I'm kind of at a loss as to how to start this review/rant. For the first half of this book, i was completely blown away by how much i was enjoying it.I'm kind of at a loss as to how to start this review/rant. For the first half of this book, i was completely blown away by how much i was enjoying it. It takes a lot...A LOT...to freak me out/make me uncomfortable while reading a book, and this book...in the beginning at least, did both those things big time. Around the 50% mark though, i started to get a weird feeling. A feeling that told me that this book was possibly going to start to go down a path I was not happy with. One that would have left me feeling both annoyed and have me rolling my eyes at the sheer predictability of it all. Well, what i ended up feeling by the end of this book was out and out anger. Angry at the fact that the book showed so, so much promise, only to have it turn into this massive, silly train wreck that made me feel like pounding my kindle into a wall when i turned the last page.
Okay, i might sound a bit melodramatic here, but honestly....there is nothing i love more than a good, scary read. And because i am a huge horror movie fan, and have basically grown up watching any horror movie i come across, i tend to be more cynical when it comes to horror/suspense fiction. I can count on one hand the times i have considered myself to be unsettled by a book...and have yet ever really find myself being scared by one. But, the beginning chapters of House Full Of Ghosts knocked me on my butt with how well the author set a genuinely creepy tone. There are scenes early on (especially between the 2 sisters) that were so well done, that i nearly had to stop reading because i felt like it was a bit too unnerving to take in all at once.
As i mentioned above, around the half way mark i started to get the idea that the story was going to take a turn i would have been very disappointed in. But, I was still enjoying the overall story so much that i tried to put it out of my head, and just kept going. It's worth mentioning that all of my issues with the book actually started around the time that the family started to film their reality tv show. I thought that might be an interesting aspect to the story, but it just came off as gimmicky....which might or might not have been intentional.
With the exception of one scene, the entire last 25% of the book turned into a completely ridiculous hot mess. It is almost mind boggling to me how much of a complete turn around this book took in my opinion. It's hard to get into the specifics of what happened that drove me crazy without giving away huge plot elements, so....cue the spoiler-filled cut .......> (view spoiler)[ First off all....I got the impression that it was going to turn out that Marjorie faked being possessed. Which was the first thing that i wasn't happy about, because the book was so much more effective when it seemed like all the supernatural elements were true. Once the idea of her pretending started to creep into the story, it lost a lot of it's punch. Also, it was VERY obvious that Merry had a lot of emotional and psychological problems. And it wasn't surprising in the least that she ended up being this mysterious blogger who posted her cynical observations on the authenticity of the reality show & the supposed exorcism. Unfortunately, that entire sub-plot of why Merry acts the way she does...why she seems almost childlike in her manner of speaking and the way that she interacts with the woman hired to help write her book....just ends up being one of the many loose ends that the book throws at us. The actual ending of the book...the last 20-30 pages...is where i have my biggest problems. I'm okay with an author deciding to leave a book open ended, or up to interpretation, but this was just a case of a sloppy, poorly constructed conclusion. In fact it didn't even feel like any kind of conclusion...open ended or not. It felt like the author got to the end of a sentence and said, "You know what? I think that's a good enough place as any to end this." Are we to assume that Merry made a lot of her story...the parts that didn't air on the reality show at least...up? That she in fact was the one who poisoned her family and it was just more convenient to let her poor, mentally unstable sister (or father) take the blame for it? Based on the reaction of the writer after she listened to Merry tell her "true" account of the story, i am also wondering if the writer herself wasn't a figment of Merry's imagination as well. (hide spoiler)]
I am truly sick of the "unreliable narrator" trope being used these days. Very rarely, if ever have i come across a story that actually works well when this device is used and i for one hope to never find myself reading something along those lines again.
I hardly ever write reviews that are this negative, and i realize i have an unpopular opinion based on all the glowing reviews this book has received. I wish things had turned out differently. I wish this book had stayed on the course i thought it would...or would have at least found a way to resolve SOMETHING by the end of the book. I feel both cheated and angry that a book that showed such promise ended up being so cliched and so melodramatic . ...more
Having just devoured this entire book in one evening, to say that I am feeling a wee bit shell shocked and emotional
6 stars. Of course.
Having just devoured this entire book in one evening, to say that I am feeling a wee bit shell shocked and emotional would be putting it rather mildly.
It is not a secret that I love this series. I have made quite the pest of myself by pimping it out to just about everyone I know. But, I can honestly say that with each book Karina Halle exceeds my expectations. Her talent as an author is just staggering to me. And I'm not just saying that as a gushing fangirl. I am genuinely in awe of this woman. So much so that each time I sit down to attempt to write a review, I feel like a complete ass because I never know the right things to say to convey to someone who hasn't read one of her books, just how amazing they really are.
But...I will keep trying.
Thanks to the insane events leading up to this book... (view spoiler)[Perry's possession and subsequent exorcism in On Demon's Wings, and all the revelations revealed through Dex's POV in The Dex Files(hide spoiler)] my anticipation was through the roof going into this story. And as a result of some of the huge events that have gone down over the last couple of books, the Dex & Perry that we see in Into The Hallow are quite different than the ones we were first introduced to at the beginning of the series. That is both good and bad. Bad in the sense that I sort of miss the Perry from Darkhouse...a slightly awkward & insecure firecracker that I felt a kinship with immediately. But, the Perry Palomino that we have in book 6 has been through some intense shit (talk about an understatement), and she has come out the other side both stronger and more closed off. Which is understandable. But still, there were a few times while reading this that I wanted to shake that girl like a snow globe. More about that in a minute. On the good side of things...we also have the new and improved Dex Foray. Who has gone from a slouchy smoker with a rapist mustache to a (somewhat) clean-leaving badass with a 6 pack and a hell of a lot of new found strength. His transformation is for the most part in the hopes of becoming a better man...good enough for Perry. And I have to say...I love the new Dex. Not only is he more confident (though still as pervy as ever, bless his soul), but he is opening himself up to Perry like never before.
Now, here is where my emotions will get the better of me. I shall put my ravings behind a spoiler tag so feel free to skip it. (view spoiler)[When Perry shuts down completely after she and Dex have sex again. THAT was when I wanted...NEEDED to shake that girl like there was no tomorrow. Yes...I know how much he hurt her. I know how much pain she was in. But all she was really doing was punishing Dex (and herself!). Giving him a taste of his own medicine, which quite frankly was childish. Especially after he completely ripped himself open and offered his heart to her on a silver platter. And she still walked away. After everything he had done...all the times he saved her, proved that he was trustworthy and truly cared about her...she threw it all back in his face. Even though she regretted it afterward...like she did when she swapped out his meds with placebos as an 'experiment'...it drove me nuts. I'm obviously biased when it comes to Dex, but I love Perry as well. And I hate to see her sabotaging herself. Gah. Okay....done. (hide spoiler)]
*steps off soapbox*
The decision to take Perry out of the toxic hell that was her parents house and have her move to Seattle with Dex was an excellent one, though I did miss Little Fifteen something fierce. And having said that, I'm hoping to have much more Ada and much less Douchecaneo Maximus in the future (though I know we are probably far from seeing that last of that ginger bastard unfortunately). The location for most of the story...an isolated cabin in the snowy Canadian mountains...was perfect with it's creepy & claustrophobic feel, and as usual the paranormal aspect of the story worked well.
And a review of this book wouldn't be complete without mentioning the llamas. Oh, Twatwaffle. How I enjoyed our short time together.
And then there was the ending.
It was part
While not a traditional cliffhanger, it definitely left me with a lot of questions as to the future of my favorite fictional couple. (view spoiler)[I really hope that Perry has managed to pull her head out of her ass when it comes to being with Dex. But, I have a feeling that things won't be that simple. (hide spoiler)]
This review is all over the place, and not much more than random thoughts slapped together, but...it's what I'm good at and I am nothing if not consistent. :P
As usual, I leave you with a few of my favorite quotes. Slightly spoilery so read at your own risk! :)
"I was trying to be a better man, Perry. For you." I shifted in my seat, "Dex..." "And I'll keep trying," he quickly said, voice low and somber. "Until I get it right."
"You know, we could always make a clothing optional rule around each other. That way we'd always be naked and never have to do laundry."
"Who is it?" I asked teasingly. "Bigfoot," Dex answered from his room. "What do you want, Mr Foot." "Please, just call me Big." I snorted. "You wish." "You know."
"You can talk the talk, but you can't walk the walk." His eyes narrowed in challenge. "Oh, I can walk the walk. I can walk the walk so hard you'll be sore for days."
"Within your light, I lose the madness." "You," He said slowly. "You're the light. You're my light."
Read more of my reviews at my blog: http://ravingbookaddict.blogspot.com["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I think your books are hazardous to my health. There. I said it.
*glances over at the clock and co6 mind-blowing stars
An Open Letter To Karina Halle,
I think your books are hazardous to my health. There. I said it.
*glances over at the clock and confirms that it's nearly 3am.*
I need my sleep. I really, really do. But ever since I started reading your Experiment in Terror series a few days ago, I have been a woman on a mission. And it seems my mission is to read your books as fast as possible. I feel like some kind of drug addict, unable to kick the habit. I keep telling myself that I'm going to pace myself...slow down and make the books last. That I can stop anytime I want to. But no. I find myself sitting on my couch at 2am...again...unable to put my Kindle down because I *have* to know what happens next. I don't know why I'm surprised. I haven't made it to bed before 3am since the night I started Darkhouse.
Well played Ms Halle. Well played.
Dead Sky Morning was of course completely and utterly brilliant. On every level. I could sit here and go on and on about all the little things I loved about it. The truly creepy...no, downright frightening atmosphere of the setting (an abandoned island that used to be a leper colony), the insane tension that built throughout the book. The chemistry between Dex and Perry that almost burned my fingers right off my Kindle(corny, but come on...it's 3am. Cut me some slack), the truly terrifying images that are forever embedded in my brain... (view spoiler)[(the shoe with a foot still inside...and the baby. The freaking baby with it's skin peeling off.... (hide spoiler)]
Oh wait. I guess I did just sit here and go on and on about all of that. Silly me.
But you know what the craziest part about all of this is? Even though I am exhausted and feeling more than a little loopy right now. And even though I will spend another day in zombie-mode at work tomorrow. Despite all that, you know what?
Yeah. It was worth it.
So thank you, Ms Halle. Thank you for making me stay up most of the night reading your fan-freaking-tastic books. Thank you for creating the crazy, twisted world that encompasses the EIT universe. And thank you most of all for dreaming up Dex Foray & Perry Palomino (okay, maybe a little bit of an extra thank you for Dex. :P). I can't think of two better fictional characters to spend a few sleepless nights with.
Yours truly (and deliriously), Holly
Read more of my reviews at my blog: http://ravingbookaddict.blogspot.com["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Every once in a while I stumble across an author that just completely takes me by surprise in a wonderful, squee-inducing way. This time, it wa5 stars
Every once in a while I stumble across an author that just completely takes me by surprise in a wonderful, squee-inducing way. This time, it was Karina Halle.
I had heard some amazing things about her Experiment in Terror series, and have been meaning to check it out for quite a while. And after only reading the first few pages of Darkhouse, I knew this was something special.
22 yr old Perry Palomino has been haunted by bizarre dreams that have a habit of coming true. While on a weekend getaway with her family, she decides to explore an abandoned lighthouse on her uncle's property.
A lighthouse that is rumored to be haunted.
While there, Perry not only gets the bejesus scared out of her, but she stumbles across one Mr Dex Foray. Filmmaker and wannabe ghost hunter. The two form an unlikely alliance as Dex convinces Perry to help him make a 'demo' ghost hunting documentary for a website he works for.
Perry...oh how I loved this spunky little spit-fire. And I could relate to her on so many levels which only added to my love of this book. She's snarky, and insecure. Just trying to find her way in life & she sees Dex and his plan of becoming ghost hunters as a way out of her dull life.
And speaking of Mr Foray. He's mysterious and sexy...a smartass to Perry one minute, and fiercely loyal to her the next. He can be a little scary, and a lot vulnerable. He's a hipster with a porn 'stache, and probably more than a little crazy. He is all those things and more, and I love him to pieces.
The creep factor in this book was impressive. I don't spook easily, but there were definitely times when this book made me feel unsettled. And don't get me started on Crazy Clown Lady...
Some of my favorite highlights:
"Now wait a minute," I started, "how do I know that this is legitimate? I mean, you could still be a bald-headed meth addict hobo I stumbled upon in the lighthouse." "I'm not bald yet."
"If we head into that lighthouse and see a bunch of weird whatnots and such and such, it's not going to make any sense unless we know the how, the why and when."
"We should probably have a safety word too," he said. "A safety word? Like in S&M?" His smile flashed, animated and bright. "The safety word is 'Jell-O'." God help me if I ever had to say 'Jell-O' for any reason.
"How come you aren't afraid?" "Because I find life scarier than death."
With just the right mix of chills, snark-tastic banter among two fantastic characters & a plot that kept me entertained from page one, Darkhouse is a great start to a series I'm anxious to dive back into.
A wonderful mix of two of my favorite topics; Greek mythology and vampires. Add in some insanely hot love scenes, and you have a recipe for an awesomeA wonderful mix of two of my favorite topics; Greek mythology and vampires. Add in some insanely hot love scenes, and you have a recipe for an awesome novella.
The Sun god Apollo falls hard for a newly turned vampire. The chemistry is smoking hot, and the danger element involving the vampire who 'turned' Therese works well. I am amazed at just how much Eden was was able to pack into this short story. And while I would have preferred this to be a full length novel, the story didn't feel unfinished or rushed in any way.
This was my first time reading Cynthia Eden, but it definitely won't be my last....more
I was a HUGE fan of the first book of The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein series, This Dark Endeavor. That book was chock full of genuinely creeI was a HUGE fan of the first book of The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein series, This Dark Endeavor. That book was chock full of genuinely creepy surprises, and I loved the whole Gothic, claustrophobic feel of the story.
Unfortunately, this book seems to suffer from "2nd Book Syndrome". Which is what I call the annoying trend of sequels never living up to the awesomeness of the first book in a series. I have been running into this quite a bit lately, and it's more than a little depressing.
While the overall story was enjoyable, there were several times that I did find myself rolling my eyes while reading about the adventures of Victor, Henry and Elizabeth. While the first book did have it's intense moments, I feel like Such Wicked Intent went more for the gross-out factor, then for the much more satisfying uber-creepiness that was found in TDE.
Victor was a cocky SOB from the beginning, but his un-likability level went up a bit in this book, and I found it hard to root for someone so hell-bent on self-destruction.
But, even though i did have several issues with the book...this series is still quite entertaining, and one that I hope the author decides to continue.
It has been so long since I was this excited about a book. Since I was so caught up in a story that all I wanted to do was read. All I want5++++ stars
It has been so long since I was this excited about a book. Since I was so caught up in a story that all I wanted to do was read. All I wanted to do was be in that world, as creepy and unsettling as it may have been. I wanted to be there....and Creagh totally made me feel like I was right in the middle of all the nightmarish beauty that was Nevermore.
There have been countless reviews detailing the plot (which is beyond brilliant and original, especially in the YA genre), so i will settle on just giving you a quick rundown of what I thought of the book as a whole.
The world building was perfectly done, and Creagh's gorgeous, almost lyrical writing style is perfectly suited to this gothicly nightmarish fairy tale.
As for the characters. Holy hell. Where do I even start? I went into this almost expecting Isobel to be this perfectly blonde Barbie doll, and was just hoping I would be able to read the book without her annoying me too much. Imagine my surprise when I realized within the first few pages, that Isobel was so much more than just a pretty face. She was a strong, kick ass character that I ended up loving deeply. And Varen...well, I am not exactly sure what it is about him that made me fall under his spell, but he also ended up capturing my heart.
One of the BEST aspects of Nevermore, were the shadowy Dreamworld characters. I will freely admit to my unexplanable love for Pinfeathers. He has to be one of the most memorable and strangely endearing (???!!!) villains I have ever come across. I don't understand why I ended up loving his creepy character so much...but there it is. Also, I will own up to a slight fangirly crush on Reynolds. He's a badass who has a lot to answer for...but a badass nonetheless.
Bottom line, this was one of the most incredibly imaginative, and obsessively readable books I have found in ages. Definitely one of the best books I have read all year, and in fact one of my all time favorites as well.
It is fitting that Nevermore, much like the characters of Isobel and Varen, ended up being so much more than I expected. I can't wait for the sequel.
Not quite as good as Paranormalcy, but still highly entertaining.
My only complaint really is that there was a bit too much angst in this one. E4 Stars
Not quite as good as Paranormalcy, but still highly entertaining.
My only complaint really is that there was a bit too much angst in this one. Evie is (and more than likely always will be) one of my favorite female characters/heroines but she fell into the trap of the whiny teenager for portions of this book. Plus, I wanted to throttle her more than once when it came to the whole "lying to protect her relationship with Lend" aspect of the storyline. But honestly....her character is otherwise written in such a smart and sassy way, so, that little flaw was just an annoyance rather than a deal breaker for me.
I also really enjoyed the character of Jack. His quirkiness was responsible for many of my favorite lines of the book. And while i still love me some Lend, Jack ended up being a nice contrast. You know...until the end of the book. :P
All in all, a good book that (hopefully) sets things up nicely for the 3rd and final book in the series Endlessly.
This book was a mixed bag for me. I struggled to get through it, so much so that it took me 3 tries before I actually succeeded.
Part of my pr2.5 stars
This book was a mixed bag for me. I struggled to get through it, so much so that it took me 3 tries before I actually succeeded.
Part of my problem with the book was that i had a very hard time accepting Daemon as a hero and a leading man. Yes, he was cute and had some good one liners, but he was also incredibly mean at times. He might has had his reasons for what he did, but honestly, he came off more as a bully than an appealing leading man.
Katy was a strong woman (and i loved that she was a book blogger), but as strong as she was she still somehow managed to fall under Daemon's spell no matter how often he treated her like crap.
Not a huge fan of the alien aspect, but it ended up being a somewhat interesting twist....more
In A Nutshell: On the night that a mysterious stranger is spotted in the small village of Near, children begin disappearing from their beds. As the vilIn A Nutshell: On the night that a mysterious stranger is spotted in the small village of Near, children begin disappearing from their beds. As the villagers begin to panic, and point fingers at the stranger, young Lexi knows that someone else is behind the disappearances. That what was once thought to be nothing more than a ghost story, may in fact be very real.
Thoughts: The Near Witch reads very much like a classic, if dark fairy tale. The words are lyrical, and the story has a magical feel to it, which I loved. One of the aspects I loved the most was how Schwab uses the element of "The Stranger" and the Thorne Sisters to shine a light on prejudice and just how hard it is for some people to handle change and their lack of acceptance towards people who are deemed at all different from themselves. She handled the subject in a very delicate way, and I think that it only adds to the richness of the story.
The first half of this book really intrigued me. I liked the idea of a different take on a warewolf story. And, the mysterious 'interview' segm2 stars
The first half of this book really intrigued me. I liked the idea of a different take on a warewolf story. And, the mysterious 'interview' segments scattered throughout the book definitely kept me interested.
Unfortunately, as the book went on I had more and more problems with the story. I appreciate the fact that Emily was supposed to have multiple sides to her personality, but I felt like that aspect of the story was rushed. And her character was a bit grating on my nerves when all was said and done.
It's been a long time since I read anything by Koontz. He's one of those authors that I definitely have to be in a certain mood for. Despite th4 stars
It's been a long time since I read anything by Koontz. He's one of those authors that I definitely have to be in a certain mood for. Despite the mixed reviews for this, I am really glad I picked this novella up. For such a short story it packed quite a punch. Upon finishing this, I had to dive right into the follow up novel What the Night Knows....more
Genuinely creepy moments, bogged down by a slow moving storyline and annoying plot elements (5 people living in the same house...all experienci3 stars
Genuinely creepy moments, bogged down by a slow moving storyline and annoying plot elements (5 people living in the same house...all experiencing supernatural things...and none of them decide to mention it to each other?!). Koontz has developed a bit of Stephen King-itis....the need to over-describe simple things until the reader is left skimming page after page of ultimately unimportant filler. I loved the prequel novella (Darkness Under the Sun) and while there were things I enjoyed about this book, I was a little disappointed....more
Every once in a while I stumble upon a book that takes me completely by surprise. I had no idea what to expect going into this book, but de5++++ stars
Every once in a while I stumble upon a book that takes me completely by surprise. I had no idea what to expect going into this book, but decided to take a chance on it because of the interesting synopsis and creepy cover art. I am so glad I did, because this was hands down one of the most enjoyable reading experiences I have had all year.
On the surface, Mackie seems like an average teenage boy. He goes to school, has a crush on a cheerleader and feels alienated from the adults in his life. But Mackie is a Replacement, a changling left in the place of a human baby that was stolen from it's crib in the middle of the night sixteen years ago. Because of his potentially fatal reactions to iron, blood and consecrated ground, each day is a struggle just to survive.
In Mackie, Yovanoff has created a truly wonderful character. The reader can't help but be captivated by his story. His sense of longing to live a normal life...to just belong somewhere, is heartbreaking. And his absolute devotion to his sister is just one of the many reasons I love him so much.
I loved just about every aspect of this book...from the smart dialogue, to all the truly creepy characters Mackie meets in the Underground world called Mayhem, to Mackie's best friend. The ONE thing that I was not so thrilled with was the female lead, Tate. She was just too...harsh for my taste. She didn't seem to appreciate everything that Mackie ended up going through to help her. And her hot and cold attitude toward him was frustrating. But in the end, that was just a minor annoyance that is easily overlooked.
What a wonderful surprise this turned out to be. Such an amazing story with truly unique and unforgettable characters. Loved every word!!