspectives also helped to build tension as each contestant is found by whatever is hunting them. Mack provides the main perspective and it was also interesting to unravel her backstory and follow her as she uses her instincts to hide and solve the mystery of the competition.
In addition to the perspectives of the competitors, we also see a perspective from the organizer of the competition which adds necessary context to the story. This perspective unfolds slowly so that we get little pieces of information about the history of the competition, the park, and the mysteries of the town in which it takes place.
I thought the shifting perspectives and history of the game helped to create a sense of dread, but I felt it was ruined when the hunter was finally revealed. It would’ve been scarier to not describe the hunter at all and let readers imagine what it’s like. I also felt the reason for the hunter’s existence was not satisfyingly explained. The story really built up to this moment, and then I was let down by the reveal and the subsequent events.
Overall, I enjoyed the story but was let down by the conclusion. But the characters were great and definitely gave me something to root for. If you like creepy, suspenseful horror novels with well-developed characters, this may be a good choice for you!
If you’ve read Hide, be sure to tell me what you thought! Did you guess what was happening?
CW: murder, graphic injuries, gore, racism, gun violence, death of a child, death of a parent, cults