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on May 26, 2000
How many times have you read a novel and found it quite good, except for one fatal flaw? Well, my friends, this was one of those times for me.
This book was okay. It wasn't "Ammie Come Home" wonderful but it wasn't unreadable either. I even managed to tolerate the, mercifully subdued, depiction of a five-year-old girl being disembowelled.
It was goin' good then BAM! Out of nowhere characters who had been given every warning that something was wrong in this house decided to bring two young children into it.
The main character, a woman named Katie actually allows her neice to keep a doll that she has every reason to believe is...well let's just say she aint Raggedy Ann. It might have made sense had the Katie character been secretly malignant but she wasn't. Just stupid.
Katie wasn't the only idiot in the book either. These poor children had a mother who seemed to feel that sleeping in the same room with her babies would bring the world to a screeching halt.
In itself this view isn't so bad but what about when mom has just stared into the eyes of a long dead woman whose glare eminates hate and evil?
And the fun goes on and on. By the end of the book, when Katie (Who should have known this better than ANYONE) actually wonders where the ghost could have hidden the missing child even my cat was caughing up hairballs of impatient frustration. It's a miracle ANY one got out alive. ...Including my cat.
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on August 10, 2000
Ruby Jean Jenson captivated my interest from page one in this novel. THE HAUNTING offers a portrait of a house filled with and maintained by evil. The first half of the novel brings us face to face with people from nearly a century ago who are struggling with the bizarre occurrences in the house. Katrina, Eddie, and Angie slowly come to realize the horrors that await in the house's belly. The second half brings modern-day characters who happen to have a link to the past. They move into the house and *voila!* you have yourself a creepy little creature story. Miss Theodora (mistress of the house) is delightfully wicked, although a great deal of her evil is left to the imagination of the reader.
I agree with some who say this is not the greatest of horror novels. I also feel that the novel, especially the second half, drags on far too long. However, I enjoyed getting to know the earlier characters, and I had to keep reading to find out how the good vs. evil struggle ends. The language is wonderful, and I like Jensen's writing style. This isn't a true haunted house story but rather a story that involves satanism/black magic, reincarnation, revenge, animal and human sacrifice and slithering reptilian creatures. Don't read this one expecting great, classic horror. But if you like a story that will grab you and give you goosebumps, I certainly recommend this one.
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on April 8, 2002
The book was ok. The only real problem I had with it, which is why I gave it 3 stars and not higher , was the lack of explanation of the head mistress Miss Theodora. There were soooo many unexplained things about her that when I finsihed the book, I was left speechless. What significance did that doll have, really? How old was she.. really? Why/ how did she become what she was? Why the sacrifices? What made Katrina special? The lack of characterization of the other characters was not as bad but , when your main bad guy is leaving you wondering, I think there is something wrong. In order for a real conclusion, you need to know why it was done... what made them do it. In some of the worst books I have read, they at least explained why! Only one thing about her( sort of ) was explained and even then I had questions about that. The elementals..How did Katie know what they were called in the first place? And there were others. The story idea itself had a lot of promise. I just think that it missed the my opinion..I like books were I use my imagination.. But not where the bad guys are concerned.
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on May 5, 2003
The first half of the book intrigued me - it gives the background of the house and the story of its former inhabitants. I wish the author had spent more time on this. We never get any idea as to why Miss Theodora was involved with the creepy inhabitants of her cellar, or what eventually becomes of her (other than a very cursory description). Instead the story jumps ahead to modern times where a widow decides to buy the house.
The main character's initial visit to the house was well written, even creepy. Few horror authors can accomplish "creepy", and instead resort to gore. I felt that this was the strongest point of the whole book. But the story kind of unravelled from there. It seems as though the author tried to wrap things up in a hurry, and the story suffers.
Bottom line: it's worth reading, there aren't enough good haunted house books out there. I would give it 2 1/2 stars, but was given the choice of 2 or 3.
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on August 17, 2000
The first half of this book is interesting, telling us the story of a mute boy, doomed by his placement with an evil distant relative. He is a likable and sympathetic character, and I found it easy to get involved in his story. Then, in the second half of the book the main character, a young recent widow, moves into the old house many years later. Everything she does is ridiculous, and contrary to anything that anyone with an ounce of commonsense would do. The fact that she and her sister, two adults, could get into and remain in the situations that occur is absolutely ludicrous. (And haven't they ever heard of generators or camping lanterns?) Also, the book is less about ghosts per se than about evil beings so the title may be misleading to some people.
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on May 5, 2003
J is actually giving us two books in one. the first part is about a mute guy that moves to his aunt's. this guy is definitely the worst part of the tsory. j spends ages trying to make us develop sympathy for the guy. I got it the first time. after wading to his unfortunate fortune, the story finally develops. there is something spooky about the aunt. she is not what she appears to be. what happened to the last guy who worked there and suddenly disappeared? and what is it that the little girl is scared of. i can't give away more, but there's a second part where a family moves in the house. there are some good descriptions here, and despite the mute, there is some suspence too. all in all it works out, though there are some loose threads. i'll give it a weak 3.
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on March 31, 2000
It is unfortunate that this novel has the same title as last summers horror film fiasco. This is a truly creepy, look over your shoulder, late night horror novel. Basically, the house is haunted by demonic creatures which have been conjured up by a former occupant of the house. Jensen reveals just enough details about the creatures to make your skin crawl. If you think you have this novel figured out in the first fifty pages, think again. The author know how to throw in twists. The characters you are sure will survive don't make it. I can't tell you much without spoiling the suprises, but if you like novels by Muriel Grey, John Saul or Richard Laymon you will enjoy this 'Haunting'.
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on May 19, 2001
The Haunting by Ruby Jean Jensen is a wonderful book. When i got the book from a friend a year ago, i only read the first chapter, but i was bored one day and descided to finish reading starting from the beginning again, and i COULD NOT put down the book. I made the mistake of reading it before i went to bed and everytime i heard a noise i jumped. Sometimes i was afraid to keep reading in some parts because i was afraid that it would scare me too much. The ending, i thought, was very unexpected. I cried at the end. This book is a MUST READ. So if you aren't sure whether to buy it or not, then let me make the descision for you, YES BUY IT. You won't regret it!!!!
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on July 17, 2000
Part one of this novel is quite interesting and contains the horror that the reader is seeking. However, once the characters Katrina, Eddie, and Angie no longer on the scene, the book dies. Part two have the main characters running all over the house that was focal in part one. Upstairs, downstairs, in the dungeon, the first floor, the balcony, the third floor, the second floor, the hallway, the stairway, the porch, etc.etc. Believe me, you'll need your motion sickness medicine to help you through this book.
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on May 1, 2000
I was expecting to be deliciously frightened while reading this book, based on its reviews on amazon. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a banal story with the expected twists and turns that one can find in any mediocre horror novel. The characters were not fleshed out, especially Ms. Theodora, and the ending was simply awful. Moreover, the book left too many questions unanswered. If you want to be scared, please do not waste your money and time on this book.
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