A psychic reading gone awry. Dreams that hold terrifying glimpses of the future. A dark and foreboding house that defies description. Orphaned and psychic, Lilith St. John is driven to discover the origin of her mysterious powers. A psychic reading draws unwanted menace from supernatural forces and Lilith finds herself stalked, terrorized and ultimately attacked. Lilith awakens in The Crooked House, a ramshackle maze of shattered dreams and tortured souls ruled over by a hidden, malevolent force. Trapped in the mystifying labyrinth and hunted by the terrible creatures that roam the night, Lilith must master her psychic powers and solve the mystery of The Crooked House or be forever lost in its haunted corridors.
When I got asked to review The Crooked House I was wary, being an Indie author no one knows better than I that there are some people who just shouldn’t write. I know a lot of self published authors whose work is brilliant and some whose work just isn’t….
However sometimes you come upon jewels, people who just are a good writer and it’s neither here nor there why they are not found among the shelves at a Barnes N Nobles. Sometimes you find pieces of work like The Crooked House which make you eat up it’s pages like your favorite food and think, “Man now I HAVE to buy this in paper back form and share it with my friends.”
I read this book in two days, I didn’t want to stop and didn’t want to close down my computer…I longed for the time I could get back to the .pdf file and start reading again.
Wanting to do this author justice I made notes while I read and I am going to touch on a few things that stood out the most for me.
1) It did have a bit of a slow start and the author has a little trouble with over description. His novel is creepy enough my mind had no problems filling in the blanks, I didn’t always need the bit by bit account of every door, piece of furniture and dust mite.
2) The author does a great and unique job of describing psychic powers. Though he doesn’t have rules, we are never told what Lilith’s limits are, once she enters the house they just grow without rhyme or reason, with “magic” there needs more rules. I assume we shall find out more in the sequel.
3) The characters- were awesome. I have been complaining about the lack of strong female characters in YA of late and Lilith certainly is that. She is strong, smart and kick ass. The supporting characters are good too! They are complicated, have great back stories and are flushed out and well utilized. The villains (because there are more than one) are properly eerie and filled with the kind of evil, hate and mix of pity that I really crave from my bad guys…..
4) The house, dark goddess, the house….One of the best parts of this story for me was that I love a haunted house, even better I love a haunted house that has dozens of rooms each filled with the scary, disturbing and twisted. I don’t want to give too much away but the scene where Lilith stumbled into the abandoned child’s room with the tea party properly freaked me out.
5) There was a good plot line to this novel as well, it was a mystery and the pieces solved itself in a disquieting way. I had many of the twists figured out before the characters, but not because it was easy…because the character is freaked out and sixteen years old and I love a horror story. This reminded me of the movie 13 Ghosts. The writing was great, a twisting, churning pot of forbidding stew with a rotten spoon. I can’t tell you too much more than the synopsis or it will ruin the terror for you.
6) The ghosts- oh my…The ghost, can we say “don’t read this at night?” They were PERFECT….a blood soaked clown, child killers, a hanged man, a scuttling crab man, a were wolf, a precious child, the love interest…. Beautiful in its horridness.
7) Personal Pet Peve- Tarot cards do NOT just show death and the devil…Thank you very much
8) Eck…. Insta-love…And not just normal YA trope insta-love but a love that had no need or reason to even exist. Lilith does not need to fall in love, she doesn’t need a boyfriend. She needs to find out who she is and where she comes from. Adam wasn’t a bad character but the fact that they end with mushy “I love you’” just didn’t fit the story for me.
9) The ending and climax were excellent, the actions scenes brilliant. This book left me satisfied and wanting more at the same time. I hope the author contacts me to review the second one and that I find it as wonderful as this first installment.
Five Weeping Angels and remember….the shadows watch you…don’t blink.