Doskoi_panda's Reviews > Creative Spirit

Creative Spirit by Scott Nicholson
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's review
Dec 23, 11

bookshelves: ebook
Read in December, 2011

Scott Nicholson's novel Creative Spirit is a paranormal novel set in the Appalachian mountains in an old mansion that is being run as an artist's retreat. The story opens on the arrival of a group of guests, and a scene to demonstrate the remoteness of the mansion - it isn't accessible by car, and there is a bridge worthy of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom to cross by foot before they arrive at the house itself. The mansion is kept to the 1800's lifestyle, with no modern amenities, and with portraits of the original owner scattered all throughout the rooms. The guests include a paranormal researcher with a grave illness, a woodcarver/sculptor on an award, a photographer, videographer, and a novelist, as well as a few others. To varying degrees, each of them feel the influence of the house and it's former owner, and become trapped.

Being a lover of traditional ghost stories, this novel had my interest right off the bat - remote location, peculiar former owner, rumours of haunting - all the trappings of a Hill House. And Nicholson's house captures the creepiness very well, although the portraits being all over the mansion reminded me a bit of Disney's Haunted House. Also well utilised were various bits of Appalachian folklore, the dolls, the spoken charms and so on, were put to excellent use, enhancing both atmosphere and story.
There were, however, things I thought that could have been done better - the main characters felt like they were too stock character like to really pull me in - they needed more development. It's possible that there were too many of them to really devote time to, and a few of them felt genuinely unnecessary. I also had trouble accepting the finale, and the aftermath.

Somewhere between 3.5 and 4 stars
Review copy received from the author a part of Librarything's Member Giveaway Program.

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