Review: Lying Season (Experiment in Terror #4) by Karina Halle

13061289Title: Lying Season (Experiment in Terror #4)
Author: Karina Halle
Genre: Paranormal Mystery, Ghosts, Romance, Horror
Publisher: Metal Blonde Books
Publication Date: December 13th 2011
Author Website | Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Review copy provided by the author in exchange for a review.

Ama­teur ghost-hunter Perry Palomino has bat­tled ghosts, fought off skin­walk­ers and skirted the fine line between life and death. But can she sur­vive bunk­ing down in Seat­tle for a week with her partner (and man she secretly loves) Dex and his perfect girl­friend, Jennifer? And can she do so while being tor­mented by a mali­cious spirit from Dex’s increas­ingly shady past? With love and life in the bal­ance, Perry must dis­cover the truth among the lies or risk los­ing every­thing she’s ever cared about.

Lying Season (Experiment in Terror #4) by Karina Halle is the fourth book in the Experiment in Terror series, one of my favorite paranormal mystery series ever. I’ve previously reviewed Darkhouse, Red Fox, Dead Sky Morning and a short story, The Benson.

Perry and Dex, the main characters of the Experiment in Terror series, are back for another round of ghostly apparitions, intense and scary scenes, and some sexual tension that will keep you on the edge of your seat in the fourth installment in the series. A lot of reviewers have named Lying Season as the best book in the series so far, but I tend to disagree. While I enjoyed the book thoroughly, I’m a bit disappointed that the increasing chemistry between Perry and Dex reached a climax this soon. I won’t get into detail as not to spoil anything, but there’s a turning point in their relationship in this book, and while I’ve been cheering for them from the start, it feels a bit anti-climax to get here this soon.

While the previous books in the series were very action-driven, with things happening every two seconds, Lying Season is more character-driven. I enjoyed getting to know more about Dex and Perry through their interactions with the people close to them. But unfortunately this also meant losing some of the action, and I wasn’t entirely prepared to let it go yet. I feel like at parts this book focused too much on the relationship between Perry and Dex and not enough on the events happening, like the ghost investigation for instance. Here we have the perfect, PERFECT setting for a ghost hunter show and for a novel – a haunted asylum. Is there anything even remotely scarier than a haunted asylum? We meet some of the ghosts of the asylum, but then it’s like the novel takes another direction and just forgets all about it. While I see the logic behind this, I’m a bit disappointed I couldn’t have seen more of Perry and Dex while entering the asylum and facing the ghosts. I think now it was handled in a few chapters. The setting was perfect – haunted mental insitution – and the tension was there, but I feel like it has been overlooked too fast. I was pretty scared, but it didn’t last long.

As for people interested in Jenn, Dex’ long-time girlfriend, well, be prepared to get annoyed. In this book, we finally meet Jenn, and let me tell you, if you were like me, hoping to find a reason why Dex fell in love with her and started dating her, you’re in for a surprise. There is none. I’m still flabbergasted at how these characters could end up together. Jenn is superficial and boring, mean and always eager to pick a fight with Dex. They couldn’t be more different. I wasn’t a big fan of Jenn in the beginning of the Experiment in Terror series, and I’m even less right now.

Perry is the star of this show. Her determination is astonishing. She never gives up, no matter what life throws at her. I loved her before this book, but I love her even more now. She’s also the perfect match for Dex and he’s moron for not finding out sooner. They understand each other on every level, and each have a haunting, traumatic past. That said, I loved how their relationship developed in this book. Their interactions are more attuned to each other than ever, and the stakes are higher than ever before as well. The title, Lying Season is very suiting to the plot. There are more secrets revealed in this book, and more lies uncovered than in an episode of Pretty Little Liars. It’s time for Dex and Perry to tell the truth – but can they, and what will it mean to them?

I must applaud author Karina Halle for starting out with a killer book, Darkhouse, but managing to upt those stakes with every sequel. The characters of Perry and Dex are written like living and breathing human beings, real and honest, with flaws and errors, judgements and fears. Tension is high, and this book has some scary scenes. It’s a great addition to the Experiment in Terror series, and I can’t wait to read the next book. If you’ve enjoyed this series so far, you will definitely enjoy Lying Season as well. It wasn’t my personal favorite, but it was for a lot of other people. I for one, can’t wait to read On Demon Wings and find out what happens next to Perry and Dex, one of my all-time favorite fiction couples.

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