Sunday, December 29, 2013

Starter House by Sonja Condit

Quick summary: Lacey and Eric are expecting a baby and when she is drawn to a particular house, he makes it happen.

They should have kept looking.

Seems bad things happen in this house. People fall down the stairs and die. Kids drown in the tub. Women lose their feet. Moms kill their babies. Husbands go insane. And there's this bratty little boy who appears to keep Lacey company while Eric works all day...but there's something really sinister about him. Is the house haunted? If so, what can she do about him and will the ghost kill her baby?

This book was just plain weird. The characters were weird. The happenings were weird--not scary for a long time, just weird. And at times, the writing was a tad weird. I'd be left feeling confused, as though I'd missed something. What happened to who was not always clear. At one point, I was like, "Wait a minute. She just said she stopped you both from falling down the stairs, so why is that dude going to the hospital in an ambulance? What??"

And the conclusion: also weird. I give it points for not being what I expected, but it's so far-fetched and not explained. I mean, I can understand and fathom ghosts; I can't quite get what it turns out to be.

And since I'm already complaining, let me also add the characterizations are poor. There's a serious lack of emotion and their personalities are inconsistent. It's as though the author could not make up her mind if she wanted this person to do this or that. Or perhaps the characters were intended to come off as confused. If so, that was successful.

BUT despite all that, I found myself intrigued. I read to the very end. I wanted to know what happened. I can't say any of the people grew on me; can't say I cared about any of them--not even the heroine, but I wanted to KNOW what happened, good or bad.

And towards the end, I finally felt some nail-biting fear. "EEEK. What are you gonna do?? OMG. He's gonna get you..."

But it took a long time to get to that point and it's a very slow-moving book. It's not what one expects from a horror.

I'm torn between a two and a three, because while I didn't care for it and was glad when it was over, it IS suspenseful. It kept me guessing, kept me on the edge of my seat. But the characters...I really hated all them. Eric is an arse with no personality. When he does have personality, he's a snot. Lacey is...well, surprisingly slow for a teacher. It takes forever for the lightbulb to come on with her and she does dumb things that would NOT be my first choice in those situations. Harry is a jerk. Ella Dane..is so weird, it's hard to fathom, but out of all of them, I liked her the "best". And Lex...and his wife...just...WTF? Do people like this exist?

So...even though I actually read the whole thing, which is rare for a book I dislike...

I received this via Edelweiss.





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