Thursday, 25 June 2015

Review: Angel Manor, by Chantal Noordeloos

Oh, the horror.

I've read Chantal Noordeloos before. But I've obviously never read Chantal Noordeloos before. Angel Manor is a different beast.

Angel Manor is the story of three friends who acquire a house in Scotland, a house that hides a secret and not all is to be believed.

"A beautiful house – with a dark and deadly secret.

When Freya inherits her mother's childhood home, she sees it as an opportunity. A chance for a new life with her best friends, as they convert the crumbling mansion into an exclusive hotel.

Instead, they'll be lucky to escape with their lives.

As the first hammers tear through the bricked up entrances, a dark, terrible and ancient evil stirs beneath the house. An evil that has already laid claim to Freya and her companions' souls."

This is a novel of the straight up, good, bad and ugly. So let's start in order:

The good.

Angel Manor has a very strong story. Conceptually it is about a house were evil lurks, however, it is a new voice on the subject. This is a different sort of evil in a different sort of house. From the start to the finish the story is very solid. Sure, it has it's bumps, but on the whole it is well woven tale.

It is also well written. It is edited well. The story doesn't stumble over grammatical errors, nor plots holes, and it didn't out stay it's welcome.

It's also scary. The point oft missed with horror novels by new authors.

The Bad.

I was disappointed with the characterization of the three protagonists. They are broadly painted with a stereotypical brush. Given the (proper, door holding, tea-drinking) Englishman and a (brash, loud, sexually promiscuous) American, and Freya who is all things to all people. However over the length of the story, while their traits don't change, they do grow as characters.

The Ugly.

Ick. If you like a nice gentle scare without any gore, you won't find it here. Yes, it's well done, but if you find gore to be something that trembles your stomach, then this isn't for you. That said? Yeah, I love it.

Overall the positives largely out weight the negatives. There is one scenario that plays out that will stay with me and haunt me. Damn for my no-spoilers rule. I wish I could share.

You can buy Angel Manor on Amazon US here, Amazon UK here, and don't forget to check ou t Chantal's website, here.

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