In return for winning “Ruined Childhoods” contest 2016, VictoriaMoschou wins a critique of each of her entries.
This one started a bit slower than the others. The first two sections about the singing doesn’t seem to progress the story any: it was rehearsals and yet more rehearsals (which I get, but the story then drags as a result). There are quite a few names – perhaps introduce them one by one instead of all at once to let us get to know them better and know their place in the formation. The third section definitely got the story going – people are disappearing, some are overly anxious, others are more laidback. This is the cue for me to realise something was wrong and to carry on reading.
I would have liked to see the antagonist a little earlier. His sudden appearance seemed jarring – we’ve never met him before, we’ve never been spooked or be unnerved by him before, and suddenly he’s the killer. It would make more sense if either we see him earlier and he makes creepy comments or the killer was actually one of the group, fed up with the high tension and pressures and just snapped.
The ending is gloriously gory as always. If there was a bit more terror building to the crescendo when he sticks the knife in Phoebe’s neck, I think it would make the ending that much more dramatic.