20 August 2015

Black Cairn Point by Claire McFall

Series: N/A, Standalone
Publication date: August 6, 2015
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Genres: YA, Thriller, Horror
Format: Paperback, review copy
Source: The publisher in exchange for an honest review
Pages: 258

Two survivors, one terrible truth.

Heather agrees to a group camping holiday with Dougie and his friends because she's desperate to get closer to him. But when the two of them disturb a pagan burial site above the beach, she becomes certain that they have woken a malevolent spirit. Something is alive out there in the pitch-black dark, and it is planning to wreak deadly revenge.

One year later Heather knows that she was very lucky to escape Black Cairn Point but she is still waiting for Dougie to wake from his coma. If he doesn't, how will she prove her sanity, and her innocence?

A chilling and atmospheric thriller from unflinching and award-winning writer Claire McFall.

Black Cairn Point is told from the main character, Heather’s, point of view and the story is split into ’now’ and ’then’ – which makes for quite a thrilling tale. Heather is the first narrator where I actually notice how unreliable she is, and I quite enjoyed that.

The story in Black Cairn Point is as follows; five friends go on a camping trip to Black Cairn Point and only 2 come back – one conscious and the other in a coma. So Heather, one of the survivors, is the only one to tell the tale of what happened on this trip and that’s where the ’now’ and ’then’ part comes in. Heather is locked up, they believe her to either be insane or a killer. ’Now’ takes place in Dr. Peterson’s office where Heather is treated and ’then’ takes place a year ago when the camping trip took place.

Before we start talking about characters I have to comment on the setting. It’s probably one of my first books set in Scotland! I had no idea it was set in Scotland and it was a lovely surprise. I didn’t feel the same way about the setting as I do in Outlander unfortunately. But that may be because it’s a more modern Scottish setting.

The characters I had a bucket load of problems with - this is going to be hard to explain but bear with me. It’s not that the characters are bad at all, they’re quite great actually, but it’s some of the characters’ personalities I struggled with.

The five friends who go on this trip is Emma, Darren, Dougie, Martin and Heather. Darren is Emma’s boyfriend, he’s older than the other four and he’s quite the douche. I really didn’t like him!
Even though I didn’t like Darren, Emma is probably my least favourite character. She’s one of the girls who become extremely annoying around boys, trying to be a damsel in distress  and wearing skimpy outfits – she’s just not a girl I would be friends with.
Martin and Dougie I really liked! Martin is geeky and shy but at times he’s quite the guy! He stands up to Darren and I admire him for that! Dougie is probably my absolute favourite character! He’s so sweet and attentive and I love how he is around Heather. They’re so cute together!

To talk a bit about Heather, since she is the main character and narrator. I love that she didn’t become a damsel in distress or wear skimpy outfits around the boys – even though she has a crush on Dougie. She wore her usual attire! I enjoyed getting to know her and I really felt sorry for the way she was treated afterwards!

Having said all that I must admit that I can’t be sure about anything I’ve said. Heather is an unreliable narrator and I can’t be sure about anything she has said and I therefore can’t be sure about my opinion of the characters.  

The story
The story is incredibly captivating! I found myself reading and reading until the end I had no idea how much time had passed, I just suddenly found myself at the end of the book and I didn’t really know what to do with myself.

I had expected more paranormal stuff, I was really looking forward to reading something otherworldly and maybe even something with witches. I got my wish in the form of a couple of stories about Pagans and witches but it didn’t really do the job entirely.

The fact that it’s told in ‘now’ and ‘then’ instead of just from start to finish is definitely a different experience, I think that’s one of the reasons I couldn’t put the book down. Every single time a ‘then’ chapter ended on a severe cliffhanger there was a ‘now’ chapter and you just had to keep reading and that was probably what happened the entire way through.

As usual I want to comment on the ending and as usual I promise not to spoil it for you. I had a feeling the ending would leave me surprised, I just didn’t expect it to end that way. It’s quite a badass ending actually!

I’ve probably talked about this book enough! Black Cairn Point is incredibly interesting and utterly captivating! I enjoyed reading it and I definitely recommend it. A solid4 berry rating since it didn’t totally live up to my expectations.  

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