Monday, September 12, 2011

Review: Darkhouse by Karina Halle

Book: Darkhouse
By: Karina Halle
Publication Date: May, 28,2011
Publisher: Createspace (Self Published)

Description: 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 twen­tysome­thing, 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 hor­rific 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.

My Thoughts: Darkhouse was the first ghost story, and first self published book I have ever read, and I must say I was pleasantly surprised. I always thought ghost stories would be boring books that gave off the "ghost hunters" vibe from the television shows with no real ghost sightings and random orbs and the like. This book had just the right amount of ghost sightings, eerie happenstance and terrifying events, and balanced it well with comic relief. I absolutely loved it!

The book follows a 22 year old girl named Perry Palomino. Besides our common ages, I did not originally relate to her. She is a "big girl" who has dealt all of the "typical big girl" issues. I have no idea what that's like; therefore, I didn't know how to see eye to eye with her, other than to relate it to my own Popsicle stick youth. Furthermore, she seems to see ghosts and people others cant see, and is easily put down when people question her mental state. I wished she would stick up for herself in those instances; however, I guess anyone would feel the way she did if they always saw things others couldn't see. As the book continued though, I could find a multitude of things I could relate to her on. First, she's still living at home with a younger, more popular sister who seems to be the family favorite (yes, i am airing out dirty laundry). Second, she's stuck in a job that she hates doesn't really like. She wants to find her place in the world, but seems somewhat lost. Plus, she gets carsick while reading in a moving vehicle just like me. I found my affection toward Perry Palomino growing just like it would if she were an actual friend. In the beginning I thought "hey, she's cool...I guess," then "hmmm...I don't really like that about her," followed by "come on...come can do it," and then before I knew it..."WHAM, best friends forever." I absolutely loved Ms. Perry Palomino (and I love her name too. Its one of those names you feel like you should say entirely to thoroughly appreciate).

The love/like interest, Declan "Dex" Foray was (of course) gorgeous and sexy, and amazing, and...bipolar? I'm not sure what his issue was but I loved and hated him. He was annoying and lovable.I couldn't help but want Perry to hug and kiss him, and punch him in the face. That's just what kind of person he was. You couldn't help but be unsure of how you felt about him, just as Perry felt.

Besides Perry and Dex, the other characters seemed a bit flat. I hated Perry's Mom, and thought her dad was...boring. Perry's sister was cute, but way too ahead of herself. She was only 15 and drinking at bonfires while sucking face with men and who knows what else. I'd kill my 13 year old sister if I even knew she was thinking about that kind of stuff (I may be a hypocrite but so what!)

The story itself was good. It had its fair share of horror. I was scared (although I must admit, it's pretty easy to scare me). I couldn't stop reading this book. I needed to know what happened next. I was absolutely terrified during the scary parts and I noticed my heart actually began pacing while I read. That said, there were only two things I didn't like about the book. First, because this book was self published, I noticed a few errors, however, these errors were few, and therefore didn't take away from the book. Second, There were so many questions left in my head at the end. As you all know, I hate unanswered questions. I couldn't help but wonder, what the heck was up with Perry in the past that she keeps running from, why are her parents so worried about her, and why can she see people others can't? What in the world is up with Dex? Is he bipolar or isn't he? What was the result of the lighthouse excursion. What did they gain from it? Despite my many questions though, I understand that this is a series that by the end, will probably answer all my questions slowly but surely. (I just want to know NOW).

Darkhouse was an amazing book that I COULD NOT read late at night in fear that the events would transfer into my dreams. (I have a vivid imagination) It was a great start to a great series. I look forward to reading the next book, Red Fox. Karina Halle is a great writer. I enjoyed the characters she infused in the story and will definitely read every book in this series! I give it 4 stars!


Lan said...

Great review Sherre. I've never read a ghost story before because like you I get scared very easily and it takes me forever to get over it. If ever I was going to read a ghost story if would be this one. Sounds vaguely interesting compared to all the ones where one of the love interests is actually a ghost!

Melissas Eclectic Bookshelf said...

I've had this one sitting on my Nook for a while now. I've been wondering where it should sit in my never ending TBR pile. Sadly after your review I'm as torn as ever! lol I'm a fan of scary but not nightmare scary...and character that leave you feeling conflicted about them thru the end...hmmmm....

♥ Melissa @ Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf

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