HORROR STORIES: Two Book Reviews!

Hollow+House+WSHollow House

by Greg Chapman

The Kemper house, like many other famous haunted houses in literature, sits empty … waiting, while the occupants of the homes surrounding it seem unaware of the evil that lurks within. But one day, the “stench of purification leaks” from its decaying walls and the unsuspecting neighbors are unwillingly drawn into its web of destruction.

I thoroughly enjoyed Hollow House. While not of the caliber of The Haunting of Hill House (of course, no haunted house story is), this was one of the best of the genre I have read in a long time.

Willow Street, where the Kemper house sits, is populated by a group of interesting, complex characters who, individually, have their own stories to tell and, in some cases, dark secrets to hide. Chapman invites the reader into their lives and fully invests us in their fates. The novel is fast-paced and dark as any good horror story should be. And, to my delight, the ending was an unsuspected surprise.

So, if you enjoy haunted house stories or just tales peopled by complex, realistic characters who find they suddenly have to deal with the uncanny, then Hollow House is right up your alley. Highly recommended.


9780997135190_p0_v1_s192x300Fate’s Past

by Jason Huebinger

Cameron and Carrie are on their way to New Orleans from Austin. Driving at night, Carrie is dozing when Cameron is startled by a strange light. From that moment on, everything changes for this young couple as they are catapulted into an eerie landscape strangely peopled with images and memories from their pasts.

Fate’s Past takes off like a rocket. Dark and intense, it moves swiftly along for the first quarter of the book. However, after that, I found myself losing interest and, by the time I was one-third of the way through, thought about giving up on it. This surprised me since the beginning was so enjoyable, and then I put my finger on it – I really didn’t care what happened to these two people. The author had not taken the time to flesh out their characters and, to me, they seemed flat, like cardboard cutouts. In addition, they were supposed to be deeply in love, but I felt no passion or fire in their relationship.

However, I plowed on, hoping that the author would do something to bring me back into the story. Unfortunately, the ending of the tale was all too clear by the time I’d finished the first half and when I came to the end, I found I was right.

As mentioned above, this story started out great, but fell flat for me part-way through and came to an unsatisfying end that held no surprise.

I hope someday the author goes back and takes another look at this book, bringing life to the characters. Huebinger shows promise as an author and I look forward to watching him grow.