Hello dear readers, before I begin I want to just let you know that I received this book as part of a book tour with The Write Reads in exchange for an honest review.
Lola Nox is the daughter of a celebrated horror filmmaker – she thinks nothing can scare her. But when her father is brutally attacked in their New York apartment, she’s swiftly packed off to live with a grandmother she’s never met in Harrow Lake, the eerie town where her father’s most iconic horror movie was shot.
The locals are weirdly obsessed with the film that put their town on the map – and there are strange disappearances, which the police seem determined to explain away.
And there’s someone – or something – stalking Lola’s every move.
The more she discovers about the town, the more terrifying it becomes. Because Lola’s got secrets of her own. And if she can’t find a way out of Harrow Lake, they might just be the death of her…
Title: Harrow Lake
Author: Kat Ellis
The Horror Genre
So I am still new to the horror genre. It’s not a genre I have read a lot of books from, so maybe I have set the bar too high, I’m not really sure.
When I thought about horror books, I had assumed that I would be losing sleep, seeing things in the dark, and being generally scared by what I was reading.
When I was reading Harrow Lake, I never really had those moments. I never felt like this Mister Jitters was going to keep me up at night. I never felt the fear.
On the shorter side
I am still on the fence on how I feel about the length of Harrow Lake. Coming in at 368 pages, that is plenty of time to scare someone, but it’s not too long that the horror turned into annoyance.
Harrow Lake didn’t seem to find a good balance in my opinion. There were times where I was annoyed, but then moments later I felt like I had hope that there was going to be something scary just around the corner.
The overall story itself felt kind of empty and full of holes. The whole premise of the story makes no sense. I don’t think the protagonist would be sent off to her grandmother’s house when her father got hurt.
If he was going to get better in just a few days, she could have stayed at home and someone could have watched her.
Even if that was the case, and she was shipped off to her grandmother’s, there are too many moments in the story that happen just for the sake of happening. There isn’t much rhyme or reason to it all, and the most description we get is “this place turns people bad”.
Scares seemed vague
The most “scared” I ever got when reading Harrow Lake was one of the first scares. The evil monster was still new, and we didn’t understand it yet.
After that, the scares seemed excessive, like they could be avoided with a bit of reason from the protagonist.
When a “scary” moment did happen, it felt like the writing just wasn’t developed enough. Like we were only getting the very surface of what was going on, and that didn’t go deep enough for me.
I’m sorry to say that I didn’t like this book. I always feel bad when I get a book from an author and didn’t like it.