Honeycomb, by S.B. Caves

11 Jul 2024

The Book

Pages: 352
Age Group: Adult
Published on 9 Jul 2024
Publisher: Datura Books
Available on:


Big Brother meets Black Mirror in this high-concept thriller in which six strangers take part in a mysterious medical experiment in an isolated mansion.

After winning the popular reality talent show Searching for a Star and a subsequent record deal at the age of nineteen, Amanda Pearson was the hottest thing in the UK. But as her short-lived fame began to fade, the cracks began to stumbling and mumbling on stage, slurring during live TV interviews, suspicious photos of her at nightclubs with powder around her nostrils. The dream was over. Amanda Pearson would forever be a one-hit wonder.

Six years later, after cleaning her act up but failing to reestablish her career, her ex-manager informs her of an unexpected opportunity that will help alleviate her dire financial situation and potentially thrust her back into the spotlight. The proposal is Six strangers alone in a mansion, under constant observation, for the duration of a week. Every day they take a pill. Five people are taking a placebo, but one person will be taking an experimental drug, which they are assured has no side adverse effects.

The other participants - a dinner lady who moonlights as a comedian, an eccentric theatre actor, a popular YouTuber, a dance choreographer, and a car salesman - all seem normal at first. However, as each day goes by, cracks begin to show in the group. Paranoia leads to violence. Who is taking the real pill, and what does it do? Amanda realises that this is no normal she is trapped, the old mansion is rigged, and there is no way out.

Can she find a way out of this nightmare with her sanity in tact?  

My Review

Honeycomb is a high-concept thriller novel which dips its toes into the horror territory, written by S.B. Caves, and published by Datura Books. A spine-tingling plot that uses a well-fleshed cast of characters to develop a story full of twists and that conceptually remembers a bit to a Black Mirror chapter, including the shocking ending.

Amanda Pearson is a forgotten star; her life was ruined by drugs. Now a forgotten star, six years after her fall from grace, her ex-manager unexpectedly has a new opportunity that could put her back in the spotlight and alleviate her financial situation. The proposal is simple: six strangers in a locked mansion for a week, five taking a placebo pill and the other taking an experimental drug with supposedly no side effects; all under constant vigilance, a harmless experience, they say.

With this premise, Caves weaves a twisted thriller, using a cast of apparently normal people, which he gives some snippets of their past to create a wider background of them; some details around the pill are also thrown at the start, but the really interesting part is to see how fast the things derail with each dose. 
The first dose is just the first nail in the coffin, making some of the participants to act a bit weird; but with the progressive build-up, chaos is unleashed, and the worst aspects of obsession manifests, putting in danger those inside the home. Caves masterfully creates an anxiety inducing atmosphere, bordering the horror provoked by the scariest aspects of human nature, unleashing the final pandemonium.

I'm trying to not give much details on this review, as I feel part of the fun in this book is experiencing it by yourself. The pacing is excellent, starting with a slower set-up which spreads some secrets in the narration, which progressively accelerates until it's a total chaos, in a really cinematographic experience (I would say you could feel the parallel with the Midsommar's experience).

Honeycomb is an excellent and twisted thriller, a recommendation if you liked Black Mirror; bordering horror, it won't let you feel indifferent, a great proposal around the question of which is the prize of being loved by everybody. Dear readers, you don't want to miss on this book!

The Author/s

S.B. Caves

S.B. Caves

Born and raised in North London, S.B. Caves is the international bestselling author of A Killer Came Knocking and I Know Where She Is, which The Sun described as 'sinister, unsettling and gripping'.

His new high concept thriller novel, Honeycomb, will be published by Datura Books on July 9, 2024. 

He now lives in South London with his wife and two sons.