Thursday, December 10

{Mini Reviews} The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich & Daughters Unto Devils by Amy Lukavics

“They think I don't exist . . . they think I'm like a disease. I'm infecting Carly.” 

Three students: dead.
Carly Johnson: vanished without a trace.

Two decades have passed since an inferno swept through Elmbridge High, claiming the lives of three teenagers and causing one student, Carly Johnson, to disappear. The main suspect: Kaitlyn, "the girl of nowhere."

Kaitlyn's diary, discovered in the ruins of Elmbridge High, reveals the thoughts of a disturbed mind. Its charred pages tell a sinister version of events that took place that tragic night, and the girl of nowhere is caught in the center of it all. But many claim Kaitlyn doesn't exist, and in a way, she doesn't - because she is the alter ego of Carly Johnson.

Carly gets the day. Kaitlyn has the night. It's during the night that a mystery surrounding the Dead House unravels and a dark, twisted magic ruins the lives of each student that dares touch it.

When sixteen-year-old Amanda Verner's family decides to move from their small mountain cabin to the vast prairie, she hopes it is her chance for a fresh start. She can leave behind the memory of the past winter; of her sickly Ma giving birth to a baby sister who cries endlessly; of the terrifying visions she saw as her sanity began to slip, the victim of cabin fever; and most of all, the memories of the boy she has been secretly meeting with as a distraction from her pain. The boy whose baby she now carries. 

When the Verners arrive at their new home, a large cabin abandoned by its previous owners, they discover the inside covered in blood. And as the days pass, it is obvious to Amanda that something isn't right on the prairie. She's heard stories of lands being tainted by evil, of men losing their minds and killing their families, and there is something strange about the doctor and his son who live in the woods on the edge of the prairie. But with the guilt and shame of her sins weighing on her, Amanda can't be sure if the true evil lies in the land, or deep within her soul.

"I curse anyone who reads this book."

I have a love-hate relationship with novels that tell you the outcome first, and only after share with you how exactly it happened, so it's safe to say that I was afraid of The Dead House. Thankfully, I had nothing to fear. From the very first moment I opened this book I was glued to the pages and the story stayed with me long after I closed the book.

The story is mostly told through Kaitlyn's diary entries but there are also plenty of medical reports, footage and interview transcripts. The latter three helped some in figuring out what is real and what is not because Kaitlyn is one of the most unreliable narrators ever. However, her narrative worked for this novel perfectly - it made it even more mysterious and intriguing. 

I can't say much about the characters without spoiling something, but I can tell you that they were all perfectly crafted and very relatable. There was just a touch of romance and I think it made the story all the more enjoyable. 

All in all, The Dead House is the book you should pick up if you want to read a horror novel that isn't too scary, rather mysterious, emotional and very, very complex.

The story idea: 5/5
The realization of the story: 5/5
The characters: 5/5
The cover: 4/5
Enjoy factor: 5/5

Unlike The Dead House, Daughters Unto Devils started off in a slow and boring way, and I was half convinced it was going to be terrible. The characters felt really plain, but more than that I was annoyed by the lack of information about that significant day last winter when everything went wrong. I usually like it when some info is delayed, but the way the characters kept bringing this up and yet never shared anything that mattered about it made me want to put down the book. Thankfully, as the story went on the book developed a lot. 

The characters grew on me even though I still found myself questioning their choices and feelings. After the family arrived to their "new" house I became fully engaged with the story and was really excited to see what was yet to come. And, boy, so many things were about to happen that I did not expect. However, what I loved about Daughter Unto Devils the most was that it had some truly scary parts and an edge-of-your-seat build up to its brilliant ending.

Overall, this novel was the perfect Halloween read - scary, intriguing and hard to put down. Definitely recommended for fans of horror.

The story idea: 4/5
The realization of the story: 4/5
The characters: 3/5
The cover: 4.5/5
Enjoy factor: 4/5


  1. I'm envious of people who can review a book without writing a whole essay about it (like I do...). just imagine when it's not a book but two! Also...great choice of title font LOL.
    I do want to read The Dead House. I'm actually going to buy it ASAP. Then we could compare our impressions!

    1. It is really about the book for me - some I have a lot of things to say about, while others not so much. Thanks. :DD
      Yay, DM me on Twitter as soon as you start it!!! No excuses. :))

  2. You know I'm no fan of horror so I will probably stay away from these two and I actually like most of the times when a novel tells me the outcome at the very beginning because then my brain starts to work like crazy to figure stuff out and I like to see if I'm right or not hahaha

    1. Boo, I know that :(. I don't think The Dead House has the potential to scary anyone but IT IS SO GOOD. Haha, that is SO me! :)

  3. These sound so creepy D: I'm glad you enjoyed them!

  4. This could not have had more perfect timing! I have really been craving some horror novels lately but had no idea where to start. Both sound deliciously creepy and I can't wait to get my hands on them. XD

    1. So excited to see what you'll think of them! Tweet or DM me if you want to chat about either. <3

  5. I have never tried horror. This is too cool.
    could you visit my blog too and comment, i'm kinda new , so i'll love it.
    Please follow too!


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