Nightwood is very reminiscent of the typical horror film. Young teens, driven by sexual desire, end up in the dark and creepy woods that just happen to harbor some creepy killer driven by blood lust. Typical? yes. Full of surprise and edge of your seat suspense? Not an over abundance. Enjoyable to read? For the most part.
Gena and her two friends, Casey and Maryann, decide that instead of going on the school trip to Washington, D.C., like they told their parents, they'd head up to Casey's family's cottage in the woods for a week of independence. Casey, though, has an ulterior motive since her boyfriend is staying in a nearby cabin. Maryann also sees this an opportunity to escape the oppressive relationship with her father. The cabin is located in the woods of a small town of Delonga without much crime. That, though, changes when someone finds a pile of mutilated animals in an abandoned cabin. Figuring it was just a bear, the sheriff doesn't pay it much mind. His son, however, is unnerved by what happened and does some online research, only to discover that a trail of mutilated animals was discovered leading in the direction of his town. He soon realizes that there's a really sick person living in his woods. In the meantime, Casey tricks the girls into visiting her boyfriend's cabin, only to learn that his friend Jeff has gone missing. On a search for the friend, they discovered the mutilated remains of a dog and then, a few yards away, that of a human body. The girls, not wanting to be discovered by their parents if they contact the police, run away, get caught in a rainstorm, sink their boat and, by the time they get to land, Gena goes missing. Soon things are a little too close for comfort when the creature of the woods comes to visit these teens.
This book did not turn out half as scary as I thought. The man is creepy but the threatening situations didn't last throughout the novel. It needed to be more continuous or more surprising to really be scary. In no way did I risk nightmares or fear the dark shadows when reading this novel. One thing I did like, though, was this little mystery in the middle of the book when three males are attacked/gone missing and there's another suspect besides the creepy man in the woods. It was interesting to see which stories related. One thing that drove me crazy, though, was the stupidity/selfishness of the girls. With all the freaky things going on, they were more concerned with getting in trouble by their parents than being killed. And, Maryann was more concerned with getting away from her father and starting a new life than helping her friends. I couldn't stand the characters. Later, I found the truth about the killer interesting. On the downside, however, his interactions with Gena seemed too easy. I mean, come on. I get how certain people can be brainwashed, but he was far too accepting.
The novel does have a bit of a twist at the end, but if you're looking for a super creepy story to keep you up at night, this one doesn't really pull through. I'd say this novel is good to read around a campfire in the woods, but not so much beyond that.