Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King

Plot Summary: In the late seventeenth century, famed teenage pirate Emer Morrisey was on the cusp of escaping the pirate life with her one true love and unfathomable riches when she was slain and cursed with "the dust of one hundred dogs," dooming her to one hundred lives as a dog before returning to a human body-with her memories intact. Now, she's a contemporary American teenager (Saffron) and all she needs is a shovel and a ride to Jamaica.

The concept behind this book is wondrously imaginative. Who hasn’t thought about what it would be like to be reincarnated hundreds of years from now? And how cool would it be to keep your memories? Especially if you know where treasure is buried. : )

This story is packed with action and adventure, great swashbuckling, and an independent heroine. Lots of stuff to love, and the pacing certainly kept me reading well into the night. It is chock full of heavy issues, though, such as sex, rape, slavery, stealing, runaways, theft, and much more. So this is definitely not a book for the younger audience. It’s more an older teen/adult crossover.

I did have a few issues...

As with all my book discussions, there are SPOILERS below.

The definition of reincarnation is one soul moving through time in multiple bodies. But the memories are wiped clean with each incarnation, so the soul is almost reborn, molding into a new person each time. But in Emer’s case, she was cursed to live the lives of 100 dogs while keeping her memories intact. Essentially, she’s the same person living through multiple bodies. Yet, when she’s born as Saffron, it’s like she becomes two different people, especially toward the end. I just couldn’t get over that, because it made no sense. I know, this is fiction, where anything can happen. But the author still needs to set down rules to her world, and then follow them to the letter.

In the beginning, Emer and Saffron are clearly the same person, working toward the same goal: finding the treasure she’d buried 300 years ago. But, at the end, there was a shift – the unchanged Emer living with Saffron in the same body. This is most noticeable when Saffron is searching for the treasure, but feeling like Emer had abandoned her. It didn’t make sense to me because it wasn’t consistent with the rest of the story. We see the same thing when we switch to Fred’s point of view. He fights with voices in his head, the loudest one being the voice of the Frenchman (though this isn’t confirmed until the end). For me, this made the conclusion feel contrived. If you’re changing the rules of the story, that means that something isn’t working, and you need figure out what it is so you can fix it. Not an easy thing to do, but you will have a better story in the end.

Another big thing for me was Emer’s lives as various dogs. In 300 years, there was no mention of her ever being a mother to pups. I just can’t believe that, especially in the times before dogs were spayed. And, if she had been a mother, even to pups, that would have changed her quite a bit, especially when she was born as Saffron. Having been a mother, even to pups, she would have seen her new mother differently. She would have related in some way, even if it was to agree that children were as much a burden as her pups had been – always fighting over each other to get at her milk, poking and pulling at her, being loud and irritating, etc. Or, she would have had the opposite reaction and seen how much of a miracle it is to create a new life. I was ready, willing, and happy to become a mother, and it still changed me in ways I could never have imagined. I also know others who were not ready to be mothers, and they had a much harder time dealing with the changes. Emer would have gone through all of this, and come out different in some respects. Especially since she’d had 300 years, and who knows how many litters, to ponder the subject.

I also had some difficulty with the dog facts. I will say that some of them were highly effective at reflecting the current mood and flavor of the story. Others brought the story to a halt, and I found myself skimming. But what really bothered me was that a few dog facts weren’t facts at all. Especially the one that goes something like this: if dogs ruled the world, there would be food and drink and fun for all. This is most definitely NOT true. Dogs living among other dogs, i.e. in a pack, have a hierarchy, and there are always squabbles over who gets the most food. The lowest members of the pack do not enjoy the bounty that the alpha/beta types enjoy. And then there’s the packs that fight other packs over territory. Even among domesticated dogs, you still see this hierarchal behavior, though to a lesser extent. So, while I found that anecdote amusing, I just couldn’t get over the fact that it’s just not true. And it made me question the other ‘dog facts.’

There’s one more thing that bothered me, and that was the romance at the end. Emer spends years with David. During that time we get to know him, and I grew to like him a lot. We didn’t get that time with Seanie, so we never got to know him, and, as a result, I wasn’t cheering for him in the end. Plus, I never really felt Emer’s deep and total love for him. Probably because she allowed herself to be raped by the Frenchman, and then enjoyed herself in her affair with David. If she was still so in love with Seanie, then we needed to see more of her thoughts and actions on that. Maybe she would actually try to find him and fail, or she would pretend she was with Seanie when she was really with David. Something, anything, to show us where her thoughts were. But there was none of that, so I actually wanted her to choose David instead of Seanie at the end.

Still, this is a highly unique book that will keep you reading, and very entertained.

Monday, July 27, 2009

When Life Takes Over...

I had a post for today, but it's only halfway done. It would have been done and scheduled in blogger, except we had a minor disaster last week.

My youngest son fell into the coffee table, cutting the cartilage in his ear so deep that he needed stitches. So I had my first real emergency room experience as a mother, and I have no desire to go through that again...

There is only so much the doctor could do to numb his ear - topical numbing agents only go so far. He's only four, and the poor kid could feel the needle. As a mother, that just killed me to watch, and to not be able to do anything to help him. I hope I never have to go through that again.

Of course, this incident put everything else on hold, and I didn't finish my WIP like I'd hoped. He's going back to preschool for the first time today, so I'm hoping to finish it this week. My oldest son is no longer in summer camp, though, so it'll be interesting to figure out how to get some writing time. :)

Anyway, I hope to be back to my regular blogging schedule soon. :)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Winners of the July book giveaway!

And now, finally, it's time for me to announce this month's winners:



FADE - Bish!

WAKE - Hailey!

Congrats everyone!! Drop me an email at tabitha at tabithaolson dot com with your address, and I'll get those books in the mail.

Don't forget to come back next satuday to find out what I'm giving away! Hint: it'll be three books and two great authors, one of which had two books released this year!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

WIP update...

So, no book review again this week. Though I do have a list that I'm going to review, just not today. :)

I've made excellent progress on my WIP!!!! I finished the first draft last week, and now I'm working on that next pass. It's going really, really well, and I still know exactly what I need to do. Soon it will be ready for my critique group!!

Next week, I'll definitely be back to my regular book review schedule. So check back next thursday for a review of THE DUST OF 100 DOGS!

Back to writing now...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Interview with Sarah Prineas!

Today, we have an interview with author Sarah Prineas, author of the acclaimed THE MAGIC THIEF books. If you haven't read them, you should!

Tell us about THE MAGIC THIEF: LOST.
LOST is the sequel to THE MAGIC THIEF, which is the story of how a gutterboy named Conn becomes the apprentice of a grumpy wizard named Nevery and saves his city from the machinations of the city's evil Underlord, Crowe. At the end of THE MAGIC THIEF, Conn realizes that he has to find a new way to do magic. In LOST he decides that new way is going to be through pyrotechnics--blowing things up. Conn is very good at getting himself into trouble, so inevitably his pyrotechnic experiments result in his exile from the city of Wellmet. He goes with his friend Rowan, the duchess's daughter, to the desert city of Desh, where he has an encounter with a sorcerer king and discovers a new, dreadful kind of magic, and realizes that some of the things that happened in the first book were part of a larger, more evil plan.

What was the inspiration behind your idea?
In LOST I wanted to get Conn out of his comfort zone, his own city of Wellmet, and out into the world a little bit. I also wanted to add some more of my favorite fantasy elements into this book, swordfighting and pyrotechnics.

How did you get to know the characters in this story?
My characters grow as I write them. Because I knew them from the first book, I pretty much knew what they would do in any given situation.

How many edits did you do with your editor? Did you do any edits with your agent first?
I had kind of a weird situation with this book. First I did one round of edits with my awesome agent, and then a round with my editor, and the book went into production. Then my editor was, sadly, laid off and I was assigned to a new editor. I suggested to her that we might do another round of edits, and she took me up on that, so we did. The final version of the book ended up being quite different from the ARC's because of this added editing pass. It ended up working out very well; I think the book is stronger for the extra attention it got from my excellent new editor.

Did you always plan on writing this sequel to THE MAGIC THIEF, or did it come later?
When I wrote the first book I didn't have any plot ideas about what might happen next, but I suggested to my agent that it might be the first book in a series, and that's how she pitched the book when she sent it out to editors. When HarperCollins bought three books, I was excited to realize that I'd get to write more about Conn's adventures.

What was your favorite part of writing this book? Least favorite?
My favorite part was writing the swordfighting scenes. Least favorite? I struggled with one scene, where Conn and Nevery are at odds with each other, because I wanted to get the emotional balance of the scene right. I didn't want it to get too angsty, and that took a lot of tweaking.

How often do you write, and how much do you write in one sitting?
I write pretty much every weekday, but how much varies enormously. Sometimes I'm just tweaking things I wrote earlier, sometimes I'm zooming along, getting 1K or 2K words at one sitting.

How did you get started writing for kids?
When I started THE MAGIC THIEF I'd been writing fantasy stories (and one failed novel) for adults. I had no idea I was a children's writer. I started writing THE MAGIC THIEF as a short story for Cricket Magazine, and I just found my voice. The story grew into a novel, and then the novel grew into a series.

I’ve been seeing lots of book deals announced for you (congrats on that!). How is your career different now from when you landed your contract for THE MAGIC THIEF?
Thanks for the congrats! My career is different now because back then I really didn't think of it as a career. I mean, I had a career that I loved, in university administration, and I wasn't planning on becoming a full-time writer. It was all sort-of "what if?" I just wrote for fun, really. Once I had the book deal, I worried that writing wouldn't be fun and full of possibilities any more, or that I'd be blocked at having to write toward a strict deadline, but that totally didn't happen. Now I'm a full-time writer, which means lots of time for writing, but also for authoring, which I didn't expect to take so much time.

What are you working on now?
Right now I'm doing research for my next novel for HarperCollins, the one after the third MAGIC THIEF book. It's called The Crow King's Daughter, and it's notorious for its Publisher's Weekly announcement that called it a fairy lore book without any sex, drugs, or angst. Well, it's a middle-grade book, so of course it doesn't have that stuff in it! I am very psyched to write this book because it's got a fierce, wild girl protagonist. I want to make it my best one yet.

How much do you read, and what are you reading now?
I read a fair amount, but I'm a very picky reader and abandon things ruthlessly. Right now I'm reading Hannah Tinti's The Good Thief, Kenneth Oppel's Starclimber, and an ARC of Janice Hardy's The Shifter. I just finished reading Caroline Stevermer's Magic Below Stairs, which is coming in 2010 from Dial. Anybody who's read the Sorcery and Cecilia books that she wrote with Patricia Wrede (as I did) is going to love that one.

Thanks for taking the time to share with us!
Thank you, Tabitha!

To see more of what Sarah is up to, check out her website, Or, visit her at her blog, For a chance to win a copy of either of THE MAGIC THIEF books, go here and follow the instructions for leaving comments.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

When the WIP takes over...

Okay, I know today is thursday. For those of you who were expecting a book review...well...there isn't one. Not today, and maybe not next week, either. :(

Some of you may have noticed that I've been kind of MIA. Not responding to comments on my blog, not visiting other blogs, hardly replying to email, etc. And for that, I'm truly sorry!

But there's a good reason. A really good reason. For me, anyway. :)

I've mentioned this before, but I'm working on a middle grade novel that's been in the works for about seven years. It's a huge project, and I won't be able to fit it into one book. I've taken it apart and put it together so many ways that my head went spinning whenever I thought of it. So I'd set it aside in order to work on something else, then pick it back up, then set it aside, pick it back up, etc. I just couldn't figure it out, but I did NOT want to give up on it. So I made a special place on the shelf, where I could take it down often and see if it was ready to be written.

A few months ago, the whole thing just clicked into place. It was weird, almost like magic. One minute I'm scratching my head, and then next I'm overwhelmed with this huge, manymanymany layered story putting itself together! It's like the story had been simmering in my head for so long, kind of like a seven-year pot roast :), that it all just clicked into place. And now it's coming out so fast that I can hardly keep up! :)

It's wonderful and terrifying at the same time. :)

I spent days writing out the plan, then laid it all out on my floor. And it took up the entire floor. :) Once I'd done that, the whole thing felt ready - really, really ready - to finally be written.

I've been working on this since May, and I'm almost finished with the first draft! *happy dance* Just a few more chapters...if I don't finish them this week, it'll definitely be next week. The story has consumed me these past few months, and I haven't come up for air except for my family. It's absolutely wonderful!

Once this first draft is complete, I already know what I need to do on the next pass. After that, it'll be in the hands of my critique group, and I will question them mercilessly on what's working and what isn't, and then I'll go through it again.

I've never felt this way about a manuscript before. Not so consumed, anyway. I've written stories that wouldn't leave me alone until I wrote it, but this is different. I've never written anything so quickly. Then again, it's not like I just thought of it a few months ago, either... :)

If you've got a story that's driving you crazy, just put it away for a bit. You never know what will come of it...but I truly hope it doesn't take seven years! :)

Okay. This is all the time that my brain is willing to spend away from my story. I'm going to write now! :)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Blocking Writer’s Block

Anyone who writes knows about writer’s block. Some believe in it, and some don’t. If you asked me what I believe, I’d say I don’t. But that’s not a completely honest answer...

Writer’s block is a very real thing. It’s something in a writer’s mind that is keeping her from putting words on a page. Some would argue that that’s why it’s not real, and I’ve even heard some people say “it’s all in your mind, get over it.” But I say that’s what makes it real. After all, where do our stories come from? Yeah, the mind.

Overcoming it isn’t always easy, but it’s definitely possible. Writer’s block can be as huge as a lack of confidence to produce good work, which might mean that the block is rooted deep within the person, and has nothing to do with writing. Writer’s block can also be as small as not being able to figure out what comes next in the story. No matter what it is, it’s possible to defeat it.

I’m stubborn. It runs in my family, on both sides, and my kids have inherited all of it. I think my family must have been cursed ages ago or something, because this stubbornness almost has a life of its own, and I think it will pass itself on through each generation until the world ends. Fortunately for me, I read A WRINKLE IN TIME as a kid, and Meg taught me that stubbornness can be used productively.

So, when I decided that I was going to make a living as a writer, it was as good as a done deal. The fact that it hadn’t happened yet meant nothing, because I would do whatever was necessary in order to get my work out there. : ) That may sound confident, but it’s not. Stubbornness is not confidence. And a lack of confidence can feed writer’s block.

I’ve gone through my share of writer’s block, and at one point it was as big as “everything I write is crap and no one is going to read my work.” I could have given up and pursued something else, which would have been fine. But that’s not what I wanted. I wanted to write in the worst way, and I didn’t want to write crap. Here, I feel lucky to be so stubborn, and to have learned how to harness it. Otherwise, I could have let my dream slip away. Instead, I took some writing classes. That got me one step closer to the confidence I needed in order to succeed, but I still had many steps to go. Some of those steps had nothing to do with writing, and everything to do with me.

Over the years, I’ve beaten down the writer’s block from I-can’t-write to I-don’t-know-what-happens-next. When I run into that kind of block, I lay out the story and examine what I’ve written up to that point. Then I brainstorm and lay out all possible choices (even the ridiculous ones) from there. Often, one will jump out at me, then slide itself into place. If that doesn’t happen, then I move farther back in the story until I reach the place where I got derailed. Then I brainstorm again until I’m back on track.

If none of that works, then I go for a walk. Or, I call up a friend and scream about my stupid story. : )

I still sometimes question whether what I’ve written will ever be good enough, and that sometimes results in zero words on the page. When that happens, I always take a step back and look at what’s blocking me. Is it me? Or is it the story? Once I figure that out, then I can find a way around the block. Or over it. Or under. I’m not picky. : )

So, when I say I don’t believe in writer’s block, what I really mean is that I don’t believe in letting it stop me. And I never will.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

The Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan

Plot Summary: Nick and his brother, Alan, have spent their lives on the run from magic. Their father was murdered, and their mother was driven mad by magicians and the demons who give them power. The magicians are hunting the Ryves family for a charm that Nick's mother stole -- a charm that keeps her alive -- and they want it badly enough to kill again. Danger draws even closer when a brother and sister come to the Ryves family for help. The boy wears a demon's mark, a sign of death that almost nothing can erase...and when Alan also gets marked by a demon, Nick is desperate to save him. The only way to do that is to kill one of the magicians they have been hiding from for so long.

I have heard much about Brennan as a fanfiction writer. I’ve never read her stuff since I don’t really like fanfic, but she has definitely made a name for herself this way. And I think that’s great. So I happily picked up a copy of THE DEMON LEXICON.

The concept behind the story is very intriguing. And I think the author ties everything together fairly well at the end (though she left some pretty big clues, so the twist wasn’t so surprising to me). I wasn’t too thrilled about Nick, though...

As with all my book discussions, there are SPOILERS below. Big ones.

Nick isn't exactly your typical teenage boy. He's pretty much empty of all emotions, and he’s scary. Really scary. Why? Because...

If you don’t want to know the big twist at the end of the book, then stop reading because I’m about to reveal it.

Okay, I’m revealing it now...

...Nick is not human. He’s a demon in a human’s body, put there by his father before the human body was even born. Demons don’t have emotions, so Nick doesn’t have them either. He feels no love, friendliness, sympathy, or empathy. The closest thing he exhibits to an emotion is his devotion to his brother, Alan, and anger when Alan’s safety is threatened.

Because of this lack of emotion, I found it difficult to connect with him. In fact, I couldn’t stand him.

It's possible, though very difficult, to write a great book with an unlikable character. INEXCUSABLE by Chris Lynch is a good example. The main character does something horrifying, and yet the reader was still able to connect with him. Lynch did this by giving his readers insight into the character’s mind, allowing us to understand how something so awful could happen.

Unfortunately, there is nothing to connect us to Nick. He revels in scaring people, he insults those who need help, and he ignores anything that doesn’t directly affect him. Basically, he’s an incredibly selfish jerk. I thought there was way too much of this, and of him constantly telling the reader that he feels nothing.

Which brings me to the biggest issue I had with the story.

If I say that I feel nothing, that means something to me and to others around me. When my emotions overwhelm me, that also means something – I know what it is to feel nothing because I know what it is to feel something.

For Nick to constantly tell me that he feels nothing implies that he knows what it’s like to feel something. But he doesn’t. And, since he’s never had emotion, there's no way he could understand the lack of it. He is who he is, and only understands what he’s experienced.

I thought it would have been more plausible for him to openly not understand what everyone was talking about, and then either get annoyed or try to figure out what all that feeling stuff meant. This also would have provided me with a connection to Nick. If he had tried to understand what emotion was all about, especially since he has such a strong connection with Alan, then I would have had some respect for Nick. As it was, I didn't.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Interview with Lisa McMann!

Today, we have the fabulous author of WAKE and FADE, Lisa McMann. Both books have been on the bestseller lists for quite some time, and the stories themselves are riveting.

And so, here's Lisa!

Tell us about FADE.
Fade is the second book in the WAKE trilogy. It continues the story of Janie, a 17-year-old girl who gets sucked into other people's dreams, and Cabe, her awesome go-to guy. In FADE, Janie has to face a sexual predator and her own physical problems.

What was the inspiration behind your idea?
All I know is that when I finished writing WAKE, I felt that the story wasn't done. I wrote FADE immediately after writing I guess WAKE inspired me to write FADE.

How long did it take to find your editor?
My agent submitted the manuscript in October 2006 and we had offers at the end of January 2007, so about 3 months including December holidays.

Did you sell WAKE on its own, or did you sell the whole trilogy?
WAKE was sold in a 2-book deal, so it was both WAKE and FADE. The third book came along about a year after we sold the first two.

What was your favorite part of writing this book? Least favorite?
I absolutely love the part of writing where you are so into it, you can't stop and you ignore everything that's going on around you. My least favorite part of writing this book...researching date-rape drugs. Ew. I felt really dirty doing that.

How often do you write, and how much do you write in one sitting?
I write whenever I have a book under contract. When I start a novel, I like to stick with it five days a week and then take a couple days off to regroup and get the fresh voice back. The most I've written in one insane day was about 9000 words. On a good day, I average about 3000 - 4000 words now.

How did you get in to writing for kids?
To me, teens are less like kids and more like adults. But to answer your question, I just wrote what I thought sounded interesting, and I think teens are about the most interesting age group on the planet. There is a lot of stuff going on during those years, and adults can relate because we've all had the crappy teen years seared into our memories.

What are you working on now?
So, so many things. Another creepy teen paranormal. A realistic emotional thriller. A short story told from Cabe's perspective that we're going to offer as a free download in August.

What does your writing space look like?
Oh, wow. Well, our house is really small. I don't have an office, so I write from my green chair in the living room. I have a few piles of things...envelopes, copies of my books for charities, hard copies of manuscripts I'm working on, a few bills, books I'm reading, three pairs of reading glasses...and on the wall are two framed NYT bestseller lists -- one for WAKE, one for FADE. And the rest of the wall is covered with fan mail, which is so inspiring.

How much do you read, and what are you reading now?
I read whenever I can. A lot. Almost exclusively YA/teen stuff, but I mix in a few non-fiction things in there too, like Monica Seles' memoir, which I adored. I also just read an ARC of Fat Cat by Robin Brande, and I LOVED it. It comes out in October, so go pre-order it! If you're looking for funny, Eileen Cook's What Would Emma Do was hilarious. Also coming soon -- Crazy Beautiful by Lauren Baratz-Logsted and As You Wish by Jackson Pearce. Awesome books!

Thanks so much for sharing all this great info! I'm looking forward to next year's release of GONE! :)

To see what Lisa is up to, check out her website,, or her blog. If you go visit her blog, you'll be able to see the cover for GONE. :) For a chance to win FADE or WAKE, go here and follow the entry rules!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

July Book Giveaway!

This month, I'll be giving away four books to four people, again! And these books are from two fabulous authors:

WAKE and FADE by Lisa McMann

There were a couple of Anonymous entries last month that didn't leave any contact info, so when you enter please be sure to leave me a way to get in touch with you. :)

Also, there were so many entries last month that I need to change the rules for entering. So, if you've entered before, please read the rules again so you can be sure to get all your entries in.

To enter:
- Leave a comment on this post.
- For another entry, become a follower of this blog and leave another comment telling me so. If you already are a follower, leave a comment telling me this.
- For another entry, post a link to this contest, then leave a separate comment with the URL. If you post to muliple locations, then leave a separate comment for each URL.

I will announce the winners on July 25th. Also, look for interviews with both authors later in the month!
Good luck!!

Happy 4th of July!!!!

To all you Americans out there, have a great time celebrating our country's day of independence! Enjoy the fireworks!

My other son's birthday was yesterday, and I tried to explain to him that the fireworks were for the 4th of July, not his birthday. He didn't seem to care. :)

Have fun, everyone!!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

Plot Summary: Chloe Saunders only wants to make friends. But she starts seeing ghosts, and the ghosts see her. This gets her locked up in Lyle House, a "special home" for troubled teens. Yet the home isn't what it seems, and there might be more to her housemates than meets the eye.

I’ve been hearing about this book for quite some time, and had intended to pick it up for months now. I finally got a copy from the library, and Christina Farley asked if I would share my thoughts on it. So, here they are.

The author did a great job with the secondary characters. Actually, I think she did better with them than she did with Chloe. Her writing style suggests she’s more comfortable with third person than first. Some of her execution would have been brilliant in third person, but came off as awkward in first – such as describing things Chloe was doing as though someone else was watching her. Except no one is, because we’re supposed to be inside her head.

The story starts off slow, really slow. But things get very interesting about two-thirds of the way into it, and I didn’t want to put it down. I found myself cheering for the characters, and I did not see the plot twist coming at the end. But the actual ending, well...sigh.

I seem to have a thing with endings. : ) They’re very important to me, and if a story doesn’t end on a satisfying note – which is not necessarily a happy one – then I feel I’ve wasted my time with the rest of it.

As with all my book discussions, there are SPOILERS below.

This book is the first in a trilogy about kids with paranormal abilities. Because of this, the author seems to have taken one story arc and cut it into thirds – the first third being THE SUMMONING. Just as the action was ramping up, much like the way things pick up in the middle of a story, everything ended.

Anyone who’s read my review on SKIN HUNGER knows how much I dislike that. : )

I realize that the pioneers of trilogies, like Tolkien, wrote their stories this way. And some stories need to be told this way. But I didn’t get that feeling when I got to the end of THE SUMMONING. The beginning was way too slow and repetitive, and dealt only with questions surrounding Lyle House. The same questions over and over again.

As soon as Liz did her ‘poltergeist’ thing in Chloe’s bedroom, I knew there was more to the purpose of this house than we'd been told. But it takes Chloe several more chapters to get to that point, using her 'movie' perspective as an excuse: in movies, the characters always seem to believe in the supernatural right away, but she wasn’t going to fall for that because she’s not in a movie. Well, yes and no. Yes, she’s not in a movie. But no, because she is a fictional character, and therefore should be believing things at the same pace as the reader. But she doesn’t, and, to me, that felt contrived. Like the author was trying to stretch out the story.

But all of that was better than the story being cut off right when the tension was building. I felt like I was being manipulated into buying two more books just to find out how one story was going to end, and I don’t like that. Especially when I think much of the beginning isn’t necessary.

I might read the other books in the trilogy, but I certainly won’t buy them. I’ll wait for my library to obtain copies.