Book Review of “The Ruins” by Scott Smith


Okay guys, I’ve got a good one for you today. I’m sure I’m just late to the party, I usually am, but I had never heard of The Ruins by Scott Smith or it’s movie adaptation of the same name. My brother, who also has an amazing book review blog, let me borrow his copy of the book and I finished it in one day. It is a supernatural/gore horror story that was even enjoyed by Stephen King. Honestly, it seems like the type of story that King would have written. I’m going to try to summarize it without spoilers because you should read this one for yourself.

*Very Slight (if any) Spoilers*

The Plot

Best friends from America, Stacy and Amy, decide to go on vacation together to Mexico with their boyfriends, Jeff (Amy) and Eric (Stacy). While in Mexico they befriend a German tourist named Mathias and three Greek men who jokingly go by the names: Pablo, Juan and Don Quixote. Mathias’ brother, Heinrich, has disappeared after meeting a female archaeologist who he believes he’s in love with. Mathias finds a note with a map from Heinrich telling him that Heinrich has went with the woman to her dig site in rural Yucatan. Mathias wants to find him and Jeff agrees to help and convinces the others in his group to go as well. Pablo, one of the Greek men, overhears and wants to go too. The six young adults get a ride to the rural jungle and upon arrival their driver tries to convince them to go somewhere else because the place “is not good” but the driver speaks limited English and can’t explain why they should leave (which let’s be real, I would have been gone as soon as he started acting weird and telling me the place wasn’t good). The group ventures into the jungle and they eventually come across a small Mayan village filled with strangely quiet people, fields and run down huts. No one there speaks English so they leave to search further for the dig site where Heinrich supposedly is. They find a trail, follow it and come out at a gorgeous hill covered in vines and red flowers. From here the situation goes downhill quickly, no pun intended. A game of survival begins and it might not be a game with any winners.

My Thoughts

This is one of the best horror stories I’ve ever read. I’m usually not a fan of gore, in books or movies, but what is in this story isn’t over done. It’s mostly a supernatural horror story, which is my favorite. I enjoyed most of the characters. However, Amy and Stacy were extremely annoying. Both were slightly stereotypical in the helpless female way, which serves a purpose in some stories, but in this it just made them useless. They were also immature and selfish basically the entire time which made everything harder for the others in the group. I wouldn’t go into this story looking for a happy ending but I was surprised by how it ended. To sum it up, this book is brutal and awesome, which is an odd combination.

If you like horror stories you need to give this one a try. I’m going to watch the movie at some point this week and see how it compares. Once I review it I’ll link it below. Let me know if you’ve read this book or watched the movie! Thank you for reading and have a great day!

*Here’s my movie review for The Ruins*

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