“There’s always been something a bit off about Perry Palomino. Though she’s been dealing with a quarter-life crisis and post-college syndrome like any other twentysomething, she’s still not what you would call “ordinary.” For one thing, there’s her past which she likes to pretend never happened, and then there’s the fact that she sees ghosts. Luckily for her, that all comes in handy when she stumbles across Dex Foray, an eccentric producer for an upcoming webcast on ghost hunters. Even though the show’s budget is non-existent and Dex himself is a maddening enigma, Perry is instantly drawn into a world that both threatens her life and seduces her with a sense of importance. Her uncle’s haunted lighthouse provides the perfect catalyst and backdrop for a horrific mystery that unravels the threads of Perry’s fragile sanity and causes her to fall for a man, who, like the most dangerous of ghosts, may not be all that he seems.” (from Amazon)
I’ve been meaning to read this books for quite a while, and I’m glad I got around to it. In a world where paranormal books are thrown in your face like they are all the next big thing, and vampires, werewolves, and “new” (yet, all too similar) creatures are introduced, it’s hard to find something different to read.
For me Darkhouse, the first book in the promising Experiment in Terror series, was just that. It was something different. Halle takes on the paranormal genre from a different way then I’ve been reading in other books. She throws the reader, not into a fantasy world, but into the real world. I think that’s a great strength in this book. It makes the horror elements in this book that much more real and terrifying.
Another thing I loved about this book was the character Perry Palomino. To me she seemed like your average young woman, or young adult for that matter (male or female). (By young adult here I mean a real young adult, early 20s. Not the book industry’s young adult, which is really late teens if you ask me.) Like the average person her age, she’s fresh out of college and has no clue what she’s really going to do with herself. She has a job, but she’s not happy with it. She’s not the thinnest woman out there, but honestly I found that to be a great characteristic too. I got the feeling that she was much more attractive than the book made her out to be. This helped me sympathize with her even more. This, as well as, her not so uneventful teenage years, really made her character believable. Many of us haven’t had the perfect life or the perfect body. It’s easier to follow along with a character that has real life issues.
The other major character of this book is Dex…no, I’m not going to tell you how much of a hunk he is. Or how beautiful his eyes look when he’s starring deep into my very soul. I wasn’t really sure what to think about him for a while. He’s a very mysterious person and you don’t get much out of him until he wants to reveal it himself. He’s also a bit older than Perry, which at first seemed like it’d get in the way. It didn’t. I think Perry is more mature than her age and Dex, while also be mature, can relate to the younger Perry well enough. This makes the chemistry between them (romantic or otherwise) support the great story.
The only real “negative” for me with this story was my wants for action. The story did push on forward without too many slow sections. I was always interested in what would happen next, but the action was separated by longer sections to set up more of the plot. It’s probably not an issue for most readers. It’s just once I got to the first encounter with the lighthouse, I wanted MORE….right THEN!!! I got impatient
As a whole, finishing this books has made me want to continue along with Perry and Dex on their next adventures. I think the more that gets revealed in later books, the more questions will arise. I enjoy books like that. Not only that, but I really want to know what the hell’s up with the Creepy Clown Lady. The picture I have of her in my mind is just the creepiest thing ever.
You can grab your copy of Darkhouse at the following, and at this time it’s FREE:
For more on Karina Halle and her Experiment in Terror Series: