Monday, March 25, 2013

Horrorscape by Nenia Campbell

Title: Horrorscape
Author: Nenia Campbell
Publisher: CreateSpace
Release Date: March 15, 2013
Pages: 292 pages
How I Got the Book: ARC from the author
Purchase/Pre-order: Amazon

Horrorscape (Horrorscape, #2)Val receives a calling card from a very dangerous boy who wants to play with her. It's a game without rules, logic, or consequence, and he'll stop at nothing to claim her as his—even if it means destroying them both.

Three years ago, Valerian Kimble got herself entangled with a burgeoning sociopath intent on adding her to his own columns of wins and losses. She managed to escape him, but at a terrible cost...

This time it's personal.

Now a high school senior, Val is a pale shadow of the girl she once was and still recovering from the terrible trauma she suffered at his hands. She is understandably reluctant when her friends receive mysterious invitations to a theme party being held in one of the old manor homes on the edge of town.

Right away, something about the party seems off. The other guests are secretive, and strangely hostile. Cell phones don't work. Doors lock and unlock, seemingly at will. And the festivities start to take a turn for the sinister as the evening progresses. Because their host loves games. Loves them so much that he's decided to make a little wager. The deadline is sunrise. The stakes? Their lives.

Let the games begin.



Another little disclaimer: the author is my friend, but that affects neither my review nor my rating.

Ah, a good old-fashioned booby-trapped house kind of horror novel. Movies like that are always a bundle of fun and Campbell's book bring back that nostalgia and then some.

Valerian is a very different girl from the naive child we knew in Fearscape. The aftermath of what happened with Gavin has changed her, as has the harassment she's faced. People calling her a terrorist over it is a little over-the-top, but the pain of people saying she lied about what she went through is a perfectly good reason for her change. Throughout the novel, the twisted games Gavin puts her through yet again in his quest to conquer her turn her not into the girl she used to be or keep her who she is now, but turn her into someone new. A girl willing to do what she has to in order to save herself or her friends.

A girl who might be able to kill.

Gavin's game is more open this round, but it's no less horrible to see people taken in by him, only able to see through it when it's too late. If they escape him? They're beyond lucky. Val's best friend Lisa grated on me in the first book, but getting into her POV this book gave me a new respect for her. Speaking of which, the POV changes around just as much as it did in Fearscape but there's more consistency, depth, and reason to them. There was one instance of it changing mid-paragraph for no reason, but that's greatly improved from book one. Thank goodness!

And may I say that I LOVE to see a story where the heroine is sexually attracted to her story's villain but knows that's all there can ever be between them? If there's a guilty pleasure trope out there for me, this is it. Yes yes yes.

There's so much to say about this book but so few ways I can say it and sound sensible. The way Gavin twists children's games into something terrible, the three people he plays against Val and her friends, James (well, not really because he's an ass), new character Blake (who I'm kinda-sorta shipping with Val, SHUT UP), the tension as Val and her friends try to make it through the night intact, and beyond... I loved it all. Just as I do with Fearscape, I'm sure I'll be flipping through my favorite sections of this novel in the future.

With the way it ended, it's difficult to imagine what will go on in book three, Terrorscape. How does he find out? What "game" will he put her through next? Will she finally triumph or will he win after all? I must know!

Sooooooo, how's Terrorscape going, Nenia? ;)

What am I reading next?: Golden by Jessi Kirby