I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
Lake Price isn’t your average teenage girl.
Sure, she and her friends are doing what many other high school kids do on Cape Cod: heading to Chatham Manor—nicknamed “Hell”—for a good scare. But for Lake, it’s more than just a thrill-seeking game. It’s what keeps her alive.
Ever since her brother, Kimball, disappeared four years ago, Lake has needed the danger and the fear to feel anything but numb.
But on this night, “Hell” has more in store for Lake than she ever anticipated: A handsome stranger from the 17th century, a modern love triangle, a coven of witches, a hint that Kimball may still be alive… and the start to something that only she can finish.
If you like horror fiction, this one’s for you. It is downright terrifying at times and pretty descriptive. Unfortunately, it was a whole lot like watching the latest scary movie and being tremendously disappointed because all the good parts were in the trailer. While the storyline is unique—you don’t find too many novels about hair-eating witches—I had a hard time getting into the novel.
My two biggest issues were with the unanswered questions. There wasn’t a great deal of backstory for the existence of the witches. They’ve been around for hundreds of years, yet there was little explanation of how or, more importantly, why they behave as they do. I needed more background information, and I found it lacking even with Halsted’s explanation. We seem to be making the rules as we go. I felt the same way about the info on the Red Bishop. As soon as Lake heard about the legend, she suddenly becomes the witch warrior. Her transformation was record-breaking.
I don’t want to be a plot-spoiler, but the whole thing with Madison was odd and not very well foreshadowed. Why would a girl who wears a Burberry scarf to spend the night in a haunted house ever choose to become a snaggle-toothed, eyeless child abductor? It just didn’t make sense to me.
The whole “love at first sight” with the four-hundred-old Puritan boy seemed off as well. They barely speak, and she never really asks him about his life before becoming the prison master of the zombie children.
So, if you want a good scare, this one’s for you. Looking for a bit more? Better shop around.