Book Review: Pet Sematary

Summary: Pet Sematary is a horror novel by Stephen King about a family of four that moves to a small town, and a nice house along a busy highway. Everything is going wonderfully until the family cat is found dead, presumably hit by a truck. When a kindly old neighbor from across the street leads Louis, the protagonist, out past the creepy old pet cemetery behind his house and to an old MicMac burial ground, Louis isn't sure what to think. He is even more confused, and altogether terrified, when the cat comes back to life the next day. But the cat isn't the same, he acts strange, possessed even. Does Louis dare to touch the cemetery again, even if there's a chance he might be able to bring a deceased loved one back to life?

This book is an awesome introduction-to-horror book. It's a bit creepy, but not extremely frightening, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in the genre, but doesn't want to be plagued with nightmares if it's not for them. Nothing should jump out at you or surprise you too much, and it is easy to close the book if you decide that maybe the horror genre just isn't for you. I have a totally overactive imagination, so I can safely assure those like me that you will indeed have a little bit of scare, but it probably won't stick with you unless you are reading it right then or decide to replay it over and over in your mind in a dark room all alone on a windy night.

Overall, I thought the book was done well and followed a solid plot line without deviation or confusing loops. The story was concrete, and I found parts of it quite chilling.

But I was a bit dissatisfied with the amount of actually scary parts. I wanted to be creeped out a little more than I was- the actual horror part didn't come until the very end. The buildup to the climax seemed to last forever, and most of it wasn't scary in the slightest. Most of the book did contain a sort of eerie undertone, but I wouldn't categorize it as 'horrifying'. But once the scary part got going, I was pretty happily freaked out, in a mild, I can handle this, sort of way.

Honestly, I almost felt more sad during this book than scared. Gage's death honestly made me grieve with the family, King did a great job conveying Louis and his family's feelings.

As a character, I enjoyed Louis just fine. He was not static, and I thought it was interesting how you got to see the cemetery sort of take hold in his mind. Jud was also a good character, and provided a sort of curveball in the story. Gage before resurrection was sweet and amiable and likable, and after resurrection frankly terrifying to imagine.

I also really liked the idea of the cemetery, and its connotations and hints. It was so cleverly maniacal, and gave the whole book an idea that something evil, something that shouldn't be real but was, was going on. The Wendigo and deadfall and the climb up the stairs to the MicMac burial ground was tense and exciting to read, and artfully lead the reader into the proper mood for the desired effect.

The thing this book did the best on: foreshadowing. The foreshadowing in this book was over the top 100 out of 10. Everything had a creepy theme threaded through it, and the way you saw Louis becoming more and more drawn to the idea of the cemetery, and all the quoting, was very clever and creepy.

My favorite part of the book would have to be the graveyard scene. It was suspenseful, nerve-wracking, shiver inducing, and a little disgusting. It sort of embodied all the aspects I would want in a horror novel. I also found the ending quite disturbing, in a good way. Be sure to read to the epilogue, because it was a solidly tenuous finish that every horror book should try to achieve. Brilliantly done.

Overall, I considered this book a nice introduction to the genre and a great book to have around if you feel like having a little scare. I think Stephen King is a genius, and his careful manipulation of characters and slightly-off events produces a work that is complex and chilling to the core.

What did you think of Pet Sematary? Were you scared? What was your favorite part? Comment below!