A (very) mature young adult novel that is scary, sexy and relatable, filled with the supernatural and things that go bump in the night.
In a large, flaky nutshell, the Experiment in Terror Series is an eight-part sci-fi/fantasy/horror series that revolves around a pair of ghost hunters. Well, aspiring ghost hunters, anyway. After filming a creepy experience in her uncle’s dilapidated lighthouse, 22-year old Perry Palomino becomes a YouTube and internet star overnight. She attracts the attention of Dex Foray, a producer and cameraman for a site that specializes in various webisodes, who convinces her to be a host for a low-budget ghost hunting series. The only problem is, neither Perry or Dex are entirely “with it” — I mean, they see ghosts, after all. And when the duo isn’t wrestling with their very notion of reality, they’re grappling with a working relationship that’s deep-cut with sexual tension. As the series moves on, leading Perry and Dex to new locales and supernatural situations, their lives become more and more intertwined, where they discover that ghosts aren’t the only things that can haunt them.
So I am doing something a little different. I am reviewing a whole series, as it is, up to this point. This does not mean the series is over, in fact, there is a novella set to come out in July, called Old Blood, The Dex Files due out sometime this summer which is a novella from Dex’s POV, and book 6, Into the Hollows is out this fall. I am curious to see what you all think of this type of review, so please let me know.I am also going to try and do this without any major spoilers, but am not sure how that will go, thought I think I did ok.
I’ve got to say, in the beginning, I was not a fan of Darkhosue (book 1). I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it. But I had promised a friend (thanks Samina!) I would at least read through Red Fox (book 2). Well, from there I bought the rest of the books. But it wasn’t until Dead Sky Morning (book 3) that I was hooked. I was dreaming about the characters and I realized, this was going to be one of THOSE books. Where I think about the characters like they are real people. Crap. Like I need another one of those.
So, like I said. I was not sold on Darkhouse. It just didn’t “do it” for me. I guess there was just too much information about the characters, but at the same time I felt like I ended that book knowing nothing about them. There were obviously lots of secrets, and as a reader I like to know just a little bit more than the people experiencing things in the story. Not much, I don’t want to be able to guess what’s going to happen, but I really like to understand their motivations better. I didn’t feel I got that with the first book.
Red Fox (book 2) and The Benson (2.5) sucked me in more. There wasn’t as much back story needed, and there was way more Dex & Perry time, which I think was what was missing early on. I really enjoyed their interactions and banter back and forth. I also really connected with Perry in these two, with her inner conflict about how she actually feels about Dex. I enjoyed the fact that there was some sort of instant attraction, but not instant love. Dex even has a girlfriend. Of course, we immediately hate her. Perry said it best (and I am paraphrasing here) that she is a horrible person but she is also the embodiment of everything we (as girls) aspire to be, and that is sick.
But it wasn’t until Dead Sky Morning (book 3) that I was hooked. That book actually gave me nightmares, and I couldn’t put it down. And there are things that happen in that book that I had been wanting to happen for a while. Well, it didn’t satisfy me totally, but it was like an appetizer. I was no longer starving and could wait. While they are on this spooky as hell island, they both have personal things they are dealing with, which makes them vulnerable to the supernatural, and I really had no idea how they were going to survive. The fact there were more books placated me some, because I knew the story went on so I could power through.
Obviously they make it through, but not totally unscathed, because there are 2 more books. I read them in about 2 days. Lying Season (book 4) was my favorite and least favorite of the whole series. Perry goes to stay with Dex and Jen, so there is a lot more Perry/Dex interaction, which let’s be honest, is all I care about . Of course having Jen around throws a wrench into things, but we learn more about her (I can’t say I was terribly surprised) and like her even less. Because by this point, we all know Dex and Perry need to be together. And I really thought they would be at the end of this book. Too bad I was wrong. When characters make decisions I don’t understand, it makes me want to throw my Kindle across the damn room. I don’t because I would lose hundreds of books, but I really consider it. Of course, by now we know how crazy Dex really is, so his decisions don’t always make sense, in that he is of the”I am on medication” type of crazy.
And last but certainly not least, On Demon Wings (book 5) … Holy shitballs. For obvious reasons, Dex is not in here much. And I really can’t say anything about this book without spoiling something. Like that part where they … nope. Or maybe when she finds out … nuh uh. I really can’t do it. I would be more than happy to discuss this book with you, in private, but I don’t want to ruin anything for EIT virgins. All I can say, is read it. You will (probably) like it. I did. Well, most of it. I did like how Perry and Ada (her sister) seemed to bond more, but I did not like finding out that another character, who shall remain nameless, is a giant douchcanoe, quoting Ada. This one was quite hard to read. Perry has a lot to deal with, and her regular support isn’t there.
To sum it up, each book in the series gets better and better. The characters grow and change, the history makes more sense, and hopefully things will be more pleasant for everyone in Into the Hollows. Even though it took me through book 2 to get into this series, I have to give it, as a whole, 5 out of 5 baskets. I don’t have to love the first book to love a series. It certainly helps, but is not a requirement.
Now I just have one question for Ms. Halle … who do I need to kill to get an advanced copy of The Dex Files (a novella from Dex’s POV) and Into the Hollows (book 6)?
For more information, please check out the website here. Or just buy the damn books already at the following links.