Hey Guys! It is Max here and I will be reviewing a book christened Curse of the Dead-Eyed Doll By Kingsley Troupe today. I received this book via NetGalley and I am so grateful that the publisher- Jolly Fish Press, accepted my request to attain an eARC for this novel. So, before we dive into the review, I shall equip you with the genre, release date and the page count of the novel:
Genre: Middle-Grade; Horror
Page Count: 136
Release Date: September 1st 2019
So, without further ado, let us enter the realm of the review for this novel.
- All thoughts and opinions are on my own and,
- The review for this book is spoiler-proof. So, feel free to stay until the very end of this article!
Alejandro Padilla isn’t superstitious and he doesn’t believe the stories that an old sailor doll in a Key West, Florida, the museum is haunted. Robert the Doll might look creepy, but that doesn’t mean the doll is cursed. So Al ignores the tour guide’s warning to ask Robert’s permission before taking the doll’s photograph. But it isn’t long after Al’s field trip to the museum that strange things start happening. Al is quick to dismiss the odd occurrences as coincidence and bad luck . . . that is until they become more frequent and more sinister. Is the doll tormenting Al? And if so, what will Al have to do to get him to stop?
Every state has its own spine-tingling stories of ghosts and mysterious hauntings grounded in its regional history. The Haunted States of America series uses real-life ghost lore as jumping-off points to new, chilling tales. An author’s note provides historical origins and fascinating facts, but beware: sometimes real life is stranger than fiction.
Although this is a middle-grade novel which I am slowly detaching from due to a constant change in my reading preference over the years, I was- surprisingly- able to fully immerse myself into this book and to take pleasure from the experience because of the atmosphere and the horror aspects that are enmeshed in the novel. In addition, I enjoyed the pacing and the style of writing entangled in this novel. Without those aspects, I would probably dislike the novel and I did not particularly like certain segments of the novel but we will converse on that later on.
“Robert thinks it’s rude to take his picture without asking. We’ve heard about the things that have happened to people who don’t follow the rule, and . . . they’re not good.”
In this 136 pages novel, the pacing was adroitly composed. In the first chapter, we learn about a school trip to a museum that holds a doll that has a spirit imbued into it. Our main character named Alejandro Padilla travels with the school to the museum to visit this enigmatic doll. He snubs the rules and regulations surrounding the doll and snaps a picture of it, supplementing with insults to fuel the spirit’s seething disturbances. Therein, eerie instances start to occur. The story itself made me flip page after page until I reach the end because of how compelling the writing style was. OH! I almost forgot, there are gorgeous illustrations which expedite the pacing of the novel and keep readers invested in the story.
“His breath rushed out of him like a balloon releasing all of its air in one sputtering gust.”
The atmosphere that enwreathes around this novel is thick and slick with suspense because with each sequence accentuating the scope of reality that the background story of the doll is real, the protagonist becomes more frantic and the readers of the novel continue to be encapsulated by the character’s distress and troubles. I definitely felt the atmosphere when I read the book because of, again, the writing style and the character’s decisions and to add on further is his intuition. Everything just coils around the theoretical box of the story conscientiously.
“Al managed a fake laugh that felt foreign coming out of his mouth. Nothing that had happened to him in the past day was funny, but he wanted to make it seem like nothing was bothering him.”
The style of writing for this novel which I had been gushing about for the prior three sentences finally make an appearance in this review. I enjoyed the panorama view on how Alejandro Padilla– the main character was handling the issue at hand since he does not believe in anything paranormal and uncanny that will provoke goosebumps to roam around the surface of your epidermis. For example, the quote above suggests that he is slowly sinking into madness due to the recent activities. The author provides us with a writing style that could easily be embedded in our brain and I relished on the way he hones the power to craft such intricate details of the novel.
“And end up on the “wall of shame” with all of the other dummies who believe in this supernatural garbage? Al thought. No way!”
However, several aspects of the novel that I did not savour were some of the horror scenes. Some of the scenes or rather, commotions were mildly run through without the character lingering in the situation to show his inner turmoil. Moreover, there were various horrifying scenes which I felt that they were a little too relaxed for the character. For example, a hand pops out from his locker and he, definitely, is shocked for a moment but the moment is quickly replaced by interruptions from his friends or acquaintances or family and nothing happens after those sequences. I was disheartened as I thought the petrifying uproars will last longer but it did not.
“But when you see him in real life, you’ll see what all the fuss is about.”
Moreover, I thought the characters and family aspects of the story could be ameliorated as I came out of the story kenning the plot but not the characters and the protagonist’s family background. For example, the main character’s mother is not present in the story and I would love to know more about their family history and how it was waxed to be in this way. To be honest, I was waiting for the mother’s appearance but her presence was not adjacent in this novel. In addition, I cannot grasp the characters’ personalities as they were all very generic in my eyes and without their personalities, I cannot understand why they implemented various actions sometimes.
In conclusion, I am furnishing this novel with a grading of C (60%). I did actually enjoy myself while reading this book but it could not appoint it with a higher rating due to the segments that I did not expressly fancy. Thus, the rating.
This is the end of my spoiler-free review for Curse of the Dead-Eyed Doll By Thomas Kingsley Troupe! I hope you all enjoyed it and follow me with your email/Wordpress account to get notifications when I post a new article! Bye!