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Posted November 11, 2012
On top of a hill in a forest surrounded by tall trees that look like green soldiers was a beautiful old house with a dark past. A long gravel driveway leads to the house and occasionally people drove down the highway to admire the home's beautiful architecture. They didn't stay long though because the house had a sinister feel to it and the people in town were afraid of it. The house had a for sale sign in front of it for a long time but one day the sign came down and a young couple expecting a child moved in.
This is the opening to Michaelbrent Collings The Haunted. The young couple's names are Sarah and Cap. As they move in they experience strange occurences that they can't explain, such as radios turning on and off, a truck turning itsself on and objects moving on their own. On the second night an all out assault begins and the couple is attacked by a legion of homicidal ghosts who want them dead. Among the army of spirits that try to enter the house is one with a noose around its neck, one with a slashed throat, and one in a long hooded robe that seems to be the most evil of all. The couple tries to escape but there is nowhere to run; the only help they receive is from the local preacher who may be in over his head.
There are a lot of horror novels out there that can be considered a roller coaster ride but The Haunted is more like a freight train out of control. The opening reminded me of Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House and did an excellent job of creating a mood of spookiness and impending doom. Right from the start before anything happened I found myself hoping Sarah and Cap would leave the forest and not look back. Ounce the mood is set, The Haunted kicks into a terror filled thrill ride and never lets up, leaving the reader breathless and fearing for Cap and Sarah.
While the plot unfolds you learn more about Cap and Sarah, the author gets inside their heads and makes you feel what they're feeling. I love the way Michaelbrent Collings presents his characters. you know their fears, their weaknesses and what there thinking at all times. You fear for them because you relate to them and you know you would probably be thinking the same if you were in their situation.
The only things I didn't like about The Haunted was that the story was a little confusing and I was able to predict the ending. Despite this, The Haunted is still an excellent horror novel. This is the second book I've read by Michaelbrent Collings and in both cases I found myself thinking that this book would make a great scary movie. Michaelbrent's writing paints a horrific picture and his characters are always memorable. This book has plenty of frights, the descriptions of the ghosts are terrifying and one ghost in particular is scary enough to keep you from sleeping for a night. So if you like a good ghost story then check out the works of Michaelbrent Collings.
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Posted May 23, 2014
Posted May 16, 2014
Seemed like a long and drawn out, run of the mill haunted house story...almost quit reading it....BUT!!!!
A few pages from the end, a real twist and shock ending that I never saw coming! The story actually picks up about 3/4 in, then gets better....MUCH better!
Glad I stuck with it!!
Posted May 12, 2014
Very confused. It's obvious that this writer has some serious talent, from the last 50 pages of the book. I held my breath, I didn't pause in reading.. I was CAPTIVATED. So, what the heck happened to the entire first and middle portions of this this story?!? Boring? Oh, you have no idea. Blathering on and on and on and on; and, don't forget the peppering of silly banter between the two main characters. It was so unforgivably ridiculous and boring. The only reason I continued to read it, was because I bought it for my Nook, couldn't get a refund, and decided that if I were to pay for it, I was going to read it.
Mr. Collings - You should be ashamed of yourself. NOT because your writing was boring, long-winded, and never-ending. Not everyone is a Stephen King. You should be ashamed of yourself because from those final 50 pages you proved that you have what it takes to grab and hold a reader's attention - And, then poured your time and effort into 3/4 of a piece of garbage. Tsk-Tsk.
This gets two extremely generous stars, solely because of the end of the book.
Posted May 12, 2014
I read up to page 101, then just could not read one more repetitive description of gray, filmy eyes, nor could I bear to be told one more time how compelled the two main characters were to do something they did not want to do.
I felt like I should have seen a story forming by page 100, but it just did not happen. I feel a little cheated.