2013 Winner — Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award — Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror
It’s Halloween, and life is grim for 23-year-old Dimitri Petrov. It’s the one-year anniversary of his parents’ deaths, he’s stuck on page one thousand of his Rasputin zombie novel, and he makes his living writing obituaries.
But things turn from bleak to terrifying when Dimitri gets a last-minute assignment to cover a séance at the reputedly haunted Aspinwall Mansion.
There, Dimitri meets Lisa, a punk-rock drummer he falls hard for. But just as he’s about to ask her out, he unwittingly unleashes malevolent forces, throwing him into a deadly mystery. When Dimitri wakes up, he is in the morgue—icy cold and haunted by a cryptic warning given by a tantalizing female spirit.
As town residents begin to turn up gruesomely murdered, Dimitri must play detective in his own story and unravel the connections among his family, the Aspinwall Mansion, the female spirit, and the secrets held in a pair of crumbling antiquarian books. If he doesn’t, it’s quite possible Lisa will be the next victim. – Goodreads.com
Wow. This book was unlike anything I’ve ever read and just downright good from cover to cover. A mix of horror, fantasy, comedy, and romance – it has a little something for everyone.
I loved Dimitri’s voice. The way he looked at life, others, himself – I could completely identify with him and he had me laughing more than once. The guy loses both his parents in a car accident, is writing a subpar Rasputin zombie novel, writes obituaries for a living and wakes up in a morgue – you’ve really got to maintain a sense of humor to get through all that.
The intriguing mystery with Aspinwall Mansion, the female spirit, old books, family connections and the gradual reveal were done well, with some twists and surprises along the way. As far as characters, you loved some and hated others and to me, that’s great character development to provoke those feelings in a reader.
A fast-paced novel, loveable (and unloveable) characters, supernatural elements, suspense, with some humor and a little romance thrown in – what’s not to like? As a warning, there were some dark moments that may not be for the faint of heart. I’m not surprised at all that Poe was the 2013 Winner — Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award — Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror. I’ll be looking for other books by this author.
This review is based on a digital copy from the publisher through NetGalley.