If you somehow don’t know by now, I love Darren Shan/Dash. The Shan books were my favourites as a teenager, and thankfully he writes books for grown ups under the Darren Dash name so I get to keep reading.
Sunburn follows a trio of 20-somethings on a holiday to Bulgaria. Sick of spending holidays in pubs and partying, Martini wants to experience some culture, and decides to bring her boyfriend, Dominic and his best friend, Curran, along for an adventure in the wilderness and to soak up new signs. However, the boys, drawn to pubs, put a damper on Martini’s dream holiday and abandon her to drink in the woods with local teenagers. After Curran tries to make a move on the younger sister of one of the locals, the boys are left beaten up, drunk, and naked in the wilderness. Dominic wakes up with Curran no where to be found and his search for him leads him somewhere very sinister where an evil like no other lurks.
Overall, I liked the book, I enjoyed how he built up the characters enough for you to actually care what happened to them, unlike other horrors who focus solely on some terrifying evil tormenting a meaningless bunch of characters. He also managed at the same time to build up suspense with the presence and narrative of the monster so there was a perfect balance of horror and good story telling. I felt it was a bit too crude for me at times, but I guess monsters are cruel creatures. The ending was also a little too good to be true, but aside from those two points it was a strong book.