Customer Reviews for

Harbor

Average Rating 3
( 21 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

Amazing

This just might be one of my favorite reads this year. I was lucky to receive the ARC for Harbor from the publisher and I can tell you, this is one that I'll be recommending to a lot of people.
What is incredible in this book is the atmosphere the author creates, the a...
This just might be one of my favorite reads this year. I was lucky to receive the ARC for Harbor from the publisher and I can tell you, this is one that I'll be recommending to a lot of people.
What is incredible in this book is the atmosphere the author creates, the almost mythic quality to the story, which adds layers and layers of knowledge as the chapters take us deeper into the history of Domaro. This is no normal horror novel, it is so smartly done that it begins to get under your skin from the very first page, building the mystery and the tension to an excruciating pitch.
The characters are well done, but they all take a back-stage to the setting. The island itself is a character, one to compete with the moors in Wuthering Heights. It is impossible to forget where we are, the ocean always a step away in all its glory and power.
The only thing I had a bit of trouble with was the ending. It seemed too easily resolved. There were a few plot points which were still not made too clear. This however, should not stop anyone from reading it, since I'm sure others will see the ending as genius. I'm willing to forgive the weak ending because the rest of the book just astounded me.
This is one of those books that you will not want to put down. One that will stay with you for far longer than it takes to read. When it comes out on October 11th, this is one to add to your shopping lists.

posted by Valca85 on September 26, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Does This Book Make Me Want to Buy the Author's Other Books?

I have in front of me on my desk a book titled "Harbor" by John Ajvide Lindqvist. It's a book translated from Swedish. I finished it last night, and I've been mulling since then whether I liked the book.

I have a conclusion now. The answer is no.

Why? Well.(1) If ...
I have in front of me on my desk a book titled "Harbor" by John Ajvide Lindqvist. It's a book translated from Swedish. I finished it last night, and I've been mulling since then whether I liked the book.

I have a conclusion now. The answer is no.

Why? Well.(1) If I have to mull over it, that tells me something. (2) I asked myself: "Does this book make me want to buy the author's other books?" The answer is "No."

So, no, I reckon I did not like the book, but it has plenty of good things going for it. A review quote on the back equates Lindqvist to Stephen King. I'm not crazy about King, so I might not be the best person to review "Harbor."

But here goes. Good things first. Lindqvist has a knack for setting. For creepiness. Some of the scenarios in the book are downright delicious. Also, this book depends heavily on back story (which is good and bad). I estimate about 2/3 is written in back story, and 1/3 in present time. Most of the time, this works. When it does not work, though, the story drags. Plus, in the 1/3 "present time" good space was devoted to minor characters and their actions. I didn't care about them. More dragging. At one point a bit past halfway, I was tempted to call it a day. No more reading. No finishing the book. I forced myself to finish, though, and the book picked up again soon after that.

The story summary purports that this book will be about a girl's disappearance. It is not. It is about an island, about a town. The girl is only one little piece, so that may be part of why I disliked the book. I entered the book expecting one thing and came out with something different (something I hadn't wanted to read about).

Bottom line: Lindqvist throws in too much. He has an underlying "monster" (monster for lack of a better word - perhaps villain or boogeyman would be better, but the bad guy is not even a guy. Or anything resembling a person). Halfway through, two ghosts pop up, and we're introduced to their characters' back stories. Halfway through! That for me is too late to introduce characters of such import. A lot of other stuff is thrown in, scattered about, and it got to be too much.

Also (and I have this issue with King often), the underlying logic just did not work for me. I was like. "Huh? Okay."

The ending was very disappointing.

I suppose if you like Stephen King, you'll like "Harbor" too.

posted by QKelly on October 24, 2011

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  • Posted September 26, 2011

    Amazing

    This just might be one of my favorite reads this year. I was lucky to receive the ARC for Harbor from the publisher and I can tell you, this is one that I'll be recommending to a lot of people.
    What is incredible in this book is the atmosphere the author creates, the almost mythic quality to the story, which adds layers and layers of knowledge as the chapters take us deeper into the history of Domaro. This is no normal horror novel, it is so smartly done that it begins to get under your skin from the very first page, building the mystery and the tension to an excruciating pitch.
    The characters are well done, but they all take a back-stage to the setting. The island itself is a character, one to compete with the moors in Wuthering Heights. It is impossible to forget where we are, the ocean always a step away in all its glory and power.
    The only thing I had a bit of trouble with was the ending. It seemed too easily resolved. There were a few plot points which were still not made too clear. This however, should not stop anyone from reading it, since I'm sure others will see the ending as genius. I'm willing to forgive the weak ending because the rest of the book just astounded me.
    This is one of those books that you will not want to put down. One that will stay with you for far longer than it takes to read. When it comes out on October 11th, this is one to add to your shopping lists.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 13, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Harbor is a horror story of the sea reclaiming its own.

    Reviewed by Alice D. for Readers Favorite

    Harbor is a horror story of the sea reclaiming its own. In 2004, in the island fishing village of Domaro, Sweden, the book's setting, six-year-old Maja disappears while on an outing to the local lighthouse with her parents, Anders and Cecilia. After surviving the terror of this event, Anders and Cecilia's marriage crumbles; Cecilia moves away, and Anders turns to drink. Anders eventually moves back to Domaro and to his grandmother, Anna-Greta, and her longtime lover, Simon. Anna-Greta, one of Domaro's village elders, is aware that something is wrong, really wrong, but doesn't want to share what she thinks or knows, even with Simon. Anders is haunted by his past when he and Cecilia were young. Back then, two teenage misfits, Henrik and Bjorn, disappeared. Now they are back, as ghosts, and are up to no good whatsoever. Meanwhile, Anders, in his quest to find his daughter, Maja, realizes that people are affected by drinking the sea water, which seems to be cropping up right below the island's surface. Where did Henrik and Bjorn disappear to and from where did they come? Is Maja there as well? Who will survive as the harbor water freezes, and Domaro disappears beneath the waters?

    Harbor is an extraordinarily well-crafted horror story that will engross its readers. The events that transpire within its pages come close to possible in this world of tsunamis and earthquakes. The translation from the book's original Swedish by Marlaine DeLargy is first-rate. The author, John Lindqvist, informs readers at the book's beginning that the setting for Domaro and the lighthouse at Gavasten have been under water for tens of thousands of years. From this underwater landscape, he has fashioned a story with totally believable, and sometimes downright scary, characters that the reader will not forget.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 24, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Does This Book Make Me Want to Buy the Author's Other Books?

    I have in front of me on my desk a book titled "Harbor" by John Ajvide Lindqvist. It's a book translated from Swedish. I finished it last night, and I've been mulling since then whether I liked the book.

    I have a conclusion now. The answer is no.

    Why? Well.(1) If I have to mull over it, that tells me something. (2) I asked myself: "Does this book make me want to buy the author's other books?" The answer is "No."

    So, no, I reckon I did not like the book, but it has plenty of good things going for it. A review quote on the back equates Lindqvist to Stephen King. I'm not crazy about King, so I might not be the best person to review "Harbor."

    But here goes. Good things first. Lindqvist has a knack for setting. For creepiness. Some of the scenarios in the book are downright delicious. Also, this book depends heavily on back story (which is good and bad). I estimate about 2/3 is written in back story, and 1/3 in present time. Most of the time, this works. When it does not work, though, the story drags. Plus, in the 1/3 "present time" good space was devoted to minor characters and their actions. I didn't care about them. More dragging. At one point a bit past halfway, I was tempted to call it a day. No more reading. No finishing the book. I forced myself to finish, though, and the book picked up again soon after that.

    The story summary purports that this book will be about a girl's disappearance. It is not. It is about an island, about a town. The girl is only one little piece, so that may be part of why I disliked the book. I entered the book expecting one thing and came out with something different (something I hadn't wanted to read about).

    Bottom line: Lindqvist throws in too much. He has an underlying "monster" (monster for lack of a better word - perhaps villain or boogeyman would be better, but the bad guy is not even a guy. Or anything resembling a person). Halfway through, two ghosts pop up, and we're introduced to their characters' back stories. Halfway through! That for me is too late to introduce characters of such import. A lot of other stuff is thrown in, scattered about, and it got to be too much.

    Also (and I have this issue with King often), the underlying logic just did not work for me. I was like. "Huh? Okay."

    The ending was very disappointing.

    I suppose if you like Stephen King, you'll like "Harbor" too.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 21, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Harbor is a dark thriller

    In 2004 Sweden Anders and Cecilia take their six years old daughter Maja from their home in Gavasten to tour the nearby icebound lighthouse off the archipelago Domaro Island. Precocious Maja likes to lead but she vanishes as her parents lose sight of her. The frantic adults search everywhere for their precious child, but fail to find her. The conclusion they make is somehow she fell under the thin but solid iced channel, but no evidence of holes or weak spots are found.

    Though they have been an entry since being young teens twenty years ago, their marriage falls apart as Cecilia tries to move on passed her grief while Anders becomes an alcoholic who is unable to let go of his guilt for not watching his offspring closer. Two years since the tragedy, Anders returns to Domaro believing he will find his beloved Maja. Instead he begins to hear whispers of ritual sacrifice by the indigenous islanders including his mother to the nearby sea.

    Harbor is a dark thriller in which the audience will wonder whether the sacrifices are to a supernatural being or just superstitious island mythos induced murders. The fast-paced story line is character driven by the seemingly insane Anders, but owned by the villagers; similar in tone to Anthony Shaffer's The Wicker Man. Though one must wonder why he (and Cecilia) had not thought of what seems to be common knowledge, readers will relish this tense suspense.

    Harriet Klausner

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 11, 2011

    Hard to Classify

    Fans of Stephen King's novels where scenes from years ago are replayed in order to make sense of present circumstances will enjoy John Lindqvist's latest effort. This tome is filled with memories of events that, at the time seemed a little strange, but when accumulated throughout the years, paint an eerie picture of a Swedish island and its inhabitants.
    Two years after his six year old daughter mysteriously disappeared, Anders has returned to the island of Domaro. Fighting alcoholism and a broken marriage, he tries to make sense of his life, and maybe discover the truth about his daughter. Meanwhile, strange events occur with haunting regularity around the island. Life on Domaro has never been easy and the current crop of problems aren't new. What force is behind not only Anders' missing daughter, but the abnormal behavior exhibited by an ever increasing number of islanders? What connection does it all have to a legend of the sea dating back hundreds of years?
    Lindqvist brings us a tragic story of loss, not only of lives, but of the spirit of life. The back stories are lengthy and detailed. The reader may have a difficult read attempting to tie in all the connections. This one is hard to classify with subtle elements of horror, suspense, and mystery all rolled into a tale spanning generations. It is definitely not light-hearted and deserves its own little niche in the world's warehouse of novels.
    Reviewed by Stephen L. Brayton, author of "Beta" for Suspense Magazine

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2013

    DELIGHTFULLY SPOOKY AND HIGHLY IMAGINATIVE!!!

    True horror novels have become difficult to find lately. They are either lacking in plot which they try to cover up with too much gore or sex; or both. Luckily this author has no such need. He can make you squirm in one chapter and charm you with magic in the next. Your emotions are so well manipulated as you are pulled further along into the tale; wondering along wither the father, just how well did he know his own child? How well do any of us know our children without being blinded by our love and rose-tinted perceptions? I highly recommend this title along with any of his others, he's an excellent author. If you've ever seen 'Let The Right One In' that is one of his works but of course the books is waaay better!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2013

    This book was such a let down. First, horror is not the correct

    This book was such a let down. First, horror is not the correct genre. Nothing horrifying in this very, very, VERY drawn out story. I knew I should have put it down when I saw King's endorsement, who has the same problem. I was intrigued by the first few chapters, but actually just shut the book 20 pages from the end. I just don't care, (and that's after reading 470ish pages).  So much unnecessary back story for characters that don't need it added to an unbelievable story. I never write reviews but decided I must  for this book. Don't waste your time. 

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2012

    Hated it

    This book is fairly well written but it left me cold. I don't think I've ever read a book in which the characters were less sympathic and flat out more unlikeable. The fact that I couldn't become find one character that I cared about coupled with despising the hero and his daughter, made this a painful book to suffer through. Seriously, unless you're a sadist, don't read this book. It's like being forced into a weekend visit with the people you most despise.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2012

    Harbor is an intense must read!

    One of the best ghost stories I have ever read. Wow! I read a ton of books and this one really blew me away! Kept me engaged from start to finish....with an ending that I did not see coming! Highly recommended!

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  • Posted February 24, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Left Me Cold

    Each character is provided with a backstory, so you're getting several stories within the story. This can work in character development, but in this particular book, the original plot is dragged under and seemingly lost. The twists are slow to develop and after 300+ pages I really needed more to happen. Perhaps, because the intent is horror and suspense, but I became rather bored and disinterested. The pacing, like the island, is isolating and distant. For me, it created a detachment with the plot and I had no problem putting the book down, but soon found it difficult to pick back up. The gap between current bizarre happenings and long back story fractured the experience, making reading choppy and awkward. Frankly, what should be intriguing became boring and uneventful. By the end, the pages themselves were killing me and I had little motivation to read on.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2012

    Disappointing read.

    I enjoyed the characters, but was disappointed in the story overall. Can't recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Not For Everyone

    This was in interesting book but the story is not told in a linear fashion. Still it kept my interest with just enough mystery to keep me reading.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2011

    Eh.

    It held my interest but by the end i wanted more.

    He can do better.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 30, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    #0000FF

    homeboy

    0 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted March 22, 2013

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    Posted April 17, 2012

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