Michelle Muto's 'The Haunting Season': A Review
Click here to find Muto's haunting story.
I finally joined the age of technology and bought myself a kindle. While it's truly an amazing device, it's a real danger to pocketbooks around the world. I find it difficult to gage some stories without a cover and a serious lack of description, there are some promising writers in the bunch. I was incredibly curious of the free books and short stories that were offered, and that is precisely how I came across Michelle Muto. While her name is new to me, I'm glad that I happened to discover her work. Let's be honest though. This isn't anywhere near the best novel that I've ever read, but she has more than enough potential to warrant checking out her other titles.
Jess has a truly special gift. She can see and speak to spirits of the long departed. While most would fear these powers, Jess enjoys being able to communicate with the dead. When she is faced with the tragic untimely death of her father, the spirits almost seem to have forsaken her. In an interesting turn of events, she is invited to participate in a month long paranormal investigation at Georgia's most notoriously spirit infested hot spot, Siler House. Jess sees the opportunity to not only regain her communicative abilities, but to strengthen them as well, and maybe even find the ghost of her dear father.
As she enters the house with three other carefully selected students, she quickly realizes that things are not what they seem. Her cohorts each have their own uniquely special gifts and Dr. Brant, the head of the investigation, seems to have a secret of his own. Jess can tell that the house is sinister. An ancient evil lurks within the dark crevices of the house, where it watches and waits for the chance to pounce. Does Jess have the power to confront this evil? What roles will each investigator play? What exactly is Dr. Brant trying to hide?
Honestly, I was a little confused about 'The Haunting Season'. It reads very much like a younger reader story, but with a few sporadic curses and one decently steamy love scene. They don't necessarily add anything to the plot, which gives the novel a doctored up feel all around. The characters are supposed to be between 17 and 18, but for me, they read more like 12 year olds. The beginning of the story is slightly dry, as she tried to build character and tension. While I wish that everything had gotten into full swing quicker, once we finally get into the meat of the book, the feelings of desperation really jump to the forefront. The last quarter of the story was completely engrossing and I wasn't able to put it down. While over all the book was enjoyable, it almost seems like Muto is trying too hard to make the novel more grown up. I would say devote yourself to a younger audience and success is sure to come her way. I'm going to give the offering a very not-so-grim three stars.