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Doll Face by Tim Curran
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Doll Face

by Tim Curran

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It started with a well-known premise: some people taking a short-cut and ending up in a nightmare. But from then on, it was everything but usual and full of surprises. A somehow alive, constantly changing town full of doll-like creatures and abominations and seemingly no way out of it...

The ingredients for this story where resourceful and original, constantly revealing new surprises lurking around the next corner. However, I soon became tired of reading about yet another encounter with some strange doll figure. While each episode of this sequence presented another demented horror, I did not feel that it helped the story to continue.

Also, too often did the main characters repeat that their only chance to survive this horror was to face it - to act instead of react and thus defeat the controller of this weird little town.

While I was not too impressed by the unavoidable showdown, I felt reconciled by the last scene which was a nice little meany.

A very original but definitely too long story that may have been more exciting if written as a novella instead of full-length novel.

(I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review) ( )
  misspider | Jun 15, 2015 |
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The opening paragraph of Doll Face is masterful...

"It wasn't until later that Ramoma realized how neatly it all fell together. Like pieces of a die-cut puzzle, everything simply fit into place in that purely seemless and smooth sort of way that fate managed when it wanted something to happen. Or it wanted people to suffer."

Ramona, Creep, Soo-Lee, Lex, and Chazz are on their way home from a Green Day concert at the Garden when Chazz decides to take a shortcut. You know, if it weren't for shortcuts there would be way fewer horror stories in the world. This shortcut led them to the forgotten town of Stokes and the accident that trapped them in a nightmare.

There was an increasing unease as I made my way through the first few chapters of Doll Face as Curran does an excellent job of building the terror. The author pushes all the right buttons to exude creepiness in this character study of a small group of diverse young people and how they handle this very strange and stressful situation that could end up costing them their lives.

Doll Face has plenty of gore, the pace is non-stop with unrelenting horror which at times I found very disturbing, but this is horror and it's exactly what we signed up for as readers of this genre.

In the world of music producers, Phil Specter created what became know as the "Wall of Sound." Here, Tim Curran has created a "Wall of Terror" including some of the most disturbing images I've ever read. A word of warning, Doll Face is NOT for the faint of heart.

Doll Face is available now from Darkfuse and can be purchased through Amazon.com. If you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, you can read this work at no additional charge, and if your an Amazon Prime member you can make this your monthly FREE read through the Kindle Owners Lending Library.

If you're ready for unrelenting horror. Get this book. I don't think you'll be disappointed. ( )
  FrankErrington | Mar 7, 2015 |
Doll Face - Tim Curran Published 3 March 2015 by Dark Fuse
Number of pages: 264
My rating: ★ ★  It was OK
 
"Six friends are returning home from a night out when they end up in a town called Stokes. They discover they are trapped there, as Stokes does not really exist. The actual town had burned to the ground more than fifty years ago. The Stokes they are in is a nightmare version of the former town, engineered by a deranged and undead mind, a supernatural machine of wrath that will destroy them one by one....unless they submit to its dominance and become living dolls."
 
Doll Face was my first taste of Tim Curran's twisted imagination.  Having heard such good feedback about Curran's work and about this latest offering, I had high expectations, which unfortunately were not met.
 
I immediately found the premise of the book very reminiscent of  A.R. Wise's "314 (Widowsfield Trilogy)", where six characters in a van also end up being trapped in a town that no longer exists dominated by a mysterious entity, "the Skeleton Man".  The first character to die is virtually the same in both works...  unfortunately I simply could not escape the similarities...
However, whereas "314" has a multi-layered plot, spanning various time frames and well developed characters, Doll Face felt very one dimensional.
 
The time line was perfectly linear, and the events seemed to unfold in the space of a few hours.
We learn very little about its characters to even begin to care about them.  I felt that the main entity was the only one to have been given some personality.
 
There were some good and very imaginative sections, especially in the last third of the book, where things turned very sexual, dark and twisted.  However, the first two thirds felt quite repetitive, I found myself bored and I had to force myself to carry on reading.
 
I found the ending rushed, implausible (given the events that were being described), and overall predictable.
 
All considered, Doll Face gave me the feel of an old B-movie.
 
[ARC received via Netgalley] ( )
  BooksChatter | Mar 5, 2015 |
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