Friday, May 20, 2011

"Trapped" by Jack Kilborn (J.A. Konrath)

Synopsis – (from

A group of city kids on an overnight camping trip get more than they signed up for in this non-stop, rocket right straight into terror. Imagine the worst thing that can happen to you.


Before I rate this book, I have to mention that I read two versions of it. The first was the final edited version and the second was the uncut version. I will rate them together because they are essentially the same story. There are big differences from one to the other, but those will be discussed in the hidden spoiler section below.

Rating: 3 out of 5 (edited version)

Rating: 4 out of 5 (uncut version)

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

Genre: Horror

As usual, Kilborn tantalized my ocular sense with gruesome acts and a spine-tingling horror story.

The edited version (EV) felt like the whole story was not being shared with the reader. This is likely due to the editing. The uncut version (UV) filled in the gaps that the EV left out. The UV also allowed for a story that made much more sense than the EV. There was one totally unnecessary addition made to the EV that made me keep saying, “There better be a point to this?”

The UV was very descriptive. I am not sure why the editors tore the book apart the way they did. It was so much better than the EV. It made a heck of a lot more sense than the EV. There was nothing to hate about the UV.

I understand I am being pretty vague here, but if I got into the details, I may give away some of the fun-tastical story. Please bear with me, especially if you have not read this book yet.

The UV has grammatical errors along with spelling errors, but this to be expected with an uncut, unedited book. Despite these small flaws, the UV was much more fulfilling to me as a fan of Kilborn (J.A. Konrath).

I recommend reading both versions simply to see the differences for yourself.

As for choosing my preferred version, it would most definitely be the uncut version. The story flowed much better and the original characters made it much more believable. I found myself saying, “Oh, now that makes sense!” In addition, the UV does not “feel’ like it is jumping from one person to another.

The EV felt like some of the characters were forced into the story unwillingly. The story felt jumpy. What do I mean? I mean that the story felt lacking in believability. It was not true to itself as far as story-telling goes. It was almost as if I was being lied to.

~!~Discussion and Spoilers Here~!~

!~*~Spoiler Alert~*~!

The first major and most important difference was the unnecessary baby.

~In the edited version (EV) there was a baby. It had no real purpose in the story and was more of a distraction that anything else. It really did not have too much to do with the story going on around it. It really felt like an afterthought. It was like pushing a square peg into a circular hole. It just did not fit properly.

~*~Seriously, any one of us who has children knows for a fact that a baby would not be that quiet with all that ruckus happening around it. (i.e. jostling, not eating regularly, being hung from a tree) It was very unnecessary.

~In the uncut version (UV) there was no baby. I was so thankful for that! It allowed for the characters and story to move in a more natural fluidity.

The next big difference was what actually happened to Sara when she was a child.

~In the EV, she was playing with some cousins at her aunt’s house and then went to a near-by barn. Her boy cousin eventually coaxed her into an old trunk and locked her in. Sara was stuck in the trunk for several hours and was let out by the boy cousin. He then threatened her with a very big knife so she would not tell on him.

~In the UV version, there was no visit to an aunt’s house or cousins. This version had a kidnapper named Paulie Gunther Spence and a friend named Louise. Paulie had kidnapped Sara and Louise. He locked the two girls in a car trunk. He proceeded to remove Louise and do horrific things to her all the while describing to Sara his actions. He also described the knife he was using on Louise.

~*~I liked both versions, although, I prefer the kidnapping scenario because that would be scarier to me. As for Sara being locked in an old trunk by a cousin, well, eventually that aunt would notice she was gone and would go look for her. It is no less traumatic. But for this story, the kidnapping had more of an effect on me. It was a more suitable puzzle piece. It also made Subject 33 more of an important character in the UV.

A minor, but notable change was the Georgia and Lester scene in the beginning of the story.

~In the EV, Georgia and Lester did not have sex. She gave him a hand-job. She did not even consider having sex with Lester at all.

~In the UV, these two did have sex. She wanted it and Lester was more than willing to oblige.

~*~The reason I wanted to note this was because it made sense to have them have sex. She was already a nutty-freak herself. She had no sense of self esteem and simply having anyone want her in any way was a definite bonus in her eyes. This version allows for a better connection between the two of them later in the story. It was a nice addition!

Another big change was the General and Kong.

~The EV had a General named Tope. He had been watching the island via satellite and had business with the doctor.

~The UV had a director of a prison system from China involving the same business with the doctor.

~*~The base story of how these guys were involved were similar in both versions. They both wanted to have Plincer’s serum to gain control over the world. I prefer the UV version because Kong is everything that true American’s despise since 9/11. What could be more evil than someone from another country plotting to kill everyone in another country?! Scary!

***My comparison is only that of the hatred of Americans, by the book’s character Kong, and wanting to get rid of them by any means necessary. It’s a story and my opinion about the story, not about China, Americans or 9/11. Relax, it’s a book review.***

There are other changes, but the ones above are the most worthy of a mention.

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