Monday, November 19, 2012

REVIEW: Unhallowed Ground by Daniel Mills

Unhallowed Ground by Daniel MillsTitle:                      Unhallowed Ground
Author:                  Daniel Mills
Release Date:     Oct 16/2012
Publisher:           Dark Fuse
Page Count:        78
Acquired:            Netgalley
Format:              Ebook (epub)
Read From:         Nov 7 -Nov 12/2012
Goodreads:         ADD
Purchase:           Amazon/Indigo

In the summer of 1891, Henry Feathering travels to Bittersweet Lodge at the invitation of his reclusive widower uncle. Under the shadow of the dilapidated old mansion, Henry falls in love with the enigmatic Clemency St. James and proposes to her in the shelter of a locust grove.

As the newlyweds settle into the lodge, they soon learn of the house’s sordid past—ghostly visitations, unexplained illnesses, and madness—which now plagues Henry and Clemency, creating an irreparable rift between them.

Can they salvage what is left of their marriage? Or will the unbridgeable distances dividing men from women, the past from the present, and the living from the dead doom them to the fate of what lies beneath the grave of a young girl buried on these unhallowed grounds...


I wanted to love this book. I wanted to SO badly. It began SO brilliantly, and spoke to me of only beautiful, promising things..*sigh* and then left me high and dry in a hole filled with my own disappointment. That was a horrible analogy. I just wish I could be writing a 5 star review right now. Do you SEE that cover!? How could it be anything but amazing? (Yes, this is me 'judging a book by it's cover').

It started off on a high, with beautifully decrepit scenery circa the 1800's Victorian era. I was placed in the most perfect mindset to read about a good haunting; a tale from beyond, of a spirit or presence that just won't rest. I was ALMOST given that, and with a dose of romance thrown in for flavour-the connection between Henry and Clemency was sweet and completely unforced, especially considering the swiftness of their courting. I loved their characters. I actually enjoyed all of the characters in this book-especially the mysterious and introverted Uncle, owner of the Bittersweet Lodge.

After the initial intriguing back story about the house and it's "former" occupants-this book took a nosedive into the realm of mediocre. I don't understand-I almost feel as though the author was being rushed near the end, like he was being told to "just write something, anything." I wish I could insert a visual journey of my emotions with this book. I went from a dream-state, to near ecstatic with anticipation, to slumping over in my chair with disappointment. I was waiting for a BANG! For the event that would satisfy the build-up, but there was none.

In defense of the book, however, I was completely clueless to it being a novella until I was a good ways in. I looked down at the page numbers on my Kobo and saw 30 of 78, and went "ah..I see now." If I had been privy to this initially, I MAY have understood the author's subtly in the way he handled the conclusion. Though as it stands, I think this book could have been squeezed for some more juice-it came SO close.

I recommend this book for readers with a respect for ambiguity in conclusions. Not that I am completely without it- I could understand what the author was striving to achieve here. I just prefer my books to have a more straight-forward ending.

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