So we’re really getting into October now. The decorations are coming down from upstairs and getting dusted off and I’m sat here with a home made skinny pumpkin spiced latte ready for my next book review.
Blurb “For years the abandoned MacKenzie mansion remained hidden in rural Wisconsin. Rumors and stories of apparitions, odd noises, accidents, and strange deaths in or near the property were enough to convince the townsfolk it was haunted and they stayed away.
Lucas MacKenzie and his brother Nate know nothing of this when they inherit the property and decide to bring their families to Wisconsin for a major renovation project with HGTV stardom in mind. As they tear out old fixtures and open shuttered windows, the house begins to reveal secrets of a terrible past and it soon becomes clear the MacKenzies are in grave danger. In the end, only one person can save them.”
I love a haunted house story, I really do. And I wanted to like this book very much. However, I struggled from the beginning to get into it and struggled with my attention throughout. The writer is talented, don’t get me wrong. There just seemed too much of everything. I think sometimes with a first book it’s easy to pour all your ideas into it and all your enthusiasm so the story becomes unwieldy. I think that is my criticism here. There’s a haunted house that has magicked itself from England to the US, references to Native Americans, psychics, wizards and witches, curses, priests, ghosts, secret rooms….if it was part of this genre it was included.
I also felt some of the characters were not developed enough to be likable. Lucas, for example, wasn’t likable to me ever. I wanted to like him first and feel bad when he started to change his personality because of the house (like in Amityville). The ghost…I feel…wouldn’t have had such an Americanized accent…she was 500 years old from England…I just wouldn’t expect her to say some of the things that she did or sarcastically adopt a hillbilly accent at one point.
There is potential here and I feel a good editing would have benefited this book, just trim some of the story back and have some more character development.
3/5. All too much for me. Not a scary read but with real potential with some editing and trimming back.
Thank you to NetGalley and Land of Oz LLC for this eArc in exchange for an honest review.