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BOOK REVIEW – Darkhouse (Experiment in Terror #1) by Karina Halle

BOOK REVIEW – Darkhouse (Experiment in Terror #1) by Karina HalleDarkhouse (Experiment in Terror #1)
by Karina Halle
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

I can’t even begin to tell you how exciting it was to read this book. Back in the day, my best friends and I would gather around the basement big screen television and watch every scary movie known to man. Hell, we watched so many that I was literally jaded when an actual good scary movie came out-I was never scared. Jump to present day, about 7-8 years later, and I can’t even watch a scary movie commercial. Yeah, things went south quickly.

SO. I have sworn off scary movies (for the most part, I’m a lot like Perry in this sense) or anything remotely scary that might freak me out and give me more nightmares than those that already plague me. I am so happy my friend asked me to read this with her, because if she hadn’t, I most likely would have never gotten the lady balls to read this or to finish it if I had attempted to even start it.

The story most definitely starts out with a bang, I must say. Perry is having a recurring nightmare (or is she?) that haunts her frequently. Now, this made a fan out of me right off the bat, because as I stated above, I have recurring nightmares as well. Scarily enough? She has the SAME. EXACT. DREAM. that I do. She has it in the same fashion, is laying in the same position on the bed, and has the same end result as I do: Screaming her freakin’ head off. The only difference is the mouth on the nightmarish figure-that doesn’t appear in mine. Needless to say, I knew that while this might be a “starting point” in the series and not so scary for some people, it would most likely be a trigger for me. I am happy to say I did finish the book with minimal freak outs and only had to stop reading once due to the scare factor. Yay me.

Perry is such a fun character, and as I told my friend I read this with, she is the mirror image of me and my personality. It’s always fun when you can identify with the main character, and Perry didn’t disappoint. She was quirky, funny, witty, and brave to boot (now that I edit this, I see that it’s implied I think I am all these things-not what I was going for here-I was only saying she has the same inner dialogue/thoughts as I do and a lot of the same mannerisms…just a note). The biggest character trait that separates fictional Perry and I? If I had seen that freakin’ creeptastic lighthouse, I would have RAN AS FAR AWAY AS I COULD HAVE and never looked back. Oh wait, I would NEVER HAVE LEFT THE GROUP IN THE FIRST PLACE! So, suffice to say, she was a very brave character who faced her fears head on, while I, as Perry stated in numerous instances, am a chickenshit.

“Now, despite my interest in the paranormal, I never watched those ghost hunting shows on TV. Ironically, I am too chickenshit and my imagination is far too powerful.”

^See? That’s me-right there in a nutshell.^

And then we have Dex. Declan-whatever you want to call him. His name(s) says it all. He is a mysterious, brave, fun, and infuriating man. He lives on the edge of his seat, as far as I can tell, and doesn’t seem to be afraid of much. He is brave in the face of terror, for both himself and Perry, but urgent and quick-to-react when necessary. He is the most fascinating and intriguing when he is protecting Perry. I love seeing the change in demeanor for both high-adrenaline situations and run-ins with bitchy college “friends” from the past. I don’t think he ever has a consistant personality in any certain situation, but one thing never changes: he does his best to protect Perry, both physically and mentally. I really loved seeing his character development throughout the story, because he became a really sweet (mostly), charming guy. I can’t wait to see what happens between the two.

The writing was very good as well. I couldn’t believe that this book, that was FREE on Nook, had such good writing. It was funny, sharp, and witty. I was drawn in from the first page, and even more so after a couple chapters. This author had such a fun way of writing the story that the reader finds themself pulled into each chapter without even realizing it. If I didn’t have so many books to read at this time, I would most defintely be starting the next in the series-BUT, since I do, I will just keep this little gem called Red Fox hidden away until I get a chance to read it. I seriously can’t wait.

BOOK REVIEW – Red Fox (Experiment in Terror #2) by Karina Halle

BOOK REVIEW – Red Fox (Experiment in Terror #2) by Karina HalleRed Fox (Experiment in Terror #2)
by Karina Halle
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Just when I thought I couldn’t enjoy the humor in this series any more than I already did, Perry opens her smartass mouth and I’m drawn to her character all over again.

The story starts with Perry sitting in front of the computer screen anxiously awaiting the webisode that shows the results of their first endeavor in the lighthouse from book one. This demo/pilot episode could make or break the opportunity for followers and the certainty of a continued webisode series. Perry desperately wants her parents to like and approve of the show, because it’s all she has at the moment. When the show doesn’t awe or inspire her family (save for her sister, Ada), she starts to feel the real pressure of her current life situation.

When Dex calls with their next big opportunity, a disturbance of a Navajo couple’s home in Red Fox, Perry knows it’s make it or break it time. Rocks being thrown at their house, wild animals appearing out of nowhere in the hallways, and sheep carcasses that are mutilated beyond comprehension are among the issues Dex and Perry will face, and there’s even more at stake than they could have ever imagined.

We are again faced with the nagging question of whether our favorite ghost hunting ‘couple’ will ultimately end up together and finally make Peclan (or Pex: Kris(KC) and I thought about this couple name smash long and hard lol) a reality.

It makes the adventure even more exciting than the already horrifying events inspire. We know something is there between them, we just don’t know what. As the story progresses, we begin to see that Perry cares for Dex more than she has ever let on, and it has you silently rooting through everything that they have at least one, brief, passionate encounter…because the sexual tension oozes in each and every scenario, making it palpable both for themselves and those around them.

Aside from the creepy, haunted animalistic storyline, what I found most endearing was that Dex and Perry (see, wouldn’t the name smash be ten times easier to use in this moment?) would do anything for each other, even go as far as to risk their lives for one another. And while there were many moments where stupidity won out over intelligent decisions, I know they had each other’s well-being in the forefront of their thoughts.

This is a prime example of what I am always talking about-there were grammatical errors littered throughout (subtly), but I could have cared less! Who cares if there are minor editing issues-an extra word or lack thereof in certain instances? This book is so fun that it barely made a blip on the map of awesomeness that is this book series. It’s sad, because I found my eyes sliding to the shadows beside my bed as I read and tiptoeing through the darkness in the hallway at my house on the way to the bathroom, attempting to avoid any malicious animal spirits that might be lurking in the dark corners.


 photo Down-a-Dark-Hallway_zps72597fe0.jpg

*photo courtesy of Michele! I certainly couldn’t find anything fitting.

So, I will truck onward to the next book in the series, hoping only for the best-I can’t wait any longer to continue to the next installment. I have to know what’s happening to our favorite broken leads and what occurence they will embark upon next.

**side note-I read 90% of this in the daylight…yay me! No bad dreams or mystery mirages for this girl. 😛

BOOK REVIEW – Dead Sky Morning (Experiment in Terror #3) by Karina Halle

BOOK REVIEW – Dead Sky Morning (Experiment in Terror #3) by Karina HalleDead Sky Morning (Experiment in Terror #3)
by Karina Halle
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

4 “I most definitely had trouble falling asleep” stars

As I started DSM, I was giddy, excited, and couldn’t wait to delve deeper into Perry and Dex’s story. These two have been on tremulous territory since the first book, and Karina Halle is doing a great job of keeping everyone hooked- we’re just waiting for these two to realize how much they care for each other and at least hook up. But with this tremulous territory comes frustration and anger with both the characters and us readers.

The paranormal part in this story really merits 5 stars. It does. This installment was terrifying. I am not using that term lightly. It terrified me.

But, and this is a heavy but, the tension between Dex and Perry was a little obnoxious at times. Get over it Perry, he has a girlfriend. I know what it’s like to be into a guy who has a gf, we have probably all been through it, but she has taken the cute crush/love and turned it into something that can only be deemed slutty. I love Perry, she’s an awesome character and a lot like me, but it doesn’t excuse trying to get with a guy in a ‘serious’ relationship.

Something else has been nagging at me since I started Experiment in Terror as well, and until now, it’s been hazy and not quite clear as to what that something is…but, it’s now crystal clear: I am a flawed reader. Look at this scenario and tell me I am not perfectly flawed in my feelings and expectations:

-Dex has a girlfriend.
-Perry is in love with Dex.
-Dex is most likely ‘in love’ with Perry.

See, this doesn’t quite add up…I want these two to partake in the hanky panky department and Dex to drop his bitch of a girlfriend. Not in any particular order. Is it wrong that we readers root for the main characters to be together even at the expense of another [secondary] character? Even when one of these main characters has a other half that they used to/do care about? Are we seriously suggesting the main characters cheat? What does that make us? Hypocrites? If this was in real life, these people would be dubbed slut/manwhore. It seems that in literally every book, we root for two people to be together no matter what the consequences of the situation will be, and I feel it more and more as the series continues. I love Romance, and this is technically a horror/romance story. And that’s what this whole thing is: a story. They’re not really cheating, and nothing bad is really happening to anyone.

Don’t get me wrong. I am still rooting for Peclan, but it doesn’t mean I haven’t realized how wrong it seems-especially with this particular series. Now that that’s under my belt, I must say: the steam factor was through the roof in at least one scene. I loved it! It was built up sexual tension and it was a much needed ‘release’. I think readers will be satisfied, at least for a moment.

Now-the scare factor? 10/5 stars. I about died. Everything that scares me to the core was in this book. I thought-“oh, no buddy read on this one? Ok, I’ll be fine. The last two were scary, but I handled them pretty well. Piece of cake.” WRONG. This book scared me so deeply that I threw my Nook down on the bed and turned up the tv as loud as I possibly could without waking the bf. I couldn’t stop my labored breathing and my erratic heartbeat from a certain scene that gave me the chills, and I couldn’t stop looking over my shoulder or to the side of the bed. I stared straight ahead every time I would go to the restroom, and my heartrate would accelerate yet again after I had already gotten it partially calmed down. Now, this might seem dramatic to those who like this kind of book and are used to it-but I am not, and little girl ghosts are my number one creep-out factor. Gah. I had to finish during the day, and even then I had to keep looking out of the corner of my eye. To say that I was scared to death was an understatement, and I truly am astonished I fell asleep.

So, all-in-all a very good read. It gets under your skin and makes you think twice about getting up to pee in the middle of the night. I love Dex and Perry, I do, and nothing can deter me from rooting for their relationship to move forward. They are flawed and they are real. It is a very refreshing change. I just wish View Spoiler » I can’t wait to start the fourth installment, Lying Season, but I have to wait on my buddy read…buddy (lol) to even begin what are supposed to be the scariest books in the series yet. Yikes.

BOOK REVIEW – On Demon Wings (Experiment in Terror #5) by Karina Halle

BOOK REVIEW – On Demon Wings (Experiment in Terror #5) by Karina HalleOn Demon Wings (Experiment in Terror #5)
by Karina Halle
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Ok, the inner turmoil is over. While the first half of the book wasn’t my favorite, I loved when Dex was pulled into the story. I can’t deny that the minute he walked in the book got 20 times better. Left to deal with Maximus, that damn nasty, lumberjack ginger, for most of the story, I exhaled a very dramatic breath of relief the minute sexy Dexy stepped into the doorway.

ODW was by far the scariest, most spine-tingling installment yet. Was I scared to walk through the house in the dark? Check. Did I have to look straight forward at all times lest my eyes wander and see a demon in the corner? Check. Was there a terrible, evil thing hiding under her damn bed-one of my worst nightmares come true? Check. Was I at the movie theatre sitting in a bathroom stall wondering if Abby was going to make an appearance on the other side of the door while I was sitting there? Check and check. This book dealt with so many different types of ‘demons’ (tangible and emotionally) that I had no choice but to read everything with at least a little daylight seeping through the curtains. There was no other option-read with daylight, or don’t read at all. I chose the former.

A low, menacing growl filled the room.
It sounded more gluttural than a dog. Something deeper, raspier and slick with liquid.
It was coming from underneath my bed.

I think the most common misperception I made about this book would have to be the fact that people who read this are scared of what lurks in the shadows only. You know, like all the other books-just ghosts. And maybe that’s the case for most of the people and I’m just different, but regardless, there was something much more sinister in this story. ODW dealt with possession and losing yourself to something you can’t possibly fathom; even as you start to realize what’s going on, it’s too late. Perry is dealing with an even greater entity, something that she THOUGHT she had dealt with in her previous endeavors, but never truly did-evil. Soul-possessing, mind altering, take your life away just because evil. Her soul was sold without her consent, and the devil doesn’t make bargains-so she’s running for her life. Or what’s left of it.

She’s angry,” he said. “But it’s stronger than hate. It’s evil.”

The sinister undertone of ODW really grabbed onto me with it’s claws and wouldn’t let go. I felt like I was drowning in Perry’s turmoil and sorrow, her struggle to be herself and free again, for HER FAMILY to believe her and help her (the right way). I felt icky for 70% of the story, whether we were meant to or not as readers, I couldn’t help but to feel depressed with both Perry’s life changing events and the lack of Dex. And her f****** parents. W T H. They are the most ignorant, self-serving parents I have…well, that’s a lie-but they SUCK. Poor Perry-and poor Ada. At one point their father states that it’s sacrilegious for Perry and Ada to be researching why Perry’s body is being taken over-they NEVER ONCE believe their daughters.

The tears fell out of my eyes, hot and fast, streaming down my cheeks in mascara-ridden rivers.
It was all too much.
Too, too much.

Only one person, her best friend, the man she once loved, can save her. He’s been her rock, believed in her when things got so out of hand that she didn’t even believe in herself, but he’s not around. She won’t contact him, nor does she believe he is what will truly save her, but she knows that he of all people, aside from Ada, is the one person who always believed in her. And despite everything, she misses her rock-the person who would have done anything for her, and that’s probably the saddest part of the whole book. Thank God Ada has the common sense we all were begging for throughout the entire book, or the story would have been altered indefinitely.

“…You have every right to never see me again. To spit on my grave. But tonight, now, I’m not going to give up on you. I’m going to fix you or,” his voice fell with weight, “die trying.”

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this story and made zero attempts to put it down. It consumed most of my daytime the whole weekend, and as much of the night as my fragile, scared mind would allow. Every time I pick up an EIT story, I fall in love with the characters and their world all over again. I have a hard time getting back to the real world and can’t seem to get into other stories which ordinarily would have been deemed 5 star worthy reads. These books consume me and they are all I think about when I have to put them down to rejoin the real world.

Now that all the messy business is out of the way, I just hope we can start moving forward with Dex and Perry’s relationship in the next installment, because I’m dying for these two to KISS and make up :P.

**************
Ok-not sure what to rate this yet. The first 75% is a four star and then enter dex and some well paced action and it teeters to 5 stars…..maybe I’ll settle on 4.5 come Monday…maybe a 5. Guess well see. What a fun ending. Review to come Monday 🙂 love my sexy dexy 😛

BOOK REVIEW – Lying Season (Experiment in Terror #4) by Karina Halle

BOOK REVIEW – Lying Season (Experiment in Terror #4) by Karina HalleLying Season (Experiment in Terror #4)
by Karina Halle
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

The Absolute Best in the Series

So far, that is. I am…shocked. I am speechless. I am FLOORED at how good this book was. I was hooked from page one. Before this, Red Fox held the title for my favorite in the EIT series, but now this masterpiece has taken up permanent residence in my heart and stolen the number one spot. It might have even knocked Angelfall out of the running for the
I-am-shocked-this-is-so-crazy-good
award for the month.

I LOOOOOVED this book. I don’t think anything I say or do can express how much praise this book deserves. It’s not simply because we got more Dex and Perry time, it’s so much more than that. You get pulled into this intricately weaved story full of love, lies, deceit, anguish, pain, sorrow, fear….see? There is a magnitude of things I can say about LS, but not one of those emotions alone can encompass the feelings that were brought forth when engrossed in the story.

We delve head first into Perry’s world, once again, where she has only her sister that believes in her show, and her parents who could care less about the success of what they believe to be “nonsense” and “not real”. I don’t know what they’re smokin’, but I would think when their daughter comes back traumatized and bruised from her latest endeavor, they would start asking more questions and actually start focusing on something other than the fact that she’s overweight and isn’t in love with a guy they like. But this time it’s different, this time we get to see Uncle Al and the twins again and it adds some heart to the story. Al apparently has some good advice to offer. And Perry? She grows some SERIOUS lady balls in this one. I mean, I wanted to crawl in the book and hug her/congratulate her numerous times. She was a total badass!

“Perry!” she exclaimed in a voice that was annoyingly like Blake Lively’s in that low, throaty tone. Damn this sexy-voiced couple!”

Dex is…well, he’s Dex. Arrogant, funny, somewhat clueless, neurotic-and apparently he still hasn’t figured out how not to lie to everyone around him. Hmm. Should have been tipped off with the title lol. But Dex is forced to face some of his demons in this installment, though, and we begin to find out the truth, ironically, when we least expect it.

“…I think you traded in the wrong job.”
“Did I?” he questioned, peering into my eyes, already knowing the answer. His voice was warm and serious. I think he believed he had made the right choice; at least I hoped he did.

Okay-I’m going to level with you. I did not read one scary scene in the dark. I did NOT do well after Dead Sky Morning, and I think it soured my opinion of it. I wanted to read LS with a clear head and actually enjoy everything that was going on. Turns out it was pretty easy-while the asylum was freaky as shit, it was only a fourth of the book. There were creepy scenes in the apartment, sure, but they were bearable. In the light, of course. One of the only issues with the scare factor was that after the second visit to the asylum, things just stopped happening. Like…that was it. No more apartment scares, no more creepy drip, drip kitchen scenes-nada. What’s that about? Did the ‘ghost’ just decide it was tired of screwing with Dex/Perry’s minds? And what about the voice recording device? She just left us hanging on the supernatural spectrum! Ah well.

I tensed up and very, very slowly, turned around on the spot.
I expected that if anyone was behind me, they would be way back in the kitchen.
This was not true.
There was someone..
Right behind me.

Lying Season was a heart-pounding, hair-raising, spine-tingling thrill ride, and I couldn’t put it down. What with Dex’s past coming back to haunt him and all the emotions on high from close encounters of the bitchy kind, my head was spinning! I could hardly take a breath without something fun happening! Oh, and the level of sweet and steamy was through the roof. I couldn’t have been happier-and yes! There is a cliffhanger that will leave you teary-eyed and heart broken. A build up of anticipation that will have you screaming for more, but yet, leaving you satisfied with just how well-played and well-written the ending is. Yes, it is THAT good. It hurts so. good. Sometimes, I love being a book masochist. I live for that next thrill. Man, do I applaud that ending. I fed off of it-this is what good books are made of! Of course I want more! I’m dying to pick up the next book, and I doubt it could top how much I adored the acquisition of Peclan/Pex (WHATEVER) in LS…but damn if I’m not willing to let it try.

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