Review of Welcome To The Dark House by Lauria Faria Stolarz

Format: eBook
Genres: Horror, Thriller, Mystery
Pages: 368
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date: 22/07/2014
Find The Author: Website ¦ Twitter
Book Depository ¦ Amazon UK/US ¦ Goodreads


What’s your worst nightmare?

For Ivy Jensen, it’s the eyes of a killer that haunt her nights. For Parker Bradley, it’s bloodthirsty sea serpents that slither in his dreams.

And for seven essay contestants, it’s their worst nightmares that win them an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at director Justin Blake’s latest, confidential project. Ivy doesn’t even like scary movies, but she’s ready to face her real-world fears. Parker’s sympathetic words and perfect smile help keep her spirits up. . . at least for now.

Not everyone is so charming, though. Horror-film fanatic Garth Vader wants to stir up trouble. It’s bad enough he has to stay in the middle of nowhere with this group—the girl who locks herself in her room; the know-it-all roommate; “Mister Sensitive”; and the one who’s too cheery for her own good. Someone has to make things interesting.

Except, things are already a little weird. The hostess is a serial-killer look-alike, the dream-stealing Nightmare Elf is lurking about, and the seventh member of the group is missing.

By the time Ivy and Parker realize what’s really at stake, it’s too late to wake up and run.


 
I do consider myself a horror movie fan, the scarier and bloodier the better. I love anything unique most of all, which is why the plot of this book intrigued me so much - seven teenagers facing their fears at a creepy funfair? Hell yeah!

The book hooked me within the first page. Ivy is clearly the lead character with the most interesting history - her parents were murdered six years ago and she's never quite got over it (you wouldn't really), having nightmares every night. I think Ivy applied to the competition just for fun and never really expected that she would win a place.

There's a lot of different histories here from body dysmorphia to post traumatic stress disorder and even with each character having their own story, I found myself struggling to remember who was who. Later when they started disappearing I didn't really feel any pangs of sadness, or hope for them reappearing, which may be okay in a horror movie but not in a book.

I was quite surprised when I got to them meeting each other and found that I was actually fifty percent into the book already. The actual horror stuff didn't even start until at least sixty percent. It was during the last forty percent that things started going really downhill and downright confusing at times.

There was added romance between a few characters, I remember Ivy and Parker but there were two others. I don't really have any feelings towards the romance either, it was just sort of there. I remember being pissed at one character who was angry at Shayla for sleeping with... Garth?, as he felt she had been flirting with him. Clearly if a guy thinks you're flirting with him you're not allowed to sleep with any other guy. Or breathe near them.

I'm unsure if there were any paranormal elements in this. I don't think there were. There did seem to be a fair few people in the fairground sometimes, or perhaps just one really speedy one? With excellent make-up techniques? And an ability to change a costumes fast? I did strongly believe for a whole chapter that one of the characters was going to come back and announce themselves as the orchestrator like, 'Surprise bitch, I bet you thought you'd seen the last of me!' But no.

Welcome To The Darkhouse is an movie style horror story that just left me with a shopping list of questions. Some questions felt like the author couldn't answer them, so thought she'd just ignore them and hope they'd go away. The ending was just blah and I'm only rating this as high as I am because the first sixty percent was really good. If you're the type of person that hates unanswered questions, I'd go ahead and skip this one.


2 comments:

  1. I've seen a tiny bit about this book and have no clue if it's something I want to read or not. I'm not huge into horror but it does sound sort of fun. Sad though that it got meh in the end and left questions unanswered. Great review!

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  2. I love horror films and books, too, and this one is on my TBR. Sounds like I'll have to dial back my expectations. And let me give a big "no thanks" to the possessive, obsessive guy thing.

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