From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up—In this supernatural thriller set in a remote Canadian town in the dead of winter, four friends encounter a cannibalistic creature that is hunting and killing teens. Out late at night, Danny, the narrator, is stung by the terrible monster and it begins to stalk his nightmares. As he becomes increasingly and mysteriously ill, he realizes that his life is in danger. The foursome, after a failed attempt to involve law enforcement, decide to take on the behemoth with stolen dynamite and guns "borrowed" from their fathers. In addition to the main story line, the novel has Danny coming to terms with his mother's recent death and reconnecting with his father. Each of the friends comes across as an individual. Danny's love interest, Ash, a girl boxer who is half Ojibwa, is a particularly dynamic character (Danny's physical reaction to riding with her on her motorbike will ring true with hormonal teens). It is from Ash that Danny first hears stories about Windigos, "big, ugly things…with a chunk of ice for a heart." The unrelenting pace, short chapters, and the idea of teenagers taking on a monster with a large amount of weaponry will certainly appeal to fans of horror novels.—Caroline Tesauro, Radford Public Library, VA
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Something is out there, in the cold nothing of the Canadian winter, making teenagers disappear. McNamee’s follow-up to Acceleration (2003) is another page-turning thriller, this time with an eerie supernatural edge that will appeal to fans of psychological horror. Newcomer Danny and his brainy friend Howie have been chased down and stung by a Windigo, a massive cannibalistic beast. Now they are infected, racing against time before being compelled to give in to the beast in the frozen tundra. Ash, whose boxing wows Danny before her kisses do, and Pike, Howie’s pyromaniac brother, also join the hunt. The book starts out with a bang as Pike sets fire to a convenience store, followed by a night race through the icy wilderness. The cold atmosphere pervades the book, and readers will shudder as Danny grows colder himself. Enough backstory is presented to give the characters dimension, but most of the focus is on the danger at hand. The book climaxes in an ammo-laden action sequence that will keep readers perched on the edges of their seats. Grades 7-10. --Heather Booth