Written by: Scotty
Who am I? Am I still me? Are these questions you should still be asking yourself after you take a vacation? I would hope not, but if you are, you must really need to get away, maybe a bit further than usual.
This is the question a group of college friends have been left to ask themselves after a long deserved vacation to Cancun. Upon their arrival to the resort, they are able to befriend a group of heavy drinking Greeks who go by Mexican names and a German named Mathias. Although the group does not know what to expect from these friendships, they are ready to just have a great time.
Amy and Jeff, long time sweethearts from their early college days, are traveling along with Stacy and Eric, their love is by no means a long term relationship, but enough to stay with each other and not sleep around. After their long and satisfying stay at the resort, Mathias comes to the group and asks if they have seen his brother recently. The group has not and remembers that a couple days prior the brother had hit it off with a very pretty local girl and had run off somewhere with her. Mathias had found a note along with a hand drawn map of the location where his brother should be. The group, still on their vacation high decide to go along with the German on a little adventure.
When arriving at the location shown on the map, the group stumbles on to a little Mayan village on the outskirts. The locals do not seem to mind the outsiders in their village, but keep a close eye on the group and their movements. They take pictures and try to communicate with the locals, but they only know some broken Spanish, and not enough to make sense with locals. Finding the correct path to what appears to be a dig site, the group moves to some bare earth and onto a hill that only seems to be covered by beautiful flowers.
The group moves up to the plateau of this hill and notices the majestic view, along with the lack of any other plant life. Feeling a bit out of place, the group moves back down the hill, but is surprised to find a group of Mayans from the town, armed and guarding an invisible barrier, not allowing them to exit the ancient land. This is just the beginning of their problems, as they stumble across the body of Mathias’ brother who was shot in the chest and left to die on the hill. The group also finds an abandoned dig site, no people, but all of their belongings remain. Along with that, Pablo, one of the Greeks that decided to tag along on this adventure fell into a shaft and broke his back. These are all the least of their problems, for the hill has a secret of its own it is about to reveal.
Welcome to The Ruins, one of the reasons I will never go down to Mexico for fear this will happen to me. Scott Smith has a fabulous imagination, and is able to put it down on paper just the way he intends. This book is full creepy, disturbing and downright wrong thoughts of what would happen if you were left to die on a hill with a bunch of your friends. Worrying about the safety of your group, your future, lack of water, starvation, a group that will not let you leave, along with a hill that is able to….come alive, you worry for the group and what will be their best escape from this treacherous place.
This is a fantastic read. Smith keeps the story flowing from their arrival to the hill, to when they all…well…let’s say until the book ends. With all that is going on with the group and their fight for survival, Smith is able to keep some moments of levity, that is until it all hits the fan. Pick up this book, make sure your plants are happy and watered and keep a light on. This book is guaranteed to take you places you never really wanted to go.