Book Review: Dead Sky Morning (Experiment in Terror #3) by Karina Halle

12322385Title: Dead Sky Morning (Experiment in Terror #3)
Author: Karina Halle
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Supernatural, Horror, Ghosts
Publisher: Metal Blonde Books
Publication Date: October 13th, 2011
Rating: 5 stars
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Review copy provided by the author.

With the Experiment in Terror show finding some success, amateur ghost hunters Perry Palomino and Dex Foray embark on their most terrifying investigation yet. A tiny, fog-shrouded island in the rough strait between British Columbia and Washington State has held a dark secret for decades: It was a former leper colony where over forty souls were left to rot, die and bury each other. Now a functioning campground, Perry and Dex spend an isolated weekend there to investigate potential hauntings but as the duo quickly find out, there is more to fear on D’Arcy Island than just ghosts. The island quickly pits partner against partner, spiraling the pair into madness that serves to destroy their sanity, their relationship and their very lives…

I’ve previously reviewed the first two books in this series. You can read my review of Darkhouse or read my review of Red Fox, or take a look at my interview with author Karina Halle.

Do me a favor, and join me in this thought-experiment. Imagine you’re on your own in the dead of night in a haunted lighthouse with the ghost of the last resident, who was allegedly crazy, following your every move? Scared already? Good. Now, imagine that you’re on a remote farm in the Navajo desert where a couple is tormented by strange noises and animals going berserk. Some of the people you meet turn out to be Shaman shapeshifters ready to kill you at first sight. Shivers running down your spine? Excellent. Now…imagine that you’re sailing off to an abandoned island. Said island was previously used as a leper colony, and it was the sight of a lot of pain, despair and death. Sort of like Las Vegas for ghosts and troubled spirits. Additionally, you can’t go home whenever you want to, because the lake surrounding the island can be vicious and threacherous as well. Briefly put: you’re stuck on an abandoned island with god-knows how many spirits and there’s no way to escape. Meanwhile, the island tries to drive you crazy in a way that puts the producers of Lost to shame. There is no place you can run, because everything on the island is out to get you, from the ghosts of the lepers, to the mysterious specter of a young woman named Mary to the mischievous spirit of a little girl. Feeling ready to hide in your little corner and cry for your mommy? I know I certainly would.

And this is exactly what happens to Perry and Dex, ghost hunters extraordinaire, as they depart on their next mission in Dead Sky Morning. Like battling inhumanly strong shapeshifters isn’t quite dangerous enough, Dex manages to pick the one location that might very well destroy him and Perry both, and everything they ever shared. This island might just be able to turn them against each other, as loyalty is tested, the limits of their relationship are explored, and they must figure out whether or not they can truly trust each other. And on top of that, there is ghosts, blood, horror, coffins washing ashore, and a tension in the atmosphere that practically drives you crazy from page one, but doesn’t once let you relax until you’ve finished the entire book. The sense of foreboding is palpable from the very beginning, but Karina Halle takes her time to present us with the first real signs that something is terribly off on the island. The tension built-up is phenomenal and when the horrors are finally released…well let’s just say, it ain’t pretty.

Perry and Dex’s relationship is, once again, in the center of it all, reminding me – not for the first time – of Mulder and Scully’s strange relationship in the X-files, always on the borderline between just being friends and being something more. Whereas Mulder and Scully spent the majority of their time tracking down aliens, Perry and Dex battle ghosts in a way that would make even the Ghostbusters feel proud of them. I’m telling you, if it were me stuck on that freaking island of doom, I’d run for it. Dive into the water and make a swim to the other shore, rather than stay another night on a campground located directly above a graveyard. Especially if the things resting in said graveyard refuse to stay dead. But Perry and Dex, driven forward by a courage I cannot help but admire, and relying on each other for help and support, don’t make a run for it. They stay and fight in what is, without a doubt, the biggest challenge they’ve faced so far. Meanwhile, the tension between the two of them runs high, and their relationship is tested over and over again. Will they still be friends when all of this is over? Or will they be something more? I won’t tell you, because I’m not giving out spoilers freely. Go read the book to find out!

In all honesty, I thought I was done being amazed. I loved the first two books in the Experiment in Terror series, and I fully anticipated to enjoy Dead Sky Morning as well. But I wasn’t prepared to be blown away by the atmospheric descriptions, the palpable sense of foreboding and danger and the horrors that awaited Perry and Dex. Dead Sky Morning goes above and beyond what happened in Red Fox and Darkhouse, and it delivers a horror novel ready for the big screen. Without giving too much away, let me tell you that I had to look behind me every five to ten minutes as I was reading this book, and that I continously felt shivers running down my spine. I always tell people I don’t scare easily, and I’d like to uphold that statement, but Dead Sky Morning certainly had me frightened.

If you enjoyed Darkhouse and Red Fox, you simply can’t miss out on Dead Sky Morning. Karina Halle’s writing style gets better and better with each book, the characters Perry and Dex grow both as individuals and as partners and the events occuring in this book are even more terrifying than in the previous two. This series hasn’t ceased to amaze me, and I’m looking forward to book four, Lying Season.

Giveaway

This is your chance to win a complete set of all three books currently released in the Experiment in Terror series: Darkhouse, Red Fox and Dead Sky Morning. Two lucky winners will each receive a complete eBook set of all three these books. If you’re feeling lucky, you can participate by filling in the form below and leaving a comment on this post.


Comments

  1. Not sure if I’m allowed to enter, but this sounds like an excellent series!

  2. This is would be great! Scare me, baby, scare me!!

  3. ooops..forgot my GFC name…

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