Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Book Review: The Haunting by Alex Bell

Water and Witches don't traditionally go together.

Some curses grow stronger with time… 

People say that all Cornish inns are haunted, but the Waterwitch’s history is particularly chilling. Built from the salvaged timber of a cursed ship, the guest house’s dark secrets go further back than anyone can remember. 

Emma is permanently confined to a wheelchair after an accident at the Waterwitch which took place when she was ten. Seven years later, she decides to return to the place where the awful event occurred. But the ancient inn still has its ghosts, and one particular spirit is more vengeful than ever…

This is Alex Bell's second book in the Red Eye series (I have reviewed them all but Sleepless which I'm technically currently reading, they are all labelled Red Eye). I was a big fan of Frozen Charlotte and had big hopes for this book especially as I had found the other Red Eye books to be a bit lacking.

Not quite sure what was with the changing first person point of view. I think the book would have worked better with just one. Especially as our starting narrator just falls by the waste lines at a certain point. We do have the experience of unreliable narrator but I'm not sure if it works. In a way it just distracts from the book.

I know one of the main character is disabled and that sucks, but why did she hate her wheelchair so much. She just kinda hates on it without any emotional depth behind it, especially as she hates on her spine as well. It just feels really out of place sometimes with the situation that Emma is facing. With my other issues with the choice of POV through the novel, this character feels unnecessary. While diversity is important in books, I think its also important that the character belongs to the story and I'm not sure what she brings to the story other than her disability and her service dog. Or I'm just over analysing, as I am probably hasher to media that feature characters with disabilities/disorders/chronic illness as lot of it does it terribly or just gets it completely wrong. She does contribution to the plot somewhat and doesn't fall into any of the clichés that for some reason often come paired with disabled characters.

The horror has a good foundation but is a bit underdeveloped. There is a lot of great set ups that don't go anywhere sometimes. There is disturbing imagery, except it somewhat ruined by who sees it. I did enjoy the mythos of the ghost and the Waterwitch. It is both creepy and exactly like hotel you find in Tourist Hot spots by the British Sea. I wish we had gotten more the building and it permanent residence. The magic was interesting and I haven't came across something like it.

Overall, I give this book 4/5 stars for incense sticks. I think there is good base for a story here, but the execution could have better. I enjoyed the story and think this would be a good introduction to the horror genre. While not as good as Frozen Charlotte, I would definitely read more of Alex Bell's work in the future. This is still the better side of Red Series and would probably rank it with Flesh & Bones, not that scary but good attempts.

I got this book for Review off Netgalley and it is being publish by

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