Review: Darkhouse

Darkhouse Darkhouse by Karina Halle

Summary: One night, when Perry is visiting her uncle and cousins, she goes to explore the old lighthouse on their property, and runs into Dex Foray, who is there filming for an internet TV show. Together they both film some ghostly happenings before barely escaping with their lives. After Perry’s video goes viral, Dex contacts her and suggests Perry star in the TV show. As Perry crushes on Dex, she begins to realize that she might actually have some kind of connection to the spirit world. When Dex and Perry return to the lighthouse, they find more than they bargained for.

Cast of Characters

Perry Palomino: A twentysomething who’s struggling with being a lowly receptionist, being normal-sized next to her model-fashion-blogger sister, and a lifetime of having “invisible friends” and drug problems.  She explored a career in being a stuntwoman, which is pretty rad.  With a name like hers, how can she NOT be a star?  Or a superhero?

Declan “Dex” Foray: From his Errol Flynn mustache to his habit of lying to the endless descriptions of his bipolar facial expressions, I wasn’t a huge fan.  Plus, he’s dating the star of one of his other internet TV shows, Wine Babes, yet the sexual tension between Dex and Perry is so thick you’d need a machete to cut through it.

Creepy Clown Lady: need I say more?

Extremely Quotable Sh*t

“I decided I should maybe jump in on this ghost bandwagon.  The main thing I wanted to do though was have it run a little differently.  There are tons of these shiteous shows on TV, run by tards who are running around with these cameras and having these geeked-out experiences that in the end amount to nothing more than their own ineptitude and inflated sense of self.”

This description reminded me of this web series that was a spin-off from “Supernatural,” called “Ghost Facers.”  That is exactly the kind of ineptitude Dex is talking about.

I couldn’t help but crack up when Perry encountered what always happens in horror movies – the lights go out unexpectedly:

“I shook the lamp back and forth, screaming, ‘Fuuuuuck!  Fuck you, lamp!'”

Perry has a mouth like a trucker and sometimes her descriptions are just hilarious in their bluntness.

Kindle for PC – not the best reading platform

My biggest gripe is nothing to do with the writing but the fact that the Kindle format did not put spaces between paragraphs or indent paragraphs, which made it difficult to read.  I do not own a Kindle (I used the Kindle for PC app and the Kindle Cloud to read it) but the Kindle download was free so I took advantage.  But I was not a fan of the formatting.  Maybe the ebook would have looked correct on an actual Kindle, and maybe the physical book would be great.  I don’t know.

Lots of Scares, Little Explanation

The lighthouse was certainly interesting enough, yet the mystery was not fully explored or concluded in a satisfying way. The big climax came around the three-quarter mark, and I was waiting for one last scare that I never got.   Why didn’t Old Roddy come back?  He definitely had some kind of expectations of Perry’s abilities, yet she didn’t help him cross over or whatever.  I was waiting for the grand debut of the first episode of the web series that I assume will be called “Experiment in Terror” (since those words were never uttered in the entire book), but I guess I’ll have to read the next book if I want to find out what the “experiment in terror” is… and I am definitely interested in reading more in the series.

Young Adult vs. Adult

I’m also torn about classifying this as young adult. Perry is an adult in her early twenties, with a mouth like a trucker, and Dex is around 30. Yet the theme of searching for identity, and the way it was written, felt very young adult.   And I suppose early twenties is still “young adult.”  It’s also hard to judge because this book isn’t available at any libraries in my area, so I have no way of knowing if it’s something teens would read.

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