Time for another bargain find! Today a scary ghost story that takes place on the coast of Oregon. A good read for a buck!
Enter the world of the highly-acclaimed Experiment in Terror Series by visiting...the Darkhouse: There’s always been something a bit off about Perry Palomino. Though she’s been dealing with a quarter-life crisis and post-college syndrome like any other twenty-something, she’s still not what you would call “ordinary.” For one thing, there’s her past which she likes to pretend never happened, and then there’s the fact that she sees ghosts. Luckily for her, that all comes in handy when she stumbles across Dex Foray, an eccentric producer for an upcoming webcast on ghost hunters. Even though the show’s budget is non-existent and Dex himself is a maddening enigma, Perry is instantly drawn into a world that both threatens her life and seduces her with a sense of importance. Her uncle’s haunted lighthouse provides the perfect catalyst and backdrop for a mystery that unravels the threads of Perry’s fragile sanity and causes her to fall for a man, who, like the most dangerous of ghosts, may not be all that he seems.
Published (first published May 1st 2011)
Perry is a twenty two year old stuck living at home and in a dead end reception job that she hates. As much as she detests her job she is grateful to be working and happy to have both feet on the ground after a rocky past. When her parents decide to head to the coast for a weekend stay at Uncle Al's, Perry joins them along with her fifteen year old sister, Ada. For some inexplicable reason she is drawn to the dark, boarded up lighthouse on the edge of her uncle's property. Going against her better judgement, she breaks into the light house, armed only with the weak light from her iphone. Is she crazy to be prowling around a deserted creepy lighthouse at night? During her hasty explorations, she hears banging overhead. Terrified she fears she has wandered into the lair of a crazed rapist. She tears out of there, but finds her escape route barred; she collides with a figure in the dark and nearly dies of fright! The man in the shadows turns out to be a guy named Dex, who is not a rapist, but a cameraman investigating the rumors of the lighthouse haunting. A few days later, Perry returns to her boring job, but things aren't quite right. In the lobby she sees a strange, clownish looking old lady. Is she going crazy? At home, Ada is ill with the swine flu. She begs Perry to post to her fashion blog. The fashion inept Perry writes up a post on her ghostly lighthouse encounter. The blog goes crazy! Perry receives an unexpected call from Dex, the mysterious man in the lighthouse. He offers her the chance to go back to the lighthouse to do some filming to hopefully launch a ghost hunting show. Will their escapades into the old, abandoned lighthouse uncover ghosts or something more sinister?
What I Liked:
- Perry is a well written and developed character. I liked that she is portrayed as an average girl. She has overcome some difficulties in her past: weight issues, drug abuse, numerous cycles of career choices and a history of seeing ghosts. I found myself eagerly cheering for Perry. She is shy and awkward, a bit sassy and a totally believable character.
- I enjoyed the development of the relationship between Dex and Perry. This book does not have the hated love triangle or an insta-love relationship. Instead the author takes the time to create a hesitant friendship that grows into a shaky trust. Part of the beauty of the involvement of the two is watching Perry struggle with and often deny her steadily growing attraction to Dex. I liked that Perry was insecure in her feelings.
- This book has plenty of scary, chilling scenes but nothing too over the top. I especially enjoyed the appearance of the creepy, clownish old lady. She gave me the heebie jeebies!
- I loved the Oregon scenery. Living in Portland I could totally relate to the setting of the story. Ms. Halle manages to capture perfectly the essence of Oregon at the end of summer moving into fall.
And The Not So Much:
- While I loved Perry, my opinion of Dex vacillated throughout the novel. Is he a good guy or a bit shady? What are his intentions toward Perry? What was the deal with the medications? Where did he keep vanishing to? I wish I had a clearer understanding of him, I really want to like him.
- One aspect that annoyed me, was that every time they visited the lighthouse they were ill prepared. I found it a little hard to believe that they would venture into a supposedly haunted lighthouse without adequate lighting.
- I wasn't terrified by the Old Roddy character. I think part of the problem was he needed more development, revelation into his lurid history and details as to his motives for haunting the lighthouse would have made him more terrifying.
- This book starts out slow. Granted the beginning chapters are focused on developing characters, which is one of the highlights. However, I found the pace dragging a bit, thankfully it picks up and gets more exciting as the book moves on.
- I was disappointed in the resolution. This book does not have a cliffhanger, but there were so many unanswered questions, that were left hanging.
Darkhouse, is an entertaining read. There are some good, fun creepy scenes that will hold you hostage. The best part of this book is a realistic and like able protagonist. If you are looking for a scary read, give Darkhouse a try. This book is available on Amazon for $.99. For a buck you can delve into the darkened lighthouse on the Oregon coast in search of ghosts or perhaps something evil hidden inside. The adventure continues for Perry and Dex in the sequel, Red Fox, available on Amazon for $2.99.
A big thanks to Karina Halle for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
"I walked over to the mirror and searched my face for blazing signs of craziness. I looked like crap but often did in the morning before my five cups of coffee kicked in."
"The night sky was still clear with millions of stars sprinkled across the smooth slate above, though off in the distance the hazy, grey mass of mist could be seen. "
"Fall had arrived overnight. The sunshine was gone. The wind hurled itself at our car and tore green leaves off of the trees, scattering them in the air."
"Answering phones and barely able to concentrate on doing so. I could only think about the blog all morning. How many people visited in the last hour? How did they find me? What did they think? How many comments were there now?"
"Today the ocean was a stranger. Cold, rough, and ready to take me out. As the waves sucked back, they grasped the wet sand like desperate fingers, reaching for me."
"He was staring at my ass. At least that's what it looked like. I guess when it's the biggest thing in the room, it must be hard not to stare at it."
"Man, if looks could kill then I was trying to commit a triple homicide with mine."
"The moon was in a permanent grave somewhere in that tumultuous sky, and the only light we had was from the lightning as it moved further north of us and inland."
"Because I find life to be scarier than death.”
"The blackness and unknown nipped at my heels."