demons

Book Review: Raven’s Peak

I recently signed up to OnlineBookClub and requested this book as my first to review on the site. It’s a paranormal thriller, focusing on a “hunter” who tracks down demons. It begins with an epilogue following another character, who we later learn more about. The protagonist is a young man called Haatim, completely ordinary and unaware of the paranormal activity in the world. Strange circumstances send him and Abigail – the hunter – off to Raven’s Peak together.

The beginning was rather interesting; Haatim was hired by a complete stranger to track down a suspected stalker. It soon became clear that this was no ordinary stalker, and the situation was definitely unique. However, the following plot felt a little slow to me, taking a while to really develop. It’s possible that the intended peak was earlier than I felt, but I personally felt like the main story only really started when the pair arrived at Raven’s Peak. This did not happen until much nearer the end. This meant that the “main” sotry only lasted for a few short chapters. There was a section between Haatim’s stalker mission and the arrival in Raven’s Peak that felt painfully slow and, quite honestly, boring.

The characters were okay, but I didn’t connect with them emotionally. Haatim was given an emotional backstory – as was Abigail, in fact – but I just did not feel anything for them. Their speech felt a bit disjointed and artificial, and they just didn’t feel particularly real to me. It would’ve been nice to develop the characters’ relationships more, both with each other and their own families.

Many books in the paranormal/supernatural genre feel very similar, and this book is sadly included. There was nothing about it that particularly stood out to me. Some of the ideas in the book are very interesting, though. I am intrigued as to how Haatim’s father is connected to the Ninth Circle, and I also want to know what happens in Abigail’s quest for saving Arthur. But this book didn’t fill me with anticipation or excitement to read on. In fact, it barely mentioned the Ninth Circle, and without that being the series title, I’d never have picked up on it.

I also noticed a few typos and grammatical errors, which would be the result of insufficient editing. While a few errors are often found in books, this felt quite amateurish and unfinished.

Overall, the book wasn’t particularly special or exciting, and didn’t feel as fluid as it should. It wasn’t bad, but it was not outstanding. 2.5 stars.

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Book Review: The Curse of Crow Hollow

The Curse of Crow Hollow by Billy Coffey - eBook, 369 pages - Published August 1st 2015 by Thomas Nelson

The Curse of Crow Hollow by Billy Coffey – eBook, 369 pages – Published August 1st 2015 by Thomas Nelson

The Curse of Crow Hollow is a story of a town fighting for survival, trying so desperately to maintain their perfect society while tearing it apart themselves. It’s written to sound as though you are being spoken to (and I can’t help but wonder how anyone would have the time to tell a story this long) and in a rather unique way, as well. The writing style made me think of old-fashioned towns or something, at least until phones and flat-screen TVs are mentioned.

Crow Hollow is home to a witch. Yep, a witch. After her husband was found dead at the roadside, Alvaretta Graves shut herself away in a tiny little cabin in the woods. No one dared to go up there; the whole town knew to stay away from Alvaretta.

But the reader is told of a story that begins with a group of teenagers – Cordelia, Scarlett, Naomi and Hays – who go where nobody has gone for a long, long time. And when an incident involving Cordelia’s mother’s bracelet, the kids are led right to clearing where Alvaretta settled all those years ago.

After meeting the witch, those kids’ lives will never be the same. Nor will any of the lives of their friends, families and neighbours. The witches curse spreads through the town, leaving everyone in panic.

Will they be able to fix their mistakes? Rid the town of evil and return to their normal lives? The chances are slim at best. Despite this, they are determined to try their hardest. The plot was definitely exciting, and there were more than a few elements of surprise in this book. Nothing better than a good old plot twist. But I did find it a little hard to follow, as I got caught up in the details and numerous characters a fair few times. (Who’s Landis again? Which one is the doctor?) But like I said, I loved the whole idea of the book and the writing style, despite it being rather different for me. So I’m going to give The Curse of Crow Hollow 3.5 stars out of 5.
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