Today I am back to review another new release – The Black Slide by J.W. Ocker – which will be available on August 16th 2022. I was permitted to read an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) thanks to NetGalley. I’ve read two of J’s other books in the past and rated them very highly. He’s an excellent writer!
Griffin Birch isn’t known for being brave, but there’s something about the new slide on the elementary school playground that’s made him curious. Against his better judgement, he just has to follow his best friend Laila down. But the Black Slide is no ordinary piece of playground equipment. What Griffin and Laila find at the other end of this strange portal is a cruel world, populated by bloodthirsty creatures on a quest to become immortal. And it’s up to Griffin to save himself, his best friend and the future of earth itself.
As always, I am going to provide my honest thoughts and let you know whether I think this middle-grade horror novel is worth checking out or not. Without further ado, let’s get into it!
WHAT I ENJOYED
The concept itself was incredible. A scary playground slide that leads to evil? Count me in! The author described this novel as Hellraiser for kids and I was 100% here for that. I absolutely love when children band together to overcome darkness. Their strength and courage always blows me away. I think that’s why I love IT so much. The sweet dynamic between Griffin and Laila had me rooting for them from the beginning. Furthermore, the descriptions of the monsters (or the Merciless as they are known) were so wildly unique, I actually had to stop reading to picture them in my mind. J is so gifted at creating original creatures (as I saw in The Smashed Man of Dread End – review here). The slide itself felt like its own entity. It completely creeped me out. This book brought the scares and I have no doubt teenagers will enjoy this story.
WHAT I DIDN’T ENJOY
This is quite a short novel. I believe it’s just shy of 300 pages. I will say that from the moment Griffin went down the slide, the events were so fast-paced I struggled to keep up. The portal to the other realm confused me at times. They moved around very quickly. I wish we there had been more chapters dedicated to the different parts of the alternate reality. That’s really my only complaint!
OVERALL STAR RATING
I gave this a 3.5/5 stars. I had a great time reading it.
If you are interested, you can order a copy here.
I hope you enjoyed this honest review. Let me know your thoughts down below. I appreciate all feedback. Thanks for reading!
Peace & Love xoxo
Disclaimer: This post contains a link to my Book Depository Affiliate. I am not being paid or sponsored for this post/products – all my thoughts/opinions are my own