Book Review: The Bunker Diary by Kevin Brooks

Room meets Lord of the Flies, The Bunker Diary is award-winning, young adult writer Kevin Brooks’s pulse-pounding exploration of what happens when your worst nightmare comes true – and how will you survive?

I can’t believe I fell for it.

It was still dark when I woke up this morning.

As soon as my eyes opened I knew where I was.

A low-ceilinged rectangular building made entirely of whitewashed concrete.

There are six little rooms along the main corridor.

There are no windows. No doors. The lift is the only way in or out.

What’s he going to do to me?

What am I going to do?

If I’m right, the lift will come down in five minutes.

It did. Only this time it wasn’t empty…

My Rating: 4 cupcakes

The Bunker Diary is a fast-paced, psychological thriller that is terrifying in its realistic portrayal of kidnapping. The protagonist, Linus, wakes up one morning in a bunker. He can’t remember much of how he got there, just that he was helping a man who he believed to be blind. As time progresses, five other people – of all ages, and from all walks of life – join him. No one knows why they’re there; all they know is that there’s no way out.

As the title suggests, the story is an account of Linus’ time in the bunker told through his diary entries. As the reader, we know everything that Linus wants us to know, sometimes causing us to wonder exactly how reliable his narration is. The style of the entries change over the course of the book: at the beginning, there are full entries complete with the date and, in some cases, the time; by the end, not even the name of the day is present. Linus himself is an incredible narrator. He’s strong yet humble, brave, determined, and really likeable. His relationships with some of the other prisoners are touching, and you’ll easily find yourself wanting him to succeed against this unknown enemy.

The Bunker Diary will play with your emotions, making you experience everything that the characters do. Most of all, though, it will terrify you; we never find out why these people were taken or what purpose their kidnapping served. It’s definitely a compelling and thought-provoking read that will stay with you for quite a while.

8 thoughts on “Book Review: The Bunker Diary by Kevin Brooks

  1. Hmm. I think this might be a bit too haunting / intense etc for me right now, I need a fluffy read! But I’ll keep in mind for later this year. Awesome review! I’m glad this one impressed you.

    • Yeah, this definitely isn’t a nice fluffy read, though I occasionally found myself wishing that it was! I was expecting it to be kind of dark, but I wasn’t expecting it to be as intense as it was. Thanks!

  2. Great review, though probably one I won’t pick up right now…I always have to get into ‘the zone’ before reading books like this…not sure what that zone is, but my guts know when I’m ready and when I’m not 🙂 At the moment I’m at reading setting – fluffy contemp to snarky paranormal.

    • I know what you mean – I have to either emotionally prepare myself or wait until I’m no longer in the mood for fluffy reads before I can start on the heavier books. That seems to be my default reading setting, though I haven’t had nearly enough snark in my recent reads.

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