"How on earth was I going to tell them I was sick and then hop on a plane to Seattle? I had a cold only a Seattle doctor knew how to fix? Might as well tell them I was going to Seattle Grace Hospital to get checked up by Doctor McDreamy.."
-quote from Perry Palomino, Darkhouse: An Experiment in Terror Novel by Karina Halle
I'm going to be honest when I say that reading is not my #1 favourite past-time. I have read a select number of books since high school - where they basically force you to read, and even then there were Coles notes. I was always jealous of people who could grab a book, park their ass on the beach or in the bath, and read for hours on end. From the slow beginning of most books, where they are setting the scene and developing the characters, I always seem to lose interest before the second chapter. Some might say I'm impatient...
When I found out that my friend Karina Halle was writing a series of horror novels, I was SO excited for her!! She writes for a living as a music journalist, and also has an awesome blog that I have been following for a while now. Writing is a passion of mine, and also a lot of other people, but actually following through and self-publishing your own novel is going above and beyond what this lazy blogger is capable of. When Darkhouse came to life - I was amazingly given an autographed copy and promised to write an honest review when I was done.
Uh oh. This meant I had to read.
On my most recent work trip to Vancouver Island, I brought along my copy of Darkhouse. I stared at it for a few days, read the back cover, and became more intrigued to see what it was all about. The ferry ride home felt like the perfect setting to grab a seat on the deck, in the sun, and get down to it.
I started at the beginning (instead of skipping to the end like usual) and am proud to say I didn't skip any pages. I wanted to give this book my full attention, and to my surprise, this was not hard to do. Right from the start the main character, Perry Palomino, sucks you in with her relatable and sarcastic personality. Before I started the book, I wondered if the character would be based on Karina herself - and came to realize that although there are bits of her poking through, Perry has a very strong personality of her own. From her quick wit, to an impeccable taste in music - Perry's attitude makes you curious to know what she is all about.
As I read through the first few chapters, I was drawn into the stories that have yet to be told. There was enough character information to give me a glimpse into her life, and that of the Palomino family, which made me wish there was a corresponding movie I could go see after I finished reading. Eerily, as the characters made their way to the hub of the horror (aka the lighthouse featured on the cover) my ferry passed by a very similar lighthouse out on the dark ocean water. It reminded me that although relatable, this Perry chick had a lot more balls then I ever would.
Enter Dex Foray
Love interest? Not so fast. I believe this was the point when I messaged Karina and told her I wasn't a fan of him. It had nothing to do with the writing, but rather his cocky attitude. I knew there was something not sitting right with me about this character. She told me that my opinions would change, and so I kept reading. In subjects ranging from blogging to haunting dream, and a little annoying sister and lonely secretive Uncle, I was turning page after page. I read for 1.5 hours straight, until they kicked me off the deck of the ferry and made me get back in my car. Jerks.
When I arrived at home, I found flowers and a bottle of wine that bf had got for me. What a sweetheart. I poured myself a glass - - and then immediately locked myself in the bathroom for 2+ hours to become one of those people I had envied before. I had a book - and I liked it enough to not watch television in order to find out what was happening!! Not only that, but in the bath! I continued reading so much so, that bf had to come in and restock my glass.
There were times I thought I could predict what was going to come next, only to be surprised by the creativity that turned up around each corner (or should I say each page). I had stopped seeing it as a book written by someone I knew, as I was now enthralled with all things Perry and Dex and their confusing yet uniquely entwined relationship. Again, it led me to want more. When I had used up all the hot bath water, I relocated to the couch - book in hand.
bf to me: "I've never seen you read before......it's sexy"
I looked up, smiled, and had 29 pages to go. Not only had Darkhouse turned me into a sexy bitch, but it also left me craving answers. I contemplated paying Karina to tell me what happens at the end, but I know it will be far more interesting to explore and grow with these characters in the books to come. This series will no doubt have more twists then I can even begin to anticipate right now - and that is what a series should be. Addicting.
Karina is an amazing person in general, but as an author, her writing style and the characters she brought to life will make you feel like you've been invited into their incredibly unexposed world. Darkhouse is a journey full of mystery, anticipation and intrigue. You will most definitely want to read the next book, and the one after that and so on, as there are many questions that require an explanation. And if you're anything like me - you need to know everything about everyone at all times, and Perry & Dex are no exception.
To get your hands on a copy (or an e-copy), check out this Amazon link
To "Like" Karina and Darkhouse on Facebook, click here
To read other reviews, check out GoodRead
To Follow the author on Twitter, follow @Wanderlust1ng
If I knew how to make stars, I'd make a lot of them. I'm anxiously anticipating Red Fox, the next instalment in the series. Take a read of Darkhouse and let me know what you think of Dex and Perry, and what you can't wait to find out in the books to come!