Described as ‘the book you need after Squid Game’, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy of Kiersten White’s adult debut novel, Hide. I didn’t know much about the premise, other than it would take 14 individuals battling it out for a $50,000 prize in a game of hide-and-seek. What could possibly go wrong?
The book’s central focus point is a young girl called Mack, who has a tragic and violent past which has led to her being completely incapable of moving on and carving out a life for herself. Entering this competition, where she must hide within the confines of an abandoned amusement park for a week without being found, she feels she has found her calling and will make the easiest $50,000 of all time.
As the competition gets underway, however, it becomes apparent that the two people being eliminated each day haven’t simply been sent home with their tail between their legs; there’s something much more sinister going on. With friendships and bonds being forged as the group of contestants grows smaller, will they pull together or, is the promise of riches going to prove too tempting?
White has paced this book perfectly, only offering a slither of the truth behind the story up at integral moments, rather than delivering it in lashings that would overwhelm or spoil the reader’s experience.
I did find at times, that there was a lack of character development with some of the 14 contestants involved. It’s hard to keep a reader’s interest across so many different people, so it’s understandable and, White does her best to ensure we get a little bit of information about each person, whether it be from her description or a segment told from their point-of-view.
At just under 250 pages, Hide is a quick read, but one that will keep your heart pumping; especially through its final moments. Just as you think you know what’s coming next, the author twists in an unpredictable direction, shining a light on the very real issues of those in positions of power and wealth stepping on the ‘little people’ to ensure they remain at the top of the totem pole.
There’s a undefinable monster in Hide, and it’s one that many generations will be able to recognise.
Hide by Kiersten White is available now.
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