Survive the Night by Riley Sager is a twisty thriller that takes you on a ride with a serial killer. The twist keep coming and coming, some I could foresee but others will change the way you read this novel, making you go, What! Just happened!?!. Every character in this book has a major change of how the reader perceives them. He ending is non-stop the last 150 pages are on the edge of your seat as the twists keep coming. The climax is very satisfying, I saw the final twist coming for a while but the actions after that were very satisfying. The flaw of this novel is the beginning was hard to get into, it takes a little time for this book to get into rhythm, but when it does it is really hard to put down. I have read all 5 of Riley Sager’s novels; I look forward to them every summer. He is the king of summer thrillers. Sager’s writing hooks me in by taking a horror trope and making it into a thriller, he as explored slasher, summer camp horrors, creepy apartments, haunted house and now a psycho-like road trip. A big thanks to Netgalley and Dutton publishing for giving me an Advanced Reader’s Copy of Survive the Night. Survive the Night is published on 7-29-21.
The Plot: Charlie is leaving school, she can’t handle the pressure of school and her roommate and best friend getting murdered by a serial killer. The Campus Killer has killed a victim every year and Charlie’s roommate was murdered two months ago. What makes it worst is the last conversations was a fight late at night between friends saying words they will regret the next day but there is no next day. Charlie saw or thinks she saw the killer or at least the last person to see her alive, but cannot seem to make out the face. Charlie has breaks in reality like she’s in a movie, and she can’t know if this is reality or a movie. She post a ride share flyer and is approached by Josh a handsome stranger who is a little bit older. She agrees but once she’s in the car, she feels that something is not right, and that Josh might not be who he says he is, he might be a killer, or is it all in her head?
What I Liked: I liked that I was surprised of the direction this novel took, there were point where I thought I knew were it was going then thrown a curve ball. The novel was all about finding your own power and not being the victim. The non-stop back half of this novel is so fast paced an intense, I loved almost every minute of it. I liked a lot of the movie references being a movie buff and having seen most of the movies referenced. I enjoyed the 90’s references especially Nirvana. I liked the twist and how character’s actions were explained after the fact. Charlie took a while to warm up to but I did root for her at the end. Marge the waitress was my favorite character. I liked the final twist in the prologue that explained the events we witnessed.
What I Disliked: The beginning took a while to get into; I thought it was too much exposition, right at the beginning, which gave me a detachment to Charlie at first. I saw one of the major twists coming really early about the Campus Killer’s identity, It was a man I wish I’m wrong about who this is, but I was right.
Recommendations: Nobody writes thrillers like Riley Sager, you have to experience this intense novel. The only drawback is a really slow beginning but man is this book setting you up for a fast-paced ending. I rated Survive the Night by Riley Sager 4 out of 5 stars. My ranking of every Riley Sager novel from highest to lowest is: The Last Time I Lied, Home Before Dark, Final Girls, Survive the Night, and Lock Every Door.