NetGalley Book Review
I thought this book was average at best, however, it was not as scary as I thought it was going to be since it was based around ‘the most haunted house in America.’ There was honestly only two or three creepy/supernatural things that happened in the entire book. I recently just read a YA book centered around a powerful ghost and it was like three times as scary as this horror book for adults. My second major point is that there was almost too much ‘supernatural’ things going on at once. It was like a frenzy, so much was happening but at the same time nothing was.
A major thing that took away some of my enjoyment of the book was that there were far too many powerful ghosts and they didn’t mesh well together. There was Judson, the ‘leering creatures’ that he controlled, there was possessed little girls, crazy Judson worshippers, Anna and the Native American siren.
That is far too many minor evil creatures to keep track of. Of course, it could have worked but the way that the ending came together, it was far too confusing and felt extremely messy that I wasn’t even nervous or excited for the big ending scene. I think Judson and Anna should have been the main focus as spirits.
I understand that this was an adult book but I just felt uncomfortable with the whole Shelley family issue. I don’t know why the focus had to be so sexual. At first, I thought there was a connection between Judson and the young woman he raped on the land, and that’s why Honey was so sexually driven. But I don’t think that was the case, so maybe it was just the author’s way of showing how disturbing the whole situation on the peninsula is, but still, it was just awkward to read and I personally don’t think it added much.
I also found the main character, David, to be quite annoying. He was as many characters in the book suggested, arrogant and selfish. I thought he was too pretentious and I found myself not caring what happened to him. In fact, since he was so irritating I wanted the ghosts to get him. His inner dialogue was also massive and so time-consuming to read that most of the time I just skimmed over it because he wasn’t saying anything important anyway.
I also found it confusing that the author kept calling them ghouls when a ghoul is more like a zombie creature than an evil spirit. Also, I found one page where ‘Anne’ is written instead of ‘Anna’ (in chapter 30).
Concluding, I think the title is misleading because the siren was such a minor part of the story, I think she should have just been cut out altogether, however, I do like the cover art. This was a very odd story and some points were frightening but it could have been a lot better.
Overall rating: 3 out of 5 stars
The Siren and The Specter by Jonathan Janz is available for purchase: Buy here