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The Siren and the Specter

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3.95  ·  Rating details ·  686 ratings  ·  255 reviews
When David Caine, a celebrated skeptic of the supernatural, is invited by an old friend to spend a month in “the most haunted house in Virginia,” he believes the case will be like any other. But the Alexander House is different. Built by a 1700s land baron to contain the madness and depravity of his eldest son, the house is plagued by shadows of the past and the lingering ...more
Hardcover, 295 pages
Published September 6th 2018 by Flame Tree Press
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Lisa Lynch No. It gets even more ridiculous. It might be the most absurd book I have ever read.…moreNo. It gets even more ridiculous. It might be the most absurd book I have ever read. (less)

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Average rating 3.95  · 
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 ·  686 ratings  ·  255 reviews


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destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
I’ve loved the horror genre for a very long time, and one constant in that love has been my relentless affection for haunted house stories. More than any other horror theme in the industry, I think, I am a sucker for a spooky, old farmhouse with bumps in the night, ghosts in the attic, and handprints on the window panes. I was immediately intrigued when I first came across the synopsis for this book, and I am pleased to report that it did not disappoint in any way.

Most dwellings are as
...more
Char
3.5/5*

Alexander House is the most haunted house in the state of Virginia. David Caine is perhaps the most well known debunk-er in the United States and as such, he is called in to stay at the house and write a book about it. The current owners are hoping that David will be persuaded into believing that the haunting is real, and that the resulting book about the matter will draw visitors/tourism to the home. Is David finally persuaded that ghosts and hauntings do exist? You'll have to read this
...more
Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: scream-mag
Originally printed in the NOV/DEC 2018 issue of SCREAM MAG

Do you ever read such an amazing book, you’ve wondered why you only just discovered the author ‘now’? That happened twice for me this year. In January with Robert McCammon and then later this year with Jonathan Janz. Interestingly enough, both authors write in the same, compelling, character-driven storytelling style.
In the book world, specifically the horror genre, people have been celebrating the work of Jonathan Janz for awhile--I just
...more
Debra
Jan 20, 2019 rated it liked it
David Crane, an author and skeptic of the supernatural, has been invited by an old friend to spend a month in the Alexander House. A famous "haunted" house that he and his wife recently purchased. The house has a dark and sinister history and David has been hired to determine if the house is in fact haunted and at the same time, he is going to write a book about his experiences there.

David doesn't believe in haunted houses. He has made his career debunking them. He believes the month in the
...more
Ivy H
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kimberly
THE SIREN AND THE SPECTER, by Jonathan Janz, is one of his most complex and "layered" novels to date. In any book, your focus is on either the supernatural OR the human element during certain points. However, in this one, Janz has blended these two components together so well that they are nearly inseparable from each other.

"You can't reason away the unreasonable . . ."

We begin with David Caine, a man known for his books ultimately debunking believed supernatural phenomenon. His old college
...more
Mindi
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

After 3 books, it's official. I will automatically read every book that Janz publishes. He is the real deal. I'm sure a lot of you are thinking, "he's been the real deal", but I didn't discover his work until this year, and I missed out on all those titles published by Samhain. But alas! All of those titles are going to be released again by Flame Tree Press, and I'm so excited for them. Not to mention whatever new work
...more
Michael Hicks
I've been anticipating the launch of Flame Tree Press for a good while now, not least of which because it meant brand new books from Jonathan Janz and Hunter Shea. Both authors launched their careers at the now-ancient history Samhain Publishing, and while both have found publishers elsewhere since that publisher's collapse in 2016, it feels good to have them reunited beneath a common imprint and the guiding hand of editor Don D'Auria. I've been waiting for a new Janz novel ever since finishing ...more
Bri | bribooks
It has been a while since I struggled this much with writing a review. I thought about leaving a rating and calling it good, but I am a tiny bit obsessive compulsive — I feel I must write reviews for everything I read.

First off, this hardcover is absolutely gorgeous. Flame Tree Press is doing amazing work. This sucker looks like it could have been published by S&S, or Knopf.

As for the story . . . oh, what a mixed bag. And that hurts to say, because I was hooked for the first seventy pages,
...more
Shaina
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Latasha
Oct 04, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own, horror
The Siren and the Specter- a variety of monsters. What I thought would be a haunted house story turned out to be so much more and more horrific. There is some great creepy, scary as hell scenes in here and some of the worst humanity has put forth. The story was written very well and kept me engaged.
Jon Recluse
Aug 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Jonathan Janz has penned a Laymonesque haunted house tale.....no, that isn't right. What we have here is a purely Janzian ghost story, because no one writes like Jonathan Janz. At turns both bone chilling and gut wrenching, where the sins of the past return to taint the present, while leaving one guessing as to whose sins they are....and whose pasts.
An excellent addition to the subgenre, tautly written, that will leave the reader guessing.....and sleeping with the lights on.

Highly recommended.
Jamie Stewart
May 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Okay, this is my second novel that I've read by Jonathan Janz. I would like to say that I enjoyed this one as much as the last one, which was The Dark Game, but I didn't and that shouldn't be surprising when you consider that book to be the best horror novel I've read in years. In a world filled with work, family life, commitments and the temptation's of TV and social media all I wanted to do was find a quiet place and read it in peace. I was obsessed with the characters within it and their ...more
Lisa
Aug 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: net-galley
This book, for me had a major willie factor! I'd started reading this 2 or 3 times, and just couldn't get into it. This morning, around 2:00 a.m., I woke up and couldn't get back to sleep, so I figured I should probably read something boring. Hence, this review! This story wasn't boring. This dang story kept me awake, in the dark, to the measly light of my kindle. I wasn't going to sleep! What spectres might bedevil me if I fell asleep? Nope, I'll just read until the sun comes up! I can't say ...more
Kenneth McKinley
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-kindle, horror
There's atmosphere a plenty in Jonathan Janz's latest, THE SIREN AND THE SPECTER. Creepiness and dread oozes from each subsequent page after page. David is a cynic. He has to be. It's his job. Debunking hauntings has paved the way for a decent living. Now David's college pal invites him to Virginia to write about the place he and his wife just bought, the notorious Alexander House. Chris and Katherine hand over the keys and David plans on staying in the house for a month. Their motive for having ...more
Juli
Aug 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
David Caine is a well known author who debunks legendary haunted houses. After publishing nine books on the subject, he isn't too concerned about the 10th project, The Alexander House. At the request of an old college friend who owns the house, David agrees to live in it for a month. Area residents and his friend's wife think the property is really haunted, but David knows that isn't possible. He firmly believes that supernatural things do not exist. Or does he? He isn't inside the house for a ...more
Bill
Oct 11, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have been a fan of Jonathan Janz for quite a while. The dude has talent and I have enjoyed everything that I have read from him. “The Siren and the Specter” is no exception.

I am not even going to attempt to summarize this one. There is all kinds of crazy, creepy going on here. Probably even too much.

I’m giving this one 3+ Stars. I enjoyed it. It was written very well, as I expected, but was a bit scattered the last or so (for me) and I got a bit confused with the goings-on.

As always, I look
...more
Marie
David Caine, a renowned debunker of paranormal activity, is invited to come to the Alexander House on the request of his friend, Chris. The Alexander House has laid claims to being the most haunted house in Virginia. David decides that he will stay in the house for a month to see if he can capture any kind footage of a haunting.

David delves deep into the history of the house and finds that the Alexander house is named after Judson Alexander who did unspeakable things in the house. David has
...more
Emily
Aug 14, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5

I am really torn between 3 and 4 stars for this book. I loved some parts, and didn't care for others, so my feelings are pretty mixed. From the start, The Siren & the Specter builds atmosphere very well. Jonathan Janz's writing is descriptive, and it's easy to picture the house and surrounding area. The beginning of the book is a bit slow, but it helps you to get settled into the story.

I feel like there may have been too many storylines going on. It wasn't difficult to keep track of
...more
Levi Walls
Sep 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. This is in my top three most disturbing reads of the year so far!

I gotta say I may be a little biased, because I LUUURVE Jonathan Janz's work. I've collected most of his back catalog of books through Samhain Publishing, and I'm as proud of that collection as I am of my Stephen King collection. All that after reading only two of his books! Now, this is my third read of his, and the Janz man is in top form. Ok, enough Stanning, on to the review.

This is the craziest, most disturbing
...more
 Reading Divergence
Review: THE SIREN AND THE SPECTER by Jonathan Janz

If you're desiring a Haunted House tale that will electrify, terrify, and provoke deeper levels of thinking, don't look away. THE SIREN AND THE SPECTER enthralls, intrigues, and frightens, even the most jaded or uninterested. While you're gleefully shaking and shivering along with the various characters, you'll also be appalled at certain other characters, pondering deeply on the nature of good and evil, and considering how it is that "good"
...more
Kristy
Oct 07, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
Josh
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What seems like the stereotypical haunted house novel is anything but. Delve beneath the misty and atmospheric fog, and you'll soon see horrors with deep roots spawning all shapes and forms.

The Siren and the Spectre is a great book. Simple and plain. The customary bumps in the night and horrors of the shock and awe variety are spread throughout the narrative but it's the characters and their stories which make this book so enjoyable.

The Alexander House is a fabled place of lore. Within its
...more
Tracy Robinson
Sep 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Janz really knows how to spin a tale that leaves you guessing. I enjoyed this book, partly because of the haunting, partly because of the author's skill with description and dialogue. Honestly, I enjoyed the action and the villains more than the MC - I just couldn't connect all the way. I wanted more information surrounding the town's history with the Specter and the darkness that surrounds it. That being said, I highly recommend this scary, haunting tale
Karl
Jul 23, 2018 marked it as to-read
This Is an advanced reading copy uncorrected proof of the book and is signed by Jonathan Janz.
Audra (ouija.doodle.reads)
Real hauntings, metaphorical hauntings, skeptics, murder, conspiracy theories, sex maniacs, backstabbing, creepy kids—this book has it all.

A haunted house story is just about my favorite thing. I can't get enough of them—I think it's probably the most interesting setting for a book. ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN.

Janz ups the ante in this book because not only are we dealing with a (potentially) haunted house, but main character David is also haunted by his past.

David is a sort of haunting debunker who
...more
Lilyn G. | Sci-Fi & Scary | "Empathy" - Look it up.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review consideration.

I have been in a pretty fierce book slump since reading Mary Robinette Kowal's The Calculating Stars. It was just so good that nothing I picked up afterwards seemed nearly as interesting. I started multiple books trying to find something that would catch my attention. I even tried re-reading one of my favorite books. Still nothing. So, when I started Jonathan Janz's The Siren and the Specter, I was almost
...more
Bob
Aug 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, hauntings
Darker and more disturbing that you can possibly imagine, The Siren and The Specter is not just the best haunted house novel I have read in years, but one of the better horror novels I have read. Jonathan Janz hooked me from the start, dragging me into the halls of The Alexander House alongside David Caine, where he made me feel the same mixture of visceral fear, self-conscious paranoia, and guilty anxiety. There is so much atmosphere to the house, and there is no better way to capture it than ...more
Glenn Rolfe
Sep 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
THE SIREN & THE SPECTER is a ghost story in the Southern Gothic-vein. As with his previous novels, THE NIGHTMARE GIRL and THE SORROWS, Jonathan Janz proves well-versed in the ways of man’s battles with demons and ghosts. Gripping and wrapped up in mystery, THE SIREN & THE SPECTER is among his best.

While I never found myself able to like the main character, David (a bit of a self-centered coward through much of the story), Janz does a great job by surrounding him with a wonderful cast of
...more
Gemma ♕ Books_McCoy
Oct 31, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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1,210 followers
Jonathan Janz is the author of more than a dozen novels and numerous short stories. His work has been championed by authors like Joe R. Lansdale, Jack Ketchum, and Brian Keene; he has also been lauded by Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and School Library Journal. His ghost story The Siren and the Specter was selected as a Goodreads Choice nominee for Best Horror. Additionally, his novel ...more