Book Review: Timeless Innocents by Janis Susan May

13631142Title: Timeless Innocents
Author: Janis Susan May
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Novella
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication Date: June 11th 2012
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Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

When Brianna Forte is made executor of the Clerkwells’ estate, she thinks it’ll be a simple task to catalogue and liquidate their assets. After all, they lived very modestly, their only apparent interest in life being a large collection of eerily lifelike little figurines called Timeless Innocents.
Exquisitely crafted yet somehow ominously creepy, the figurines are all different and made of some hard fleshlike material. When a parade of sinister characters turn up demanding she sell them the figures, Brianna begins to investigate their origin—and what she learns will change her life forever…

Lawyer Brianna Forte needs to take care of the estate of the Clerkwell’s, who were best friends with her Dad before they passed away. The strange thing about the Clerkwells is that they have an entire room filled with collectibles, the so-called Timeless Innocents. In their will, it stipulates how they want people to take care of the collectibles as well. Brianna doesn’t think much about it. She thinks the small figurines, the little people staring back at her curiously from the shelves, are simply plain creepy. She can’t begin to understand why anyone would collect them. But then strange things start to happen at the Clerkwell’s estate, things which Brianna grows to believe, may be connected to the Timeless Innocents…

Timeless Innocents is one of the first horror novellas published by Carina Press, and I’m glad they expanded into this genre. I’ve always enjoyed reading horror, and in my opinion, there simply aren’t enough publishers interested in the genre. That said, this book was an enjoyable read, but not a particularly outstanding one. On the one hand, the story feels like it’s too short to really gets its message across, on the other hand it’s suspenseful enough to keep me reading. My major problem was with what happens at the end of the novel, and what the Innocents really turn out to be.

To be honest, I went in expecting more. I don’t know why – I’d never read Janis Susan May’s novels before, but the concept of this novella just seemed so intriguing I wanted to give it a try. The novella is definitely intriguing, and it builds up the tension nicely, but the ending falls flat. I’d kind of hoped to get an explanation of why the Timeless Innocents appear to be the cause of everything, and why they appear to be haunted – what about, they become hosts of little kids’ spirits? Now that would’ve been spooky! – but unfortunately no such answers are given.

The storyline is fairly predictable. I wasn’t truly scared throughout this book, since I could see the plot twists miles away. That didn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it though. It’s a nice, eerie book, but it’s nothing outstanding. That’s all right though. Not every horror novel needs to be the new “Salem’s Lot” (and even that one had its flaws).

This definitely won’t be the last book I’ll read by author Janis Susan May. If I get my hands on another one, I’m definitely trying it. I like those kind of books that are scary, but just not creepy enough to give you the chills. Timeless Innocents definitely belongs in that category. The writing is solid, the characters are interesting and the overall story is enjoyable, albeit a bit predictable. I’d recommend it to everyone who wants a quick, fun read but don’t go in expecting too much.

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