File Size: 1196 KB
Print Length: 362 pages
Publisher: Skyscape (October 31, 2013)
Publication Date: October 31, 2013
Four young grown ups are gathered by a pseudo-government official to research the merits of paranormal gifts and their practical utilizes. They are to live with each other for per month as tests are conducted that might better define their gifts and perhaps discover functional applications of those gifts. A minimum of, that is the idea. In reality, the property is haunted--meaning, the house, itself, is haunted--even as it hosts haunts that make themselves known in one fashion yet another to Jess and Allison, who see ghosts and demons where others do not. Two young girls were killed on the environment, and they also haunt the home along with Riley, their murderer. The four young people gathered to conduct experiments soon find they must apply their skills if they want to live, found to figure out how to do this even as their supervisor seems to be deteriorating from his original position and advancing into the same strange attitude that the house appears to eventually share with all its renters, except, perhaps, Mrs. Hirsch.
A good book for young adults, with good paranormal action and some romance, to the even more experienced reader, the actions don't movement as smoothly together would want, often with simple words trying to explain complicated actions, and bassesse versa. Mcdougal also seems to assume that you will understand that there are elements at work that should be terrifying and assumes an understanding of the frightening experiences. For example, Jess practices daily in the music room and everyone understands this--but, after what really should be a couple days (considering they are intending to be in the house for just one month), the author appears to imply that Jess' actions are traditional and expected such as when a person has adopted a routine over several weeks or weeks. The time frames for the thoughts and actions just don't seem to be to add up, but unless you are paying attention, this is simply not detrimental to the history.
A good story for young grown ups in the paranormal genre, it is setting itself up for a good sequel. Perhaps with the experience provided through this first writing, the sequel will be something that experienced readers might enjoy as much as the younger reader., Jess has been recruited to take part in a month-long experiment in the paranormal at a haunted house. She's joined by three other test subject matter, all of whom have a supernatural gift which have caught the vision of any shadowy governmental organization. While enthusiastic about the project, Jess, who can see and contact spirits, hopes to be able to contact her grandma and father, both of whom are recently departed. The four young grown ups are joined at the house by Dr. Brandt and a foreboding live-in housekeeper. Everyone at Siler House may get more than they bargained for, though.
I found the book enjoyable, with well-developed characters and a strong plot. There are some truly creepy scenes, and the suspense continues to build throughout. Haunted house stories are just fun, and this is a great one. Recommended., This book was so much fun to read! It was amusing, touching, and scary all wrapped up into a great " ghost" history.
The author wrote this in a way that made it easy to imagine this book as a movie. With every chapter something new was happening and the history just kept flowing easily from scene to scene. The characters were well developed and their individual personalities shined through. Typically the story itself was reasonably unique and the finishing was... well, I'm certainly not going to tell you: D It's good.
I don't want to slide upwards and give anything away so I'll leave it here. The books suite pretty much gives you what you need to have yourself in there to get reading. It's a fun book and another best read around Halloween or at night. Even better? Close to Halloween at night!, Allison, Jess, Bryan, and Gauge enter Siler House after being paid a “hefty sum” for their involvement in an EPAC (mysterious possibly governmental agency) study on the paranormal. Allison sees demons. Jess recognizes ghosts. Bryan can make things vanish into thin air. Gage can raise the dead. The house, itself, has a murderous background and a way about it that makes those who enter not want to leave. Dr. Brandt, the group’s ringleader and observer, moves the story ahead by unveiling bits of Siler House history as the four teens work to hone their paranormal “gifts. ” But to what end? Ultimately, I am certainly not sure.
The Haunting Season left me with mixed feelings in part because I’m not a major reader of young mature fiction, but also because I prefer a thriller’s pace. The four main characters all had good backstories that were well thought out and enjoyed integral parts of their roles in the unfolding drama. The mysterious deaths two young girls who formerly inhabited Siler Home are at the primary of the story. The girls are part of the reason Jess supports the use of the Ouija and other paranormal devices. She believes ghosts are good and wants to help these children move on.
Allison serves as the “spook factor, ” iterating ad nauseum how “bad” things are and how “evil” the house is. She is the harbinger, and for that never quite connects with others. There are teen love interests and a sexual intercourse scene I think is age appropriate, all things considered (even if I hadn’t felt more than a forced connection between the characters). Being told how “hot” the character types in order to one another doesn’t give a great deal of genuine emotional relationship and Jess starts off thinking Gage is the typical stud—something this does not interest her in the minimum. She’s attracted to him, but it’s not until the end that I felt the two attached (when Gage put her well-being before his own and vice versa). I had to remind myself that these were late-teens verging on adulthood, though they read much younger sometimes (expressions like “Omigod! ” during sex).
Bryan is one of the lesser developed characters who sits in the sidelines mostly because unlike the other 3, he serves a specific purpose to the end plot rather than behaving as the couple or Allison had in the grand scheme. Doctor Brandt, too, is lost in the wash as they say. His history is somewhat looked over, his role (and EPACs) minimized and speculated on rather than being delivered outright. I don’t like guessing at purposes. Brandt has a limited figure arc and his passion with the house is observed, but not through his eyes. An additional layer with his POV and motives would have gone a considerable ways in establishing tension for the group. Late in the book he starts calls Jess “Ms. Perry, ” though I don’t know why. It’s a minimal thing that maybe shows his descent, but the difference in demeanor falls flat.
The plot itself is interesting enough though if I’m comparing this to Rose Red (and I did in my head throughout), the history of the home is not fully developed as its own entity. Why can’t people leave? I’m left to believe it’s something to do with the nefarious “Riley” more than the house. I would have liked a lot more of “Riley’s” story, too. There are bits, but since this individual really is the main antagonist, it would have been great for the four to have found journals or some bit of background related to him.
If I’m being honest, dissecting the storyplot had me wanting more plot and less of the rear and forth that is the first forty percent of this book. Allison and Jess’s conflicting feelings and their position on ghosts and demons eats up a whole lot of page count when, in the end, all that doesn’t matter a complete lot. There’s a point where the four methods the house’s main gate to find it locked and there’s a discussion about the house’s causes, what could occur to them, etc. that comes from out of nowhere. This happens a lot in the book. I would have loved some solid anecdotal evidence.
Overall, I am probably over thinking this. The new young adult publication and a reasonable offering as such. Could it be a haunted house book? Kinda. Sorta. Not so much. It’s more of a book about possession and demons. The truly haunting scenes (almost exclusively limited to the basement) were great. Creepy, atmospheric, and effective. I loved the Three Blind Mice references and the nods to reflect and iron mythologies. Typically the Ouija board seemed like a device that perhaps shouldn’t have been necessary given the group’s great talents. EPAC and the study never did come to fruition nor did the ending tell how the group explained the final showdown. I don’t want to spoil, but will say there are some things that needed answering for before Jess and Gauge walked off into the sunset. I’m going to rate The Haunting Season as a solid 3. 5 stars primarily because of pacing and plot issues. Solid characters, some great spooks, but I might have liked more of them and more history than present. After all, honestly, that is what makes haunted houses intriguing.
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