Author: Christopher Fowler
Genre: Fantasy; Urban Fantasy; Horror
Release Date: October 7, 2014
Acquired: Netgalley ARC
Date Finished: September 29, 2014
There are two things you need to know about haunted houses. One, there’s never been an actual authenticated haunted house. Two, it’s not the house that’s haunted, but the person.
Callie is a young architectural student who marries Mateo, a wine importer, and moves to a grand old house in Southern Spain. Hyperion House is flooded with light, it also has a mute gardener, a sinister housekeeper and a sealed, dark servants’ quarters that nobody has the keys for. And although initially happy, and taking care of Mateo’s daughter, Callie can’t help being drawn to the dark empty rooms at the back of the house, and becomes convinced that someone is living in there.
Uncovering the house’s history, she discovers the shocking truth. As Callie’s fear of the darkness returns, she comes to understand the true nature of evil.
In my search for a really creepy Halloween read, I came across Nyctophobia. I was positive this book was going to scratch my itch for creepiness. What better way to satisfy my spine tingling need than a haunted house and nyctophobia (fear of the dark)?
The first half of the book was pretty good. The lead up was a bit slow, but I understand the author has to build the back story. Then as our heroine begins exploring the back rooms of the house and strange things begin to happen, the creepiness definitely kicked into overdrive. I read this on vacation and was so glad I wasn’t in my own house, because it really would’ve creeped me out!
Then, poof! At about 60% everything just fell apart. The book made a 180 and lost its creepiness all together. Then, there was a really strange twist at the end that was just ridiculous. I think it was meant to be really smart and shocking, but it came off as silly. I was so disappointed.
I walked away from this book saying the same thing I say after most horror films…“that was stupid.” I need good characters, a good plot, and good twists that are at least somewhat plausible. This one just missed the mark. Maybe I just didn’t get it. Maybe I’m not smart enough to have picked up the deeper meaning. For some reason, I don’t think that’s it.
So, I have given it 3 stars because the middle of the book was really good.
I’d like to give a shout out to Netgalley, Solaris, and Christopher Fowler for giving me the opportunity to read and review this ARC.