Just a quick note to parents: This book is YA but is probably better suited for the more mature young adult. The main character drops the f-bomb about...moreJust a quick note to parents: This book is YA but is probably better suited for the more mature young adult. The main character drops the f-bomb about thirty billion times (along with other miscellaneous swears), and there are some seriously gut-ripping gore scenes that some parents might not find suitable for their 12 or 13 year old.
Now on to the actual review. At first this book reminded me of an episode of "Supernatural" Like someone rolled Sam and Dean Winchester into one character and set him lose on the world with their demon slaying knife. (Not necessarily a bad thing. I really like that show.) As the story progressed, and as Cas and Anna begin to fall for one another, that feeling mostly dropped away.
I was so curious about how the author was going to make that romantic jump without compromising the Ghost Slayer's character. Ghost Slayer falls for Ghost Girl? And not just ANY Ghost Girl. An insanely murderous one that puts all of the other ghosts Cas has hunted to shame. Anna is pretty gruesome. I also kept wondering how Cas could get past Anna's bloody, empty-socket, veiny, zombie face look. (Even during the times she looked normal, wouldn't that other Anna be burned into your retinas?) BUT, if you remember that Cas isn't exactly a normal guy, it's not too unbelievable. He's been walking with the dead for a long time.
Overall, Solid story. Solid writing. The ending didn't disappoint. Anna #2 is going on my to-read shelf. (less)
This is a wonderful collection of creepy haunting stories. My absolute favorites were "Ringing the Changes" by Robert Aickman, "On the Brighton Road"...moreThis is a wonderful collection of creepy haunting stories. My absolute favorites were "Ringing the Changes" by Robert Aickman, "On the Brighton Road" by Richard Middleton, and "The Upper Berth" by F. Mairion Crawford. This book is worth picking up, even if you only read those three stories.
It's hard to write a review for a collection of stories by so many different authors, but I'll give it a go. These stories do not contain much gore. (Ghost stories are supposed to creep you out, not gross you out.) They also don't contain the cheap "BOO!" type frights. The atmosphere of tilted reality (especially in "Ringing the Changes") gives you that not-quite-right feeling through the whole reading. Like walking into a situation where you know something is "off" in a sinister way, but you can't quite put your finger on what it is that is giving you the creeps.
The writing in all of the stories is fantastic. Some of them didn't succeed in giving me goosebumps, but most of them are clever and deliciously subtle. I had to read the last few lines of "Ringing the Changes" twice to get the final punch. (Sorry. I keep going back to that one because it was my favorite.) I could see missing a lot if you were just trying to whip through this book to kill time.
I borrowed this book from the library, but I could see adding a copy to my personal library for a dark and stormy night.
M.L. Woelm is a decent writer, but she's no Shirley Jackson. She doesn't claim to be, and I wouldn't expect her to be. She's just a woman trying to pu...moreM.L. Woelm is a decent writer, but she's no Shirley Jackson. She doesn't claim to be, and I wouldn't expect her to be. She's just a woman trying to put down her personal experiences as a long term tenant of a haunted house.
The book is pretty well written, for what it is. I will say that whoever edited this book should have laid down the law at some point. The repetition of spooky events gets so redundant that it completely loses the creepy factor. I understand that this is a true story, documenting true events, but I think that it could have been laid out to the audience in a more organized way, and pared down to the events that were the most dramatic. The things that freaked me out (and actually made it hard for me to fall asleep) became old hat about half way through. I think this book could have been edited to half of it's current length.
The last fifty pages or so felt tacked on. I'm not sure what the author's vacation to another supposedly haunted location (and the back story of said haunted location) has to do with her own experiences in her house. She retells some of the same stories over and over again. It would have been fine to hear about her dog's reaction to the ghosts once or twice, but she includes so many occurrences that are so similar, it felt like I was reading the same pages over and over again. I found myself skimming at the end of the book.
That being said, for what it is, it was pretty good. The author is likable. Reading this book was like spending the weekend with someone who lives in a haunted house, and wants to tell you all about it. There were parts that gave me chills and the first night I was reading it I had trouble going to sleep by myself.(less)
Anyone, Christian and non-Christian alike, who has ever read the Bible knows that it's FULL of stories of demon-possession, supernatural events, and e...moreAnyone, Christian and non-Christian alike, who has ever read the Bible knows that it's FULL of stories of demon-possession, supernatural events, and evil. Why is it so surprising that the horror genre can be used to make spooky, entertaining and powerful inspirational novels?
I think it's awesome, and real. Christianity isn't just pretty little angel babies sitting on fluffy white clouds. Jesus and the disciples were casting out demons. Check out Luke Chapter 5.
This book is beautifully written. It flows seamlessly from the first word to the last. A truly creepy story. Every paragraph, every sentence, is haunt...moreThis book is beautifully written. It flows seamlessly from the first word to the last. A truly creepy story. Every paragraph, every sentence, is haunted. A must read for anyone who likes ghost stories or stories about haunted houses! (less)
A beautifully written (and haunted) story. I fell in love with the characters in this book, and I couldn't put it down. Shirley Jackson never fails to...moreA beautifully written (and haunted) story. I fell in love with the characters in this book, and I couldn't put it down. Shirley Jackson never fails to cast a spell. This is one of my all-time favorites.(less)