Tuesday, June 25, 2013

INDIE BOOK REVIEW: 'Dollhouse' is other-worldly thriller that is truly terrifying

I’m so desensitized to horror that it takes a lot to scare me.

Surprisingly, Dollhouse, by Anya Allyn, managed to do just that.

The story started out as a simple one:  Teenager Cassie Claiborne is struggling with guilt. The guilt stems from the fact that one of her best friends disappeared in the forests surrounding her Australian home – and the reason the girl, Aisha, ran off on her own was because she realized Cassie was interested in her boyfriend, Ethan.

Distressed by her own betrayal – and lingering feelings for Ethan – Cassie and her other friend Lacey take off into the great unknown in Australia to try and find Aisha – even though they realize they’re probably looking for a body at this point.

Surprisingly, Lacey and Cassie meet up with Ethan and stumble on something that blows their minds – and drops them into a pit of hell they very well may not be able to climb out of.

You see, the weird old “guy in the woods” is hiding a secret that is so big, it literally transcends time and logic.

‘Dollhouse,’ the first book in a planned trilogy, really is something special. There’s a horrific nature to the book – and it has a twist that I don’t want to reveal because it will ruin it for the reader – that I really have to give Allyn credit for.

‘Dollhouse’ is young adult gothic horror – but the story is bigger than the reader realizes, even as it builds to an extremely dark crescendo.

As good as this book is, there is one problem, and the sad thing is it’s the difference in language between Australia and America. I, for example, was irritated to see courtesy instead of curtsy and manikin instead of mannequin. Yes, I know that says something about me – but it really drove me crazy. I think it’s because I liked the story so much and it kept jerking me out of the narrative.

Still, as much as that bothered me, I’m eagerly looking forward to the second book in the series – because, quite frankly, I have to know what happens to these characters.

That’s the mark of a good book, for me.

‘Dollhouse’ is currently free on Amazon and is available for $10.76 in paperback. Note: Both those prices could be subject to change.


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December 23, 2013 at 1:36 AM 

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