On Christmas Day in 1893, every man, woman, and child in a remote gold-mining town disappeared, belongings forsaken, meals left to freeze in vacant cabins—and not a single bone was ever found.
One hundred sixteen years later, two backcountry guides are hired by a history professor and his journalist daughter to lead them to the abandoned mining town so they can learn what happened. Recently, a similar party had also attempted to explore the town and was never heard from again. Now the area is believed to be haunted. This crew is about to discover, twenty miles from civilization with a blizzard bearing down, that they are not alone, and the past is very much alive.
Abandon by Blake Crouch. Narrated by Luke Daniels. Audiobook published by Brilliance Audio, July 2007. Run time is 11 hours and 22 minutes.
The mystery of what happened to the town really had me hooked. Part of the book takes place in the present day, the other part takes place back in 1893 on the day of the town disappearance. Both stories were interesting. I was very curious about the town vanishing AND what happened to the treasure. This is a very entertaining thriller. Abandon has a great premise and there are plenty of surprises throughout the whole book.
The book blurb on the back of the book totally makes it sound like a supernatural horror story! If you go into this book waiting for ghosts, you will feel like it was a bait and switch situation. You will be disappointed. Abandon is a treasure seeking thriller. If you go in expecting a thriller, you will not be disappointed. I will admit, I went in thinking it was going to be supernatural and it took me a very long time to let go of being angry / disappointed, and just enjoy the thriller side of the story.
There are, however, a few other small problems I had with Abandon. First, it felt very long. I mean… it felt LOOOOONG. Much longer then 11 hours 22 mins. A long story isn’t bad, but this felt like some parts of the story were getting dragged out for too long.
The other problem is that there are a lot of characters to follow. I don’t know if it was because I had the audio, or if it was how it was written, but sometimes – especially in the 1893 chapters- it felt a little confusing as to who was talking. It seemed to take a few minutes to realize which characters were part of the conversation.
Problems aside, this was a very fascinating tale of greed. Past, present, doesn’t matter. Greed is timeless. Abandon does a great job of showcasing this. You can’t help but feel curious yourself about the treasure of gold. What happened to it? Where is it now?
The big reveal at the end (the reason why the people of Abandon disappeared) was a little bit confusing. Why exactly? I’m not 100% sure…. but I thought it was a interesting route to go and one I didn’t see coming. It was also a little bit confusing about how the people had remained hidden for so long. I mean…. why did nobody check THERE… and if they did check that location, how did they not find them? I’m not 100% sure about this either…
I don’t think Abandon was a bad book. I do wish I had known ahead of time it was a thriller instead of a supernatural horror. There is enough mystery here to have you hooked and curious about what exactly is going on. I wish the ending was a little bit clearer.