Book Review — Disco Deathtrap

 

Title:  Disco Deathtrap
Author:  Cameron Roubique
Genre:  Horror
Pages:  283, paperback
ISBN:  9781729122983
Opening Lines:  "Almost no one knew about the bodies lying less than four feet beneath the polished hardwood floor of the Rollerville Disco Skating Rink."

Rating:


It's New Year's Eve 1980, and the students of DeAngelo's High School are lacing up theor skates for the All-Night New Year's Lock-In at the Rollerville Roller Disco. Some of them just want to skate and dance the night away to the pounding disco music. Some want to pull a few pranks and have a few laughs. For others, like Dan Parsons, tonight is a chance to move on and forget about his ex-girlfirned, maybe even flirt with Denise, that cute girl behind the snack counter. It seems like nothing can go wrong.

But there's a massive blizzard raging outisde, thick snow and ice are piling up against all the doors. There are those rumors that Rollerville was built over part of the old graveyard next door, and someone out there is watching. Also, a strange homeless man in theparking lot says that tonight will be the start of the so-called "Year of Blood."

A night of skating and New Year's fun is about to turn into a night of violence and bloody mayhem in Disco Deathttrap. Slasher fans rejoice, old school horror is back!

~ Jacket copy



In the 1970s and into the 1990s, the rollerskating rink was the place to be!  Filled with the smells of cheap concessions and old carpeting, somehow kids would find themselves lined up to get into the rinks.  It was the place to request the newest hits, beat the high score on Donkey Kong, or spend your money on zombies.  As a kid, the biggest danger was catching your wheel on your boyfriend/girlfriend's skate during couples' skate and nose diving it into the cement or hardwood floor.  Or maybe it was the embarrassment of the Hokey PokeyDisco Deathtrap takes the sanctuary of the rollerskating rink and turns it into an old school slasher film. 

Disco Deathtrap opens with your traditional cast of slasher characters.  Paul and Sarah, the 1980 Disco King and Queen, are beloved high school sweethearts.  They plan to recreate their winning skate to wave "good-bye" to 1980 and welcome 1981 . . . And hopefully find a corner where they can spend their first night together.  Jack and Mike are the asshole class clowns.  Everyone seems to dislike them, yet they somehow manage to have a ton of friends.  You know the type?  Gary and Jim, while attending with their girlfriends (Lindy and Suzanne) are trying desperately to reconnect with their friend, Dan, after his disastrous break-up with Mary Anne.  Dan is just trying to follow his New Year's Resolution—let the past stay in the past—and maybe flirt with Denise, the 22 year-old concessions girl.  However, while the students play pranks on each other, a horrible winter storm rages outside and the phones are down.  

Everyone seems to be having a good time . . . Until the ball drops on Times Square . . . And then the bloodbath starts.   

It is obvious that Roubique is no stranger to the slasher genre.  Disco Deathtrap reads like an 80's slasher film.  While it was absolutely enjoyable, the slasher trope made the book rather predictable.  Roubique does not tell the audience who the main protagonist is until mid-way through the book.  Even then, however, you are left to guess until the last few chapters.  The larger cast of characters makes everyone rather flat and two dimensional.  

The book was simple and a good beach read; however, that is what made it great!  The plot was simplistic.  An avid reader could easily pick holes in the plot, especially surrounding the killer.  The characters were not overly likable, and you were left wondering why some of them were even named (Jack and Mike).  However, the author was able to capture the essence of the class slasher film and translate it into a novel.  It was not earth shattering, but it was fun.  And it went extremely fast.  For me, this book was the perfect relaxing summer vacation read.  Granted, given the weather in the novel, winter break might have been a better time . . . 

Disco Deathrap is fun, campy horror at its best!  I will definitely be reading more of his books in the future.  



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"If you’re a freak like me, Wave your flag! If you’re a freak like me, Get off your ass! It’s our time now, To let it all hang out!" I am a recovering English major, closet bibliophile, breve addicted, zombie lover with a rockabilly and heavy metal fetish.
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