Saturday, October 13, 2012

Terror in Tower Grove by Samantha Johns--Review

I've been saving this review until October since it's all about demon possession and exorcisms. With Halloween only a few weeks away,  this is definitely the time to curl up with a good scary book! Read on to learn my thoughts on the paranormal thriller, Terror in Tower Grove by Samantha Johns.

Here is the publisher's blurb:

Terror at the hands of her vengeful ex-boyfriend was nothing compared to that of the uninvited supernatural visitor who menaces the lives of single mom Tricia Kelly and her young daughter Andrea. Looking forward to their new life in a large old house they just bought in a historic neighborhood, they find more lurking within those walls than they had bargained for.

At first Tricia is sexually drawn to the mysterious entity, as she tries to satisfy her own latent desires. Only later does she realize how dangerous giving in to these urges truly is.

Embroiled in the mystery of what it is that haunts them, they are even more horrified when young Andrea becomes possessed. Not until they discover exactly what it is that hates them all so much and seeks to destroy them do they have any chance at surviving.

Dangers, creatures and an unknown entity converge in this tale of a woman, her musically talented twelve-year-old daughter, her unsuspecting and handsome new lover, a quiet neighborhood boy who is drawn to young Andrea, and a friendly Catholic priest, as the four of them are thrust into a life-threatening ordeal that will bond them together forever.
This book is intended to be a sort of Exorcist, Amityville Horror, and American Horror Story mash up. It doesn't have the gore factor that the above tales do, but it still packs a strong punch. The story is fast paced, easy to follow, and provides some fun characters. I particularly enjoyed the tenacity and intellect of Andrea, the young daughter. She's a well written character going through lots of transition and wise beyond her years. Tricia has her hands full balancing her social and personal life while trying to deal with invisible sex from a ghost lover. This lover may turn out to be the bad guy, but apparently, he's been around the block a time or two when it comes to seducing the ladies who live in his house.
I think the book does a good job of taking some tried and true ideas about demon possession and giving them a fresh new twist. There is a lot of talk about religion in the book, particularly Catholicism, but I didn't feel that this book was really about that. It was more about the importance of sticking together in order to overcome all odds.
Yes, there were a few style things that bugged me. I don't enjoy "head hopping" in scenes. It's a common practice to shift the POV within a scene and lots of writers do it. For me, it's one of my pet peeves and I don't care for it. I also feel like a little more time could have been taken with the development of some of the character relationships.
Overall, Terror in Tower Grove is a fun read!

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