Friday, June 6, 2014

CBR6 #13: Haunted House by John Kilborn

I made it! A quarter Cannonball done... halfway to my low-bar goal for the year!

I didn't realize that this was a sequel to several other books by Jack Kilborn until after I was well into it, but that didn't keep me from enjoying the story (it just made me want to go find those books now, too!)

A group of people who had survived horrors almost beyond imagining (in Kilborn's other books, I assume) receive an invitation to participate in a scientific experiment regarding the nature of fear. Some are hesitant, some are enthusiastic, but most are unable to resist the draw of the rewards--both of cash and the potential to rid themselves of their crippling fear. Unfortunately, the experiment begins to go awry, and the survivors find themselves fighting for their lives once again, this time against entities that don't even know the meaning of fear.

I really liked the characters in this book, particularly the tough detective and the foul-mouthed dominatrix. I found myself really rooting for them all, and the tension when their were in danger kept me on the edge of my seat. The plot moved along fairly quickly, though I felt like there was some drag between the invitations being sent and the survivors arriving at the house. However, there were some interesting plot twists that I didn't see coming, and I really enjoyed the whole thing. In fact, I was so invested in what happened that I broke my own rule and finished the book at home, rather than waiting for my daily commute!

I'd recommend this one to people who like well-written horror, and plan to find the books that come before (and after) this one soon!

CBR6 #12: Eerie by Blake Crouch

I wanted to like this book, and it definitely did have redeeming features, but on the whole I was disappointed.

The story is that of Grant Moreton, detective and alcoholic, and his sister Paige, the family's black sheep. Paige has gotten herself more in-over-her-head than usual, and it's up to Grant to help bail her out. Except there's something evil under Paige's bed, and...

Yeah, it all sounded good in set-up, and the story definitely did have some moments of creepiness. The characters of Grant and Paige were both likeable and believable. Unfortunately, the story itself--and the conclusion in particular--wasn't nearly as interesting as it could have been. In my opinion, the author wasted the tension and atmosphere he'd been building with a flimsy and borderline nonsensical explanation. There were plot threads that led off to nowhere, and I just found myself deeply unsatisfied.