4 member(s) found this review helpful.
[Note: Please disregard the other review for this book dated 10/25/2007. Somehow the review was posted to the wrong book under "Anonymous" so I am unable to edit or delete it. I meant to post that review for The Keeper, NOT The Missing. Sorry for the confusion.]
10/8/2010 - The Missing is an end-of-the-world horror story. After I finished reading the Missing, it sort of felt like I just stepped off a roller coaster and needed a moment to steady my knees before moving on. I had to think about the story for awhile so that I could understand exactly why I felt so disturbed by it. The way Langan describes characters' chain of thought and actions, their souls are totally exposed to the reader. People's random petty thoughts and unwholesome impulses (quickly quashed for the most part) are documented so no person seems 100% good or, for that matter, 100% bad either.
The plot is that a long-dormant virus, mutated by events in the Keeper, is unearthed in a small town and spreads throughout the population. This virus is sentient and shares its thoughts and malice with all its hosts. It turns people into vicious, ravenous beasts that feed on humans as well as any other living thing they can find. The creatures are similar to vampires in that they are light sensitive, sleep during the day, and heal quickly, while their manner seems more like zombies or the Rage-infected from 28 Days Later.
I enjoyed reading this book more than I did the Keeper, probably because the mood wasn't quite as dark and there didn't seem to be the same political/philosophical overtones. Also I love apocalyptic fiction and The Missing falls into that category, although the emphasis was on the horror instead of individual survival.
Mental illness is a common theme in Langan's writing and plays a big part in the Missing. Maybe that is the reason this book gave me the creeps so badly. The majority of the characters in the story had some form of mental disorder, although most function well enough to hide it from others. The thought of losing my mind or personality to mental illness has always terrified me. Now that I think about it, the loss of self really is one of the most frightening aspects of the virus as well.
2 member(s) found this review helpful.
I had so-so expectations of this book after reading "The Keeper", but boy was I wrong! I loved this book! Takes the best elements of the best zombie/vampire/virus/alien/end-of-the-world stories and masterfully blends them together.
1 member(s) found this review helpful.
I have never read from an author quite like this. Sarah Langan has been described as "poetic" in her writing, because she can put things on paper that most people wouldn't know where to start. Her graphical descriptions of emotions are so imaginative and on-target that her words grab the reader and take them on this dark, creepy journey.
While the story line in The Missing and The Keeper are really ominous and erie, you can't help but to keep on reading. She is an amazing writer, and while horror isn't generally my "thing" I look forward to more work from Ms. Langan because it's a bit of an escape.
If you're sensitive, don't read it before bed. It's like a horror movie on paper. Unbelievable! AND she leaves room for another sequal....