Sunday, December 16, 2012

Fearscape by Nenia Campbell

Title: Fearscape
Author: Nenia Campbell
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Release Date: November 30, 2012
Pages: ebook exclusive
How I Got the Book: Bought it.
Purchase/Pre-order: Amazon

Fearscape (Horrorscape, #1)He followed her because he wanted to own her. She trusted him because she wanted excitement. There's a saying that curiosity can kill … but Valerian Kimble is beginning to learn that satisfaction might just be worse.

Fourteen-year-old Valerian lives in an age where antiheroes and bad boys are portrayed as the romantic ideal, and good guys are passe and boring. So when Gavin Mecozzi, the school's brilliant but twisted loner, begins to show an interest in her after a chance meeting in a pet store, Val is intrigued. He's charming and poetic and makes her feel things that she thought were only possible in books--

Fear.

Because somebody is stalking Val. Somebody who wants to hurt her. Own her. Possess her. Maybe even kill her.

As her meetings with Gavin unravel into a more complex and frightening relationship, Val can't help but wonder if the new boy in her life is her depraved and obsessive stalker.

And whether he's capable of murder.

Time is running out.


Review:


Oh wow. This is another one of those books you finish reading and you feel like you just woke up after a wild night with someone. Here's my disclaimer that Nenia is my friend, but this doesn't affect my review or rating in any way.

Val is a very subdued character throughout the novel, but she feels like any other high school freshman I might meet. How long it takes her to figure out who the stalker might be is maddening, but I get why. Super naive and all. Doesn't make it much less frustrating. Her friends are a little flat, but that's okay; the story is about Val and Gavin, and that's where the novel really succeeds. Anyone looking for a mystery will want to look elsewhere because it's obvious Gavin is the stalker--so obvious that I don't consider saying so a spoiler. They have the same phrasing and overly formal speech mannerisms, after all. The mystery is more in what he will do next than who he is.

There are multiple scenes in Fearscape that really sent shivers up my spine, especially in the early messages Gavin sends Val and the uncovering of his personal journal. The writing could use some tightening up and there are a few errors throughout, but none of that manages to take away from the tense atmosphere the novel works hard to build from the very first page. The more messages Val gets and the more she get entangled in Gavin's web, the more impossible it became to stop reading. It's short, but that only partially contributes to why I devoured this in about a day and a half.

There's also the issue of some head-jumping. Most of the book is told in Val's point of view (in third person), but for a few paragraphs in a few different places, her mother and art teacher start narrating. Those sections tell too much about Val when we already know plenty about what kind of person she is. Unnecessary, really. She was well-characterized as sweet and naive long before those sections happened and they did nothing but annoy me.

Still, anyone in the mood for a short, creepy read should check this out. Now I have to go harass Nenia about the second book and prepare for our e-wedding.

3.5 stars!


What am I reading next?: Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi