Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell
|Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: Ooh! Thoroughly satisfying horror (and part of a new series) involving creepy dolls and set in motion by a ouija board session. Genuinely creepy and a few nice red herrings. Horror fans will love it.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 368||Date: January 2015|
|Publisher: Stripes Publishing|
|External links: Author's website|
When Sophie and Jay play around with a ouija board app that Jay has downloaded to his phone, things go awfully wrong. Sophie asks to speak to Rebecca, a cousin of hers who died in mysterious circumstances. But what Rebecca has to say is not good. And that very night, Jay drowns in the canal after falling from his bike. A tragic accident. Or was it?
Determined to find out exactly what happened to both Rebecca and Jay, Sophie goes off to stay with her uncle and surviving cousins on the remote island of Skye. Here, she finds a friendly soul in Piper, a standoffish reserve in Cameron and a strange paranoia in little Lilias. Each of them has different things to say about their dead sister. And then there is Rebecca's collection of Frozen Charlotte dolls. As Sophie digs deeper, she discovers that the dolls are linked not only to Rebecca's death, the fire that burned Cameron and Lilias's mental problems, but also to deaths in the house in the past...
Dolls are scary, right? Right?! I was scared of the Frozen Charlotte dolls. They really creeped me out. And I was particularly revolted by the fact that Bell has them whole, dismembered, worn as jewellery and heaven knows what else. The awful things were everywhere and it really added to the sense of menace for me. At one point, Sophie thinks she has rid the house of all of them but - of course! - she hasn't. Ugh. If I see a spider in the house I spend endless hours brushing imaginary spiders off my arms and neck. And, reading Frozen Charlotte, I felt pretty much the same - there was an unpleasant urge to keep checking that one of the nasty things hadn't leapt from the page and infected my house, just by dint of my reading. And you know, that really is what a horror story is supposed to do.
I enjoyed the odd red herring thrown at me at the outset but I also enjoyed that the villian of the piece became obvious early enough on for me to watch and anticipate what they would do next and how they would end up. And I also liked Sophie, who starts out with feet of clay but ends up as a fully paid up member of the evil-fighting squad. And I liked the way her grief for Jay, the boy who died at the very beginning, was suffused with what could have been. Jay was a beloved friend who could have become a beloved boyfriend and the missed chance is what propels Sophie to put herself in danger, despite her better judgement. I can get with that.
And of course, there's a little twist at the end - these things are never truly over. Shudder.
Great start to a promising series. Horror fans: read it.
Frozen Charlotte is just one in the Red Eye series from Stripes. If you're a fan of horror, I think you should check out the others, too. You can check out the others here. Alternatively, you could try Nearly Departed by Rook Hastings, Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough or Hunger by Melvin Burgess.
You can read more book reviews or buy Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell at Amazon.com.
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