7 teosta 98 jäsentä 12 arvostelua

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Sisältää nimen: Steven Rigolosi


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Tämä arvostelu kirjoitettiin LibraryThingin Varhaisia arvostelijoita varten.
⭐⭐ 2 stars (it was ok)

RATING: R (Violence, Gore, Sexual themes)
Trigger Warnings: Rape, Forced pregnancy

I'll be blunt: The characters don't have any emotional investment in what's going on, so it's hard for me to. It was also hard to keep the 1700's characters distinct in my mind when they are never described and have no real personalities. Like if a Shakespeare play had no dialogue in it and you couldn't see the actors. So we have these empty names (that became forgettable and interchangeable in my mind) experiencing gruesome, graphic, paranormal, supernatural, and to their eyes surely Satanic occurrences/rituals/desecrations happening in front of them, and scarcely a word is said about an emotional reaction! A long-dead character materializes in a chair opposite a living character who was alone just prior, speaks to the character, and they just respond, it's like it didn't even register. That's not really what I hoped horror would be (somewhat new to the genre).

Then, this kind of narration, with hardly any reactions or responses from anyone, would be interrupted by immersion-breaking phrasing like "the ass-end of the restaurant" in the narration. That's right -- it wouldn't be said or thought by a character. Such as:

Matthew walked along a narrow hallway into the ass-end of the restaurant, where a makeshift dining room jutted into the parking lot at a 90-degree angle from the bar.

The ass-end!

The following whole paragraph is symptomatic:

Though Priscilla wasn’t fond of cops (small dicks, and everyone knew it), she wasn’t being evasive. She wasn’t sure that the events of the previous evening had happened. One minute she was fleeing that creepy house on the coast, and the next she was running up the staircase to her room. The cops were already acting like she was a bit of a flake, giving her the look that cops give edgy young women who might be lesbians.

Plot devices are parenthetically explained the first time they're introduced--removing the meaning from them--instead of SHOWING us and leading us through the past events as part of the story that made them meaningful in the present. For example, we just find out 'oh yeah one time this item was cursed, by a witch character you've never heard of and that's why his daughter cried when she handed it to him'...", etc.

At times I remarked on the seemingly emotionless characters. No time is spent on reactions or emotional responses: "Oh, a strange man just handed me a putty that I absentmindedly rolled into a ball and used as a salve in a wound caused by a phantom snake that may not have been real. On with the story! No need to dwell on it. If the characters aren't afraid then how can I be?!"

Not a whole lot is left as a surprise... And doesn't let any of the horror elements linger at all. They're always just over and done with in a flash. And plot elements with a TON of potential (like when Matthew finds mysterious audio files while he's recording a new song and realizes they are his aborted baby's cries) are just dropped on the reader's plate like an overambitious Sloppy Joe with no lead-up, no foreplay, no suspense, no lead-up.

About 20% of the way through the book, we are told point blank that Parthalán is the same name as Bartholomew and then the author lets that be a big reveal in the finale... maybe he forgot he said it before?

I also noticed that no real motivations or psychic connections are made, and the characters are a little one-dimensional. Also, there's no sense of progression, eating the heart out of someone's chest and other such shocking occurrences happen at a steady clip all throughout. Doesn't feel like a story as much like a series of episodic scenes from someone's demoniac imagination.

I don't think I was the target audience for this book, but I was grateful halfway through as things started to be told to the reader. A lot of open threads with no real connection to anything kept happening and it would register no reaction. A good example is half a dozen instances where Matthew (mmc) hears gunshots and still behaves as if he didn't hear them.

“No, stay here. Please.”
[Female character] nodded and Matthew went to retrieve [her] tote from the rented Ford Focus, hurrying back inside when he heard gunshots. [She] had found the guest bedroom. The door was closed. After tapping on the door and leaving the overnight bag in the corridor, Matthew went into the master bedroom, sat on the bed, and stared at the moonlit ocean.

Gunshots? This is introduced just like this. What gunshots are these? Is this nothing strange? Couldn't the characters say something (e.g. "hey um I just came to visit you and I'm sleeping over, were those gunshots?") There just wasn't enough context for this. Eventually I figured out it must have been hunters? Potentially the villain or one of his lackeys trying to shoot Jerusha the dove?

All in all it hasn't turned me off the horror genre altogether. In the end, it really wasn't what the front cover and title evoke. Not at all a typical ghost-haunts-house story.

And this book really couldn't ever survive a screen adaptation-- too many of the characters are "dat's da same guy!". So I guess it ends here for me Mr. Rigolosi! All the best to you. If a horror reader YouTuber I like brings another of yours up, I'll add it to the list (a little ways down).

I won this book on LibraryThing as an Early Reviewer. It took me several years to get through it all and put this to paper; I hope it means I can now win more books to review.
… (lisätietoja)
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chuff | 6 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jan 29, 2024 |
In 1746, famed fundamentalist preacher Jonathon Edwards is feeling the heat of his own sermons as he enters another year of keeping his private sins quiet while publicly chastising other sinners from the pulpit. To ease some of his guilt, he sends his servant Bebhinn and their illegitimate son, Parthalan, to help set up a new township on a strip of land along the coast of Maine. What Reverend Edwards does not know is that Parthalan is more than just a surly young man, and he has no use for Reverend Edwards's Heavenly Father, as he has his own darker and more demanding deity to worship. Parthalan takes over everything in the new town of Agamenticus: the plans, the people, the buildings, the church. Before long, he'll have convinced hundreds of people to abandon God and turn to his own dark master. Two and half centuries have passed when musician, Matthew Rollins, needs a place to get away from it all, a place to spend time rediscovering his passion and hopefully writing a few new songs. A mysterious invitation to spend the winter at the beautiful Kinnawe house in Agamenticus, Maine, arrives...truly an offer too good to refuse. Matthew then starts out on a journey that will have him questioning his sanity, questioning reality, and questioning his own lineage. The chapters alternate between past and present as we travel along with Matthew. He discovers the dark and terrible secrets of Kinnawe House as well as those of the now nearly non-existent town of Agamenticus...and comes to face with his own shadowy past. The book has ghosts, devil worshipers, human sacrifices, and a sleep-deprived spiral into hallucinations and madness. Matthew is a mystery story all by himself, complete with a body covered with scars, a mother in the madhouse and no father to speak of and old "friends" who seem to be anything but friendly. Parthalàn is an outstanding villain without not a speck of good in him. He's vicious and cruel and cunning and will stop at nothing to get what he wants even if he has to take it by trickery or by force. Another wonderful character in the story is Helen Crowe, who lives down the road from Kinnawe House and fully embraces her role as the archetypal sage and caregiver. She's a woman who knows the answers to all Matthew's questions but is smart enough to let him figure most of them out himself. She gives him hints along the way such as: always leave one window in the house cracked open; stay away from the cliffs after dark; whatever you do, don't go in the old, abandoned church down the road. Eventually, past and present will collide as Matthew and Helen come face to face with the evil that dwells...some of it willingly and some of it Kinnawe House as well as the village. Those that love ghost stories and haunted houses will really like this one.… (lisätietoja)
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Carol420 | 6 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jun 17, 2023 |
Tämä arvostelu kirjoitettiin LibraryThingin Varhaisia arvostelijoita varten.
I wanted to like this book, but it was a little too much for me to read comfortably. There was a lot of satanic rituals and gore. Not my cup of tea
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gpittfield | 6 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Oct 3, 2022 |
Tämä arvostelu kirjoitettiin LibraryThingin Varhaisia arvostelijoita varten.
This is a novel that takes place in the present and the past making it very intriguing. It's a story about good and evil, and if you like horror novels, this one is perfect for you.
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librariansuzanne | 6 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Sep 22, 2022 |


Arvio (tähdet)
½ 3.4

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