Book Review: Haunted (The Arnaud Legacy #1) by Lynn Carthage

22449393Title: Haunted (The Arnaud Legacy #1)

Author: Lynn Carthage

Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Paranormal, Ghosts

Age Group: Young Adult

Rating: 3,5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Sixteen-year-old Phoebe Irving has traded life in San Francisco for her stepfather’s ancestral mansion in rural England. It’s supposed to be the new start her family needs. But from the moment she crosses the threshold into the ancient estate, Phoebe senses something ominous. Then again, she’s a little sensitive lately—not surprising when her parents are oblivious to her, her old life is six thousand miles away, and the only guy around is completely gorgeous but giving her mixed messages.
But at least Miles doesn’t laugh at Phoebe’s growing fears. And she can trust him…maybe. The locals whisper about the manor’s infamous original owner, Madame Arnaud, and tell grim stories of missing children and vengeful spirits. Phoebe is determined to protect her loved ones—especially her little sister, Tabby. But even amidst the manor’s dark shadows, the deepest mysteries may involve Phoebe herself…

Haunted (The Arnaud Legacy #1) tries to give an original twist to probably the most well-known ghost story plot in the world (protagonist moves into large home that turns out to be haunted) and up to some degree, it succeeds.

Phoebe Irving is sixteen years old when her parents decide to move from San Francisco all the way to rural England. She knows it must be because she did something bad, something she can’t remember. But she tries to adapt to her new surroundings as well as she can. They live in a smaller appartment next door a collossal mansion that is the family house of her stepfather. But soon enough, Phoebe discovers the mansion is haunted by an organ-playing ghost – and not just some ghost. Madame Arnaud, who used to drink blood of children to stay alive forever. And now this evil presence has set her eyes on Tabby, Phoebe’s kid sister. It’s up to Phoebe, and her new friend Miles, to save her.

The descriptions are atmospheric and haunting, and they set a good mood for the book. The book offers gothic horror, with some graphic descriptions of Madame Arnaud, but apart from that, the horror is more of the spine-chilling kind than the gorey type. It’s a solid read in the genre, and our heroine, Phoebe, is a strong and intriguing character. She doesn’t back down from a challenge, but instead faces it head on – a rare quality.

Unfortunately, while the plot had some original elements (which I will not spoil here), it was also fairly predictable. I knew how it would end by the time I hit the halfway mark. Still entertaining, just less intriguing. On top of that, the ending left some things unanswered, and I would’ve preferred everything to wrap up nicely. I don’t mind sequels, but you need to tie up loose ends.

All in all, it’s an enjoyable read, and the author holds a lot of promise – she writes descriptions well, and knows how to create a tense atmosphere.



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