I made the mistake of reading this late into the night and ended up sleeping with my door locked tight.Ten
is a retelling of Agatha Christie's famous 'And then there were none
' with a YA spin on it (That should make you want to read this book, right there!).
If you haven't read Christie's version (and you really, REALLY should), ten random strangers end up on an island, each of them having been called there by a friend/acquaintance they haven't heard from, in a long time and find themselves mysteriously cut off from the mainland with no way to contact anybody outside the island. To make things much, much worse, someone is killing all of them off, one by one, and since there is no way in or out of the island, it has got to be one of their own. And no one can be trusted. Christie's book, in my opinion, is a masterpiece in the Crime/Mystery literature genre.
McNeil tries to stay as true to the original story as possible. Ten teens end up on an island for a party after they all receive a Facebook invite from someone they all know. Once there, they watch a video which has a creepy message in it for all of them, assuring them of their imminent doom. And before they know it, the power's gone, the telephone's out and one of them is hanging from a noose, dead.
Although the book started off on a very, very
shaky start (I almost put down the book after the first couple of chapters), the plot and the writing is deliciously eerie. It creeps up on you much like the mysterious killer in the book and scares the bejesus out of you when you are least expecting it.
BUT, having said that, Ten falls short of the mark because of the poor characterization. The female lead is your typical Mary Sue - shy, whines a lot, completely ordinary with no likeable character traits but still SOMEHOW, inexplicably, manages to grab the attention of the cutest guy in her class, shows spontaneous life-saving skills, out of the blue, when needed the most, etc. etc. McNeil needs to work on her "showing" skills a bit more. She's done a LOT of "telling" in this one.
But all in all, a good, scary novel (it's based on a Christie book, for crying out loud!) Recommended.