The Ruins- By Scott Smith

SiddiQStarred Page By SiddiQ, 11th Aug 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Books>Horror

American author Scott Smith had written his second novel, The Ruins in 2006. The first being, Simple Plan.

I read The Ruins and it gave me quite a chilly thrill.
Here's a review of the book.

The Book

The Ruins is a horror novel by American author, Scott Smith and it was published in 2006.
A friend told me about this book, stating the genre as horror. Since I'm a fan of horror books, I decided to buy it and read it for myself.
And I found it very interesting!


Four Tourists, Jeff, Amy, Eric and Stacy are vactioning in Mexico where they befriend a Mexican tourist by the name of Mathias along with a trio of Greeks, one of them which goes by the name, Pablo (I can't remember the other two's names).

It is revealed that Mathias' brother, Heinrich had ended up in an archaeological dig in some other place while following a woman there which was unknown to Mathias.
He, therefore sets out to look for Heinrich. The four tourists and Pablo decide to join Mathias in his search for Heinrich.

The six catch a bus to a small town and using the map that Heinrich had left, they end up in a small Mayan village. As they follow the map, they find a hillside but are stopped from going up on it by the armed Mayan villagers that follow them.

In an attempt to take a picture, Amy accidentely stumbles on a vine-covered area.
Surprisingly after that, the Mayans villagers changed their minds and actually forced the six up the hill.

Hoping to see the archaeological dig, they six walk up the hill but instead of the dig, they see a couple of tents set up.
The tourists also notice that more armed Mayan villagers seem to be setting up their camp at the base of the hill.

The tourists walk down the hill and found a vine-covered body who was later identified by Mathias as his brother, Heinrich. He was shot at by some arrows.
In the attempt to remove the vine from Heinrich's body, they find out that it contains acidic sap that can burn anything it touches.

The Mayan villagers keep their weapons trained on the tourists but relax once the tourists go back uphill.

Up there, they discover a mine shaft and they hear a cellphone ringing from it deep below.
Hoping to see some survivors, the six use some rope that they brought along and Pablo volunteers to climb down. But halfway there, the vines that remained in the windlass next to the shaft, start secreting acid down the rope.
As a result, the rope snaps and Pablo falls down to the bottom where he wouldn't stop screaming.
Eric goes down to check it out and sees that Pablo had broken his back.
But when Eric was on his way down, he fell hard and cut his knee deeply.

Making a backboard, the remaining tourists lowered it down for Pablo and safely bring both him and Eric up. But Pablo's condition seemed to be detoriating. And no one found the cellphone.

Jeff tries to see if there was any way for him to escape without alerting the villagers, but in an attempt to do so, some birds started screeching which alerted the villagers.
Jeff realized that he'd need to think of another way.

As time passes, the tourists discover more bodies that were picked clean by the vines. But surprisingly, no flies were found on those bodies. Nor any birds or any insects were found on the top of the hill.
Also, the vines seem to be whispering among each other. But vines don't talk, right?

Jeff decides to post up some DANGER signs to warn other tourists from coming here but he soon realizes that the dead people had already tried posting them up but the vines took it down. As Jeff predicted, the vines took down his signs too.
And as before, the villagers trained their weapons on Jeff but relaxed when Jeff went back uphill.
Meanwhile, Eric realized that vine managed to get inside Eric through the cut in his knee.
With the help of Mathias, he removes the vine and Mathias stitches up the wound on the knee.
But Eric claims that the vine is still inside him, growing.

Back uphill, Jeff finally realizes what is going on and why the villagers are preventing them from leaving.

He realizes that the threat they're up against is not even human.
The threat has killed before and it will kill again.
But nobody can kill the threat.

And what of the cellphone noise?
Are there any survivors down there?
And when Jeff was trying to escape, how come birds started to screech when in real, there were no birds on the hillside?
Is Eric right? Are their vines still inside him?
And what will become of Pablo?

Format Of Writing

The writer's use of vocabulary and his way of describing the scenery contributed to the understanding of this novel.
He has included a lot of drama and has used every form of expression.

Stephen King himself said it was one of the best-selling books he had encountered.


I'm afraid my synopsis concludes here.

From that part on, the good stuff happens and I wouldn't want to ruin it.
Just go to any book shop and you're likely to find it.

And trust me! You are in for an unexpected ending!


American, Amy, Archaeological Dig, Eric, Greek, Horror Novel, Jeff, Mayan, Mexico, Predicted, Signs, Stacy, Tents, Tourists, Vine, Woman

Meet the author

author avatar SiddiQ
Where there is horror, I'm there!
Where there is Star Wars, I'm there!
Where there is broccoli...well, we'll talk about that on another site, once I register for one ;)

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