Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Benson by Karina Halle

Your friendly cat-loving blogger is now a college student! I love my dorm room and my roommates and I have a good feeling about everything. (But ask me again tomorrow after I spend the day doing mandatory community service because I'm in my school's Honors program. I won't be so happy then.)

Title: The Benson
Author: Karina Halle
Publisher: Metal Blonde Books
Release Date: December 7, 2011
Pages: ebook exclusive
How I Got the Book: Bought it.
Purchase/Pre-order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Promotional Materials and More: author/series website

The Benson (Experiment in Terror, #2.5)An Experiment in Terror Novella (#2.5).

This short story/novella sees amateur Youtube ghost-hunters, Perry Palomino and Dex Foray, investigating the real-life hauntings of Portland's infamous Benson Hotel. It occurs between books #2 (Red Fox) and #3 (Dead Sky Morning) and is the perfect primer for anyone interested in the EIT series.


A quick disclaimer before I begin: the author is one of my friends. Neither my rating nor my review have been influenced by this.

So I gave the first book of the Experiment in Terror series a try a few months ago and though I didn't care much for it then, I've found myself really wanting to read more about Perry and Dex's adventures these past few weeks. This novella has been sitting on my Kindle ever since I discovered it was free in the Amazon store and something about the yellowish sky as the sun set earlier made me decide now was the right time to read it. Short, sweet, and just as much fun as I expected it to be, The Benson has completely brought back my interest in continuing this series.

One of my problems with Darkhouse, the first Experiment in Terror novel, was Dex's character, but I was much more comfortable with him here. Perry's entertaining banter with him flows well and the dynamic they have, quit a bit of it influenced by their sexual tension, is fantastic. I was a little lost to begin with because this takes place after/references events from book two and I've only read book one, but I got into the groove soon enough and I think someone who hasn't read the series before might be able to do the same.  

Stephen King's The Shining taught everyone to fear haunted hotels and The Benson is exactly the kind of hotel to fear. There aren't any men driven mad by the spirits of the hotel here, but The Benson is just as creepy. Halle establishes the atmosphere well with the ghost encounters and a hanging man that scared me almost as much as it scared poor Perry, who was trapped in the same room with it!

The only issues I have are some minor editing/writing snafus, like typos and some rough phrasing. That's it. Otherwise, their adventure through a haunted hotel, complete with evasive ghosts (when aren't they evasive?), is perfect reading for when one wants something fun, short, and creepy.

This novella only confirmed that I made a good choice when I decided to give this series a second try. I'm picking up Red Fox and the rest of the series (especially The Dex-Files; an incredibly sexy story from it companion novel helped reignite my interest in this series) as soon as possible.

4 stars!

What am I reading next?: The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron