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Campfire

Narrated by: Charlotte Blacklock
Length: 7 hrs and 10 mins
Categories: Fiction, Horror
3.5 out of 5 stars (41 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Be careful what stories you tell around the campfire... they just might come true. Fans of Scream and Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children will devour this chilling horror debut. 

While camping in a remote location, Maddie Davenport gathers around the fire with her friends and family to tell scary stories. Caleb, the handsome young guide, shares the local legend of the ferocious Mountain Men who hunt unsuspecting campers and leave their mark by carving grisly antlers into their victims' foreheads.  

The next day, the story comes true.  

Now Maddie and her family are lost in the deep woods - with no way out - being stalked by their worst nightmares. There were other, more horrifying stories told that night - and Maddie's about to find out just how they end... 

©2018 Shawn Sarles (P)2018 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Wholly chilling and unputdownable, Campfire is spooky summer fun for fans of Are You Afraid of the Dark? and Scream - just be sure to read with the lights on!" (Kerri Maniscalco, New York Times best-selling author of the Stalking Jack the Ripper series)

"Entertaining... Sarles keeps up a fast pace with toxic family drama and graphic murders alike, with effective use of red herrings. This slasher will work for teens raised on Goosebumps." (Booklist)

"When fictional murders become the blueprints for actual killings, where is the line between imagination and reality? Slasher film fans will want to gather round the fire." (Kirkus Reviews)

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Bland. But the end there was i climax

Childish writing. Also Its like the moment your waiting for a text the whole day. And you get it the day after. Its the kind of book you go “how many pages are left? And chapter 8 was just a bit long. I don’t recommend. I still wish caleb liked maddie. I guess i more of a romance book kinda girl

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Slow starter, not really about campfire tales.

It takes about half the book for this to really get going. And then it kicks into high gear. The ending was a surprise, I won't give it away, but I'm still a little confused into the motives. They explain it, but I still don't see the entire point. I was hoping for more of a supernatural thriller, given the premise of campfire stories, but that is not what this is.

The book is definitely geared more towards young adults. It's a good, but not really scary. The narration is pleasing.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Couldn't stop listening...

This story from the very beginning was intriguing and intense. makes you feel every feeling the character has and is going through.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good Job for a first timer

Good book, but a little disjointed. I enjoyed it knowing it was a young author, but would have been more critical if it had been a seasoned author

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Shawn Sarles Debut Novel is a Complete Bust

I've seen a picture of the author and I still can't tell how old he is. I don't want to write a scathing review of a book that is for a young person or a debut novel; however, I would feel like I'd be doing a disservice to lie or take it easy on my actual opinion of this book.

The story follows Maddie, a gifted runner in school, who, five years prior, lost her mother to a rogue fire in her office building. Now, they are on a family camping trip with a few friends and family members. The minor characters of importance are her best friend and "sister" Chelsie and Caleb, the twenty-two-year-old guide up the mountain. The tagline of the book is "[B]e careful what stories your tell around the campfire" under the full moon. That one was said by Caleb in an attempt to scare the group around, but there are sick people around who plan to use the stories to plan the murders of a majority of the group.

Mr. Sarles, I'm going to preface my review by saying that I understand that writing is hard and your first book may be just to get the kinks out of you style, discover who you are as writer. The fact that James Patterson gave a foreword to this novel isn't anything special to me. The Stephen Kings and the James Pattersons are basically book machines that pump out book after book of pure expositional torture.

The characters seemed have a lack of depth and I even found that I didn't know whom was whom. I knew Maddie, Chelsie, Abigail, Charlie, Maddie's dad (Mitch), and I could list other character names, but I can't remember which are aunts/uncles/cousins and which are friends. I think that is the fault of the author by not describing the characters well enough.

The tah-dah! moment was surprising, but part of me felt like it was just to do the shock and awe thing, so I found it to be a gimmicky.

As far as narration, Charlotte Blacklock did a pretty good job with the female characters, but didn't try hard with the male. I'm glad that she didn't try to do the "fake male voice" that so many narrators attempt, but I also thought it could've been better. Basically, I'm trapped in the void where she's good, not great, but I would never say that she was "pretty good," like the three stars says that is.

So, for the future, I think Shawn Sarles COULD produce a very good novel, but 'Campfire' was one HUGE DUD of a book. I'm going to give the novel itself a D- and then the narration will get a B-.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful