Book Reviews of The Ruins

The Ruins
The Ruins
Author: Scott Smith
ISBN-13: 9781400043873
ISBN-10: 1400043875
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 336
Rating:
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 164

3.3 stars, based on 164 ratings
Publisher: Knopf
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

107 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Ruins on + 39 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 20
If I ever read another book by this author again, it will be because there is no more civilization, and I have run out of cereal boxes.
If you want things to be resolved in the end,there to be some purpose of the horror,and somebody to get out alive...don't read this book.
reviewed The Ruins on + 165 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 18
Vacationers get trapped in Mexico by stepping onto the wrong hill. Horror novel, seems the author wrote it hoping it would be turned into a movie. If so it would be a B-movie. Anyway, the action is fairly slow - once they figure out what is trapping them, nothing much happens any more, except the inevitable, of course. Put near the bottom of your stack of books-to-read.
reviewed The Ruins on + 44 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 10
WHERE ARE THE EDITORS?
A compelling premise when combined with stereotypical, static characters results in a 319-page interminable read. Sadly, I find almost every book lately is an overblown short story. If memory serves Stephen King already did a similar tale with his usual panache, perhaps explaining his favorable review. See if you don't agree this book should have been trimmed by half, thereby ramping up the tension and reader enjoyment, as well as freeing time better spent on more deserving books.
reviewed The Ruins on + 17 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
This was one of those books I just wanted to throw across the room! Awful plot. I'm not even sure why I finished it.
reviewed The Ruins on + 208 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
What starts out as a fun vacation in Mexico for two young couples turns into a nightmare. Their real troubles begin when they visit the ruins and site of an excavation dig. All the archeologists are missing. And the only folks close by are Mayan, who speak a language the couples don't understand. Then they learn the secret of the vines...This book is scarey and hard to put down. I understand that it's now a movie. Can't wait to see it!!
reviewed The Ruins on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
I really enjoy books that have a supernatural element that I can't figure out in the first few pages - and this was one of them. The plot is unlike any book I have ever read and I thoroughly enjoyed it!! This was a suspenseful and intriguing book ~ I read it in just a couple days. This book tops out as one of my all time favorites.
reviewed The Ruins on
Helpful Score: 5
Good premise, but disappointing execution.
reviewed The Ruins on + 23 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
This was one of the most depressing and utterly useless books I have ever read! I wanted to throw this book out the window midway through it! I had a feeling that it would end just the way it did! I have never read a more depressing book! I am bitterly disappointed after reading rave reviews of Smith's first book. It is on my shelf to be read, but it will be a long, long time before I read it!! What a waste of paper and of my time!!
reviewed The Ruins on + 373 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
An eerie, terrifying, obsessive read. Will leave you hollow and unsettled, but very glad you read it. Quick & easy to read. I never, ever want to visit Mexico.
reviewed The Ruins on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I kept reading thinking that something big was going to happen and surely this can not be what the entire book is about....I was wrong. Scott Smith's over book, A Simple Plan, was an entirely different, and enjoyable read.
reviewed The Ruins on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This book will suck you right into its story. Scott Smith has written a thoughtful and horrifying novel that you will not put down until you are finished. But even then, the story won't be finished with you....
reviewed The Ruins on + 36 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I am not going to be able to finish this one. It's too morbid for my tastes. Very Steven King-ish.
reviewed The Ruins on + 333 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I agree with Howard on this one. Great premise but very poorly written. Could have been a great one if written by someone else.
I was very disappointed.

Christa
reviewed The Ruins on + 20 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
simple plot, cardboard characters -- quit 1/2 way through
reviewed The Ruins on + 16 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Quick read for me, he doesn't go into a lot of rambling on about the background, gets right to the story. Not so scary, but pretty gross. My kind of book!
reviewed The Ruins on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I watched the movie before I read the book, and as usual, the book was much better than the movie. It goes back and forth from one persons thoughts to another, so when something has happened, you go to another persons thoughts before they walked upon that particular incident, and left me thinking that the author needed to do a little more proofreading. It was a good, fast read.
reviewed The Ruins on + 1142 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
A throwaway thriller, easy and fast to read, reasonably good writing, but only an okay story. Creepy and atmospheric, definitely, but not original. And the characters! I couldn't believe their continuing bad judgment and clueless behavior. They are like the people in horror movies who always go into the basement when they know they shouldn't, and then get what they deserve.
reviewed The Ruins on + 44 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
WHERE ARE THE EDITORS?
A compelling premise when combined with stereotypical, static characters results in a 319-page interminable read. Sadly, I find almost every book lately is an overblown short story. If memory serves Stephen King already did a similar tale with his usual panache, perhaps explaining his favorable review. See if you don't agree this book should have been trimmed by half, thereby ramping up the tension and reader enjoyment, as well as freeing time better spent on more deserving books.
reviewed The Ruins on + 30 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This book was okay... it was pretty cheesy in some places but pretty suspensful too. In spite of its cheesy-ness, it was completely not putdownable/ It was almost like a B horror movie... you want to stop watching/reading but somehow you just can't.
reviewed The Ruins on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
"The best horror novel of the new century." - Stephen King
I agree! The plot, characterizations, and overall storyline are written in the vein and caliber of King's earlier works, which I think is some of his most creepy and terrifying stuff. Scott Smith is excellent at creating ficticious horror and making it feel chillingly real. I always thought I would like to visit the ancient ruins in the jungles of Mexico. Now? Uh....maybe not!
reviewed The Ruins on + 43 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Slow in the beginning but picks up. Graphic. Would of liked a little more
explained but still a pretty good read.
reviewed The Ruins on + 19 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Interesting book about a group of tourist who wander into the wild forests in Mexico seeking treasure and the brother of one of the group members. What they find instead of treasure is enough to make you never take a vacation again.
reviewed The Ruins on
Helpful Score: 2
MUCH better than the movie... with a number of not-so-subtle differences, as is customary of book-to-movie changes.
I read this book in 2 days. It is easy to read, especially for those who can relate to the characters, young 20-somethings on an adventure before graduate school and careers.
If you enjoy MesoAmerican culture and archeology, have a sense that there are secret, undiscovered, or magical forces in this world, and do not necessarily judge a book by the characters' development - this is a fun read.
reviewed The Ruins on + 13 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This book reads like a bad B movie. Zero character development. I got no further than the second or third chapter, then I skipped to the end. So glad I didn't waste my time reading what was in between!
reviewed The Ruins on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
"The Ruins" is all suspense -- it's like a steady uphill climb, with no release until the very end. The characters are collections of traits; they never felt like real people, and I never cared about any of them. There's no tragedy without hope; and (regardless of how it ends) this story never felt the least bit hopeful. It felt like the characters were screwed from the word "go." Not recommended.
reviewed The Ruins on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Very intriguing & original horror story. The movie did NOT do this book justice! Definitely one of the creepiest I've read!
reviewed The Ruins on + 93 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book was a waste of time, boring, on and on, waiting for something to happen. One of the worse book I have ever TRIED to read, I skipped almost all the pages to get to the end.
reviewed The Ruins on + 307 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Don't be put off by the awful film. This audio version is actually very good. The story is much more interesting when you can use your own imagination about the characters and their environment. I really enjoyed listening to it. Some nice variations on the "bored, dumb kids get into trouble in a foreign country" theme. I liked some of the things you couln't be sure of during the story. Was there really a cell phone? Was it a case of quarantine or sacrifice? Can something that isn't human be a murderer? I was pleased the ending was seated in a kind of realism and not in a fake "tie it all up so we can go home happiness".
reviewed The Ruins on + 52 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Scary book - it builds and builds.
reviewed The Ruins on + 636 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This was certainly a thrilling and eventful read! I stayed up way too late to finish this book and while it was certainly entertaining, with the feel of a summer horror movie, my complaints run along the same lines. There were not a lot of answers or motivations, no explanation, silly characters... but the biggest twist was the ending. I did find that to be quite refreshing. The next most frustrating thing about the book was that there were no chapters - 500+ pages and not a single chapter, or section divider... no stopping places! Which, I suppose, does help explain why I read it in less than a day.
reviewed The Ruins on + 16 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book reminded me a great deal of Stephen King. This is the first book of Scott Smith's that I have read and I am hooked.
The story, although original, reminded me of Stephen King's "The Dreamcatcher". It gave me an indepth look at each character without being boring and put me in their shoes in the plot.
Sometimes, the story was like watching a train wreck. You did not want to look, but you could not turn away,either. I read it in two days and I am not a fast reader.

Marion
reviewed The Ruins on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
i loved this book. i didn't expect to like it as much as dean koontz or stephen king but i did. if you saw the movie its not the same as in the book. the details are graphic and realistic and it makes you NEVER want to visit any kind of ruins...just in case!!!
reviewed The Ruins on + 24 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Annoying characters combined with plodding and pointless narrative made this the worst book I've read in a long while. I felt like nothing happened in the first thirty-bajillion (roughly) pages of the book, and then Mr. Smith took just forty pages to wrap everything up. Very uneven.

After the first chapter, I wanted to throw this book into a wall... I should always follow my instincts.
reviewed The Ruins on
Helpful Score: 1
Sci-fi type thriller that I found depressing. Group in the woods, people die, can't say why ...
reviewed The Ruins on + 228 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I cant believe Stephen king really called this,"the best horro book of the year" Very readable, but average at best. Um the "scary" monster really isnt very scary, and the characters might as well be typecast puppets. Kinda silly book if you ask me. In fact I was hoping they would get killed a lot faster than they did. 500 pages to nowhere.
reviewed The Ruins on + 275 more book reviews
Another winner from Scott Smith but I think I like the first book best. It was called "A Simple Plan".
reviewed The Ruins on + 37 more book reviews
Pretty freaking scary.......
reviewed The Ruins on + 10 more book reviews
I must say that im surprized by the bad reviews this book recived I read this book probably about 2 years ago and still think about it. I sometimes have a hard time remembering books i read yesterday!I thought it was very good, fast paced, and interesting. It was one of those books that when you get to the end you wish there was more. So again i honestly dont see why it recived bad reviews from so many members, I guess youll have to read it and find out for yourself.
reviewed The Ruins on + 32 more book reviews
I picked up this book because I'm interested in all things Mayan, but I could not finish it. It just seemed like it should have been a short story, not a novel.
reviewed The Ruins on + 57 more book reviews
Give this book a break. It is exactly as described on the jacket, and kept me in it until the end. A book doesn't have to change your life to be worth reading. With this one, go along just to enjoy the ride.
reviewed The Ruins on + 105 more book reviews
Suspenseful and subtle horror novel. Interesting to see how the social dynamics collapsed as the characters learned what was happening. A little contrived at times, but not so much that you can't suspend disbelief and become engrossed.
3.5 stars out of 5
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Reminded me of a Stephen King novel.
reviewed The Ruins on + 12 more book reviews
I ordered this book based on the recommendation of a lady who worked in a book store - and you would think a person who works around books knows a good story when she reads/hears one, right?? She commented about how this was one of the most intense stories she'd ever heard and how she couldn't stop thinking about it.
Well, I don't know what kind of books she's been reading or listening to but, to me, there was nothing intense about this book. It didn't even make me stop to think. It was gross and far fetched. I'm so glad I didn't pay money for this story!
reviewed The Ruins on + 72 more book reviews
You will be on the edge of your seat with this story!! It is very horrific and I love Patrick Wilson's voice! A must - hear!
reviewed The Ruins on + 89 more book reviews
This is good, creepy, but good! A thriller you just can't put down, you just have to find out how it ends!
reviewed The Ruins on + 72 more book reviews
Scary! Can't wait to see the movie!
reviewed The Ruins on + 17 more book reviews
Frankly, not very good. This book defies genre - not horror, not suspense and just not very good.
reviewed The Ruins on
disturbingly creepy...
reviewed The Ruins on + 42 more book reviews
Very interesting, different kind of book. Read it in one day.
reviewed The Ruins on + 5 more book reviews
Amazing, grab-you-by-the-throat, pulse-pounding horror novel by the author of "A Simple Plan". One of those books that is disturbing enough to invade your thoughts for days after you finish it, and scary enough keep you up at night (I finished it at 3 a.m. and didn't sleep much after that). If you enjoy King, Koontz, Saul, and the like, you'll find "The Ruins" just as compelling a page-turner.
reviewed The Ruins on + 11 more book reviews
This was a page-turner, yet seems written as if he really wants it to be a movie. Light and fun.
reviewed The Ruins on + 70 more book reviews
I found this book absolutely riveting -- please don't be tainted by the movies that have come out like "Turistas" or "Hostel." This book is a complete study in the break down of a group of people that are trapped without enough food or water, and are being hunted by something that looks completely harmless.

I read this book in a few days and could not put it down -- I haven't seen the movie yet, but I can assure you that if you put aside the movies out there like "Hostel" you will find this story absolutely creepy, and at times, incredibly moving.
reviewed The Ruins on + 3 more book reviews
I tried to locate the publisher to chastise them for putting out such drivel, and when it was made into a movie, my head almost exploded. Pedantic, trivial, utterly unbelievable. I was angry I'd wasted my time finishing it.
reviewed The Ruins on + 26 more book reviews
I plowed through this book in 3 days. It was intense and believable despite who the "bad-guy" was. The movie certainly didn't do the book justice as so often is the case. Great summer reading... and as one review said, you'll never look at your house plants the same again.
reviewed The Ruins on + 624 more book reviews
Book Description
Trapped in the Mexican jungle, a group of friends stumble upon a creeping horror unlike anything they could ever imagine.Two young couples are on a lazy Mexican vacationsun-drenched days, drunken nights, making friends with fellow tourists. When the brother of one of those friends disappears, they decide to venture into the jungle to look for him. What started out as a fun day-trip slowly spirals into a nightmare when they find an ancient ruins site . . . and the terrifying presence that lurks there.

My Review
This was a very scary book but a bit unbelievable. It was a page turner with a lot of tension and hard to put down. I find Scott Smith's writing very entertaining and I would definitely check out his next book. I would recommend this book to those who like a good adventure story.
reviewed The Ruins on + 26 more book reviews
Too plodding, too predictable and, a too obvious ending. I can't believe I lasted till the end. I should have tossed away half way through. The only good thing was that I bought it for adollar at Half Price Books.
reviewed The Ruins on + 85 more book reviews
After reading Stephen King's review, I thought this book would be the best summer read since Jaws. Was anyone else slightly disappointed in the book? Yes it was engrossing - I read it in almost one sitting - but it's so dark and depressing - the synopsis has already been told - 6 visitors in Cancun go off to find a missing brother in the Mayan jungle. They end up in a really strange place where they have no control over what is happening to them.

However, I felt that Scott Smith should have had even a little bit of historical or factual information in the novel so that you knew who the Mayans were - this actually could have taken place anywhere in any jungle - not just Mexico.

I did like the book - I just didn't love it and I really wanted to.
reviewed The Ruins on + 4 more book reviews
This book was just ok for me. I did not enjoy it as much as I thought I would. I will not be seeing the movie either.
reviewed The Ruins on + 22 more book reviews
Read this book...and it seemed like I was always waiting for it to get better...and never did
reviewed The Ruins on + 1525 more book reviews
This one will scare the socks off you! Do not---DO NOT--- read it late at night if you are alone. Wait until another person is with you, because you'll need someone to help you fight off the all-too-plausible logic that drags you deeper and deeper . . .

From back cover: TERROR HAS EVOLVED. In the wild interior of the Yucatan, far from the lazy beaches of Cancun, two young couples and some new-found friends venture to the site of an ancient Mayan temple, in pursuit of aonther in their group. What started out as a day trip spirals into a nightmare when they reach the ruins . . . and discover the terrifying prescence that lurks there.
reviewed The Ruins on + 424 more book reviews
Ok story with an ok plot. Not really scary, but kind of grusome. It's one of those books that's good for a quick read, but will never go down in history as great literature. But so what? I was entertained for a while and now I'm done. Just what I needed.
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I was expecting a lot more from all the hype! Not at all scary. Almost seems written by as child in some places, cheesy. Nothing about the Mayan Ruins!!
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This was a great page-turner. I stayed up all night to finish it. I can't wait for the movie to be released.
reviewed The Ruins on + 48 more book reviews
This is the book that the movie is based on. It is a good scary read and if the movie is anything like the book at all I'm not going to see it! Like Stephen King's "Misery" it is a cannot put it down until it's finished. Just make sure you start reading it early in the morning and -- unless you have a houseful of people -- don't read it alone at night!
reviewed The Ruins on + 68 more book reviews
I rarely read horror, but Scott Smith is the exception. The book was a page turner. I liked his character development and the creative scenarios.
I did like a Simple Plan much more (movie and the book). Definitely worth reading - hey Stephen King likes him!
reviewed The Ruins on + 229 more book reviews
A strange suspense novel about two couples on vacation that get caught up in a strange place.
reviewed The Ruins on
After reading Scott Smith's first novel, A Simple Plan (1993), I was enthused about the promise of this novelist. My enthusiasm was heightened when I sought out the short story published earlier in the New Yorker upon which A Simple Plan is based. Ready to become an avid Scott Smith fan, I was eager for Smith's next novel, The Ruins (2006). What a disappointment. The plot is weak and not very credible and hardly supports the operatic length of this novel that should have been a short story. The title is apt because the poor character development alone is ruinous. Smith's writing is engaging enough but this story falls short of his first novel by leaps. Hopefully the author will focus more sharply on his next novel. Then I may once again believe in this talented writer's potential promise. Save your money. If you're looking for a good horror story read instead Dan Simmons's A Winter Haunting or Michael Laimo's Deep in the Darkness.
reviewed The Ruins on
This book was just made into a movie (released April 2008, I believe). It's a horror novel in the tradition of Stephen King--be prepared for gore and general ickiness. A good beach read.
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If you like Stephen King, you'll like this author too!
reviewed The Ruins on + 34 more book reviews
It starts off kinda slow but picks up fast. It can get a bit gruesome in some parts but a good read over all.
reviewed The Ruins on + 136 more book reviews
If you like horror books this is the one to read. Beats Stephen King. Will make you think twice before taking a walk in the woods.
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All books leave us with something. Will be looking for Ruins II. Has to be an ending here sometime.
reviewed The Ruins on + 8 more book reviews
This book has stayed in my mind days after I read it. Very well done.
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If you like Stephen King books you will love this one!
reviewed The Ruins on + 31 more book reviews
Whoa boy this is some read. Get it and go! It will stick with you forever. Quick, not light but sorta fun in a sadistic way. Was at family reunion and we all mentioned we had read it (my family is full of readers). We all remembered it, too... Don't miss.
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Worst story ever. Dumb characters and horrid plot. Only bright side was hollaring out what was happening to my friends so they could share in the badness that is this book.
reviewed The Ruins on + 40 more book reviews
Creepy! (Quite literally)

This book will generate strong opinions-- It's horror, but not in the classic sense of the genre.
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Excellent book!!!
reviewed The Ruins on + 22 more book reviews
A very frightening read... ideas like this are scarier to me than monsters. Enjoyable book.
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This is a great book. Sometimes mindless mayhem and killing is exactly what I need out of a book, always wondering just what is killing these poor teenagers. It's not the best written piece I've ever read, but the plot moved along and leaves you wondering what the plants will do next.
reviewed The Ruins on
The movie takes you through the boring beginning much faster. Get the movie. THis book is not worth the time it takes to get to the good stuff!
reviewed The Ruins on + 59 more book reviews
Not bad, but nothing new.
reviewed The Ruins on + 57 more book reviews
Not bad but really not a Horror novel in my opinion. This was more like a Psychological thriller with a little supernatural sprinkled in. It dealt more with people's personalities and how they handle adversity than anything else.
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Amazing! I could not put this book down. I am now finished with this book and wish that I wasn't. It was so good and well written. It kept my attention. Great book! Can't wait to see the movie.
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This book. Was AWESOME! I can't believe how into this story I was. I mean, I thought it'd be good, since I enjoyed the movie a few years ago, but I honestly couldn't put this book down. It was so suspenseful, so horrific that I now find myself looking at plants with red flowers a little suspiciously. People who like horror novels will adore this one.
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This book was amazing. I read it in 2 days and I couldnt put it down. Cant wait to go see the movie now.
reviewed The Ruins on
This book is a true horror story, it was pretty gross too! Despite that, it was compelling and I read/listened to the whole thing.
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This one will keep your interest throughout. Narrator has the tenor to add the necessary drama to this suspenseful story. There must be a sequel.
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An eerie, spell binding tale of horror and death that grabs the reader from the takeoff and never lets go until the end... the very end!
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"Best horror novel of the new century" - Stephen King. I read the fly leaf of this book and thought it looked interesting. I was hooked from the time our group of characters made their way into the Mexican jungle. Horror can take many forms. In this case it was the lack hind-sight; lack of communication; complicity; leadership; discovery; remorse; acceptance; and the soul searching of each individual involved. I have never read a novel that had an ending quite like "Ruins". I felt the characters were very well fleshed out; the environment exotic, and the story line well played out. The horror genre does not always have to be slashers, stalkers, ghosts, the supernatural, or mysterious and ominous persons. Sometimes horror is right in front of us and we don't know it until it is too late. I commend Scott Smith for this novel and would highly recommend it.
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This book is about two couples vacationing in Cancun. A new friend asks them to help him find his brother who has run off with a girl to visit an ancient Mayan ruin. What appears to be an intriguing adventure turns into something horrifying. Before the folks involved can figure out what is going on, its too late. I really liked how the author wrote this book. While I was hoping for a different ending, the ending was a bit ironic and the author brought the story full circle. I discovered that this book was made into a movie which I'm looking forward to watching and getting a good scare.
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Very creepy but a fun, quick read!
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Good read that kept me on the edge of my seat through most of it. I didn't really care for the characters though; they mostly annoyed me. But that didn't take away from me loving this book. Read this instead of watching the movie.
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Great read by Scott Smith. You will remember him for A Simple Plan, great book, later made into a movie.
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put it this way dont waste your time reading this book ,it sucks ! Lol
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not as great as I expected after reading all the hype.....it is good but not as scary as a good Steven King book.
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I was hoping the book was about Mayan ruins, but it's not. Held my attention though and it was a quick read.
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book and just ordered the author's other book, A Simple Plan. More similar to something by James Rollins or John Darnton than anything by Stephen King. A Sci-Fi thriller with a morbid side showing great creativity. I enjoyed this book and don't understand the negative reviews. Scott Smith, I want more!
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Dont waste your time with this so called book,it sucks ! Lol its good for one thing i used it to start a fire in my fireplace !
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Quite a disappointing read.
Few thrills, predictable.
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Good read, lots of tension. More blood and guts than I normally like.
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Good thriller!
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Group of teenagers on vacation in South America go off the beaten path to visit what they believe is an archaeological dig. They find the site but no people. It's only when they try to leave that they discover what really lies in the ruins. Good plot that puts a twist on supernatural horror.
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Great read. Could not put down once started. The movie was good also.
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Awesome book! I am going to have to see the movie, although I usually don't like to do that after I've read the book.
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I loved this book! It was slow in the beginning and I almost stopped reading it but I'm sure glad I kept going. Once the story started moving along, I couldn't put it down.
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The Ruins is full of great writing and when I read the book,I kept thinking "IF ONLY"
Making wrong choices sure can lead down the road less chosen.
The book as usual is much better than the movie.