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Angel Manor by Chantal Noordeloos

Angel Manor

by Chantal Noordeloos

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3921292,072 (3.65)2
  1. 00
    The Seventeenth Fontana Book of Great Ghost Stories by Ronald Chetwynd-Hayes (angelswing)
    angelswing: I read Angel Manor, and it was definitely horror. If you like that kind of book. I think you'll love, but it was almost too horrifying for me. Not my cup of tea.

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Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is certainly a book of horror. It was written well, but almost too horrifying for me. Not exactly my cup of tea. But if you like horror books, you'll probably love this one. ( )
  angelswing | Mar 13, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I fell behind on reviewing this as a LibraryThing Early Review, and I had to request for it to be resent by the publisher. They did so immediately and kindly, but even though I enjoy the horror/thriller category, and was eager to read it, I found the the opening scene of nuns torturing and killing children to be one of my no-go areas, so I am unable to read on.
I see the other reviews mention this very scene with pleasure and praise so I am sure the book is great if you are good with the starting point.
  souci | Aug 8, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received this book from LibraryThing in exchange for my honest review.

I am a sucker for Gothic horror, and this book did not disappoint! Gore and nuns? Who'd have thought that they would go together so well?! From the bloody prologue, I was enthralled. I am definitely looking forward to the next book in the series! ( )
  dpiccini | Aug 4, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I love a good haunted house story. Shirley Jackson‘s The Haunting of Hill House remains one of my favorite novels and one of my favorite films (the original, of course). I was thrilled to finally read The Shining recently. It’s a classic for a reason and one of King’s best (and better than the film, in my opinion). And then there are the sillier haunted house films that I love, especially House on Haunted Hill (again, the original).

So, I was somewhat excited to receive a free copy of Chantal Noordeloos’ debut novel Angel Manor through LibraryThing‘s Early Reviewer program. Haunted house plus scary nuns? Sounds good to me.

And the general plot is decent. Our protagonist Freya inherits a large, old house from her aunt and goes to check it out with her best friends Bam and Oliver. They have plans to turn it into a hotel (it’s that big). But Freya is skeptical. Her aunt was disturbed, living here her whole life, and the house drove Freya’s mother away, terrified of it. Should they move in and rehab the place?

Not if you’ve read the prologue. All kinds of demony business has happened in this house over the years, and now that there’s fresh blood on the property (literally), it’s ready to do more.

With a set-up like that, and a pretty decent beginning, I was really disappointed that the book didn’t follow through. Noordeloos’s writing starts fairly strong, and for the first half of the book, the story’s compelling, but it lacks a mature voice and suffers what seems to be common with first novels, in that the writing loses its punch as things go along.

The story’s also an odd mix of soap opera and grotesque horror set pieces and it has trouble maintaining a balance between these elements. Part of the problem I had was that Noordeloos’s main characters feel more like teenagers than adults in their twenties, and I grew impatient with them, eventually caring more about what happens to the crew of workers (mostly real teenagers) who come in to work on the house. Maintaining suspense and horror is challenging, even more so when the reader doesn’t care about what happens to the main characters (doubly so, when the writer kills off the best one)

Another problem I had with Angel Manor was that the grotesqueness done to the female characters is much more gruesome (and this is a gruesome book) than what happens to the men. That’s a stereotype I’m tired of.

And then the ending just wouldn’t end. The final chapter finishes and the reader is faced with an epilogue and the reminder that this is the first book in a series. Endings are hard, but there should be one. ( )
  MFenn | Apr 4, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The story of a woman who inherits an old house that's been in the family for years and wants to turn it into a hotel with her two friends, this book was quite gruesome and very suspenseful.

The prologue was fantastically well-written, very gory and full of ritual sacrifice. As a result the following chapter, set in the modern day, felt a bit flat but the story picked up as it went along.

I felt that there was a little too much sex (and not the good kind - the themes were a little distasteful and there were too may descriptions of nudity) for my taste and I didn't feel it was always necessary.

The story moved along well with suspense building as we the readers are aware of the situation in a way the characters aren't and waiting for a resolution.

All in all I really enjoyed this book.

*i received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review ( )
  bellymonster | Mar 17, 2015 |
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