“ Paperback: 358 pages / Publisher: Createspace / Published: 26 Aug 2011 „
Dead Sky Morning - Karina Halle
I am always looking out for new and great book sets, and thus am part of the online book community; 'Goodreads.com' where people can share the books they have read for free. It was here that I originally came across a few people reading 'The Experiment in Terror' series by Karina Halle. I added it to my 'to-read' list and it was not long before actual friends of mine were recommending the books as well. I knew it was time to start the series in the hope that we had come across a great set, and so visited Amazon.co.uk. Here I found out that this very first book in the series was on Kindle for absolutely FREE! That is my type of word! Immediately I downloaded the book to my Kindle and began to read!
The first book was completely different to most books I have read in this type of genre, and the realness of the writing kept me hooked from beginning to end. I was eager for more, and luckily I had already got hold of the other books in the series, once again on the Kindle, though it is also available in paperback form.
My review on the first books in this series can be found on Ciao and Dooyoo.
Dead sky Morning is the third book in the 'Experiment in Terror' series. To date, there are six main books in this series, with another one due out later this year (2013) and a further two books (at least) in the future. There are also a number of novellas which fall in between certain main books. These you do not have to read to enjoy and follow the series, though if you are like me and fall in love with this set then you will want to go back and fill in the blanks with these novellas. The main books so far include;
Dead Sky Morning
On Demon Wings
Into the Hollow
Come Alive (Expected out 2013)
Ashes to Ashes (Not yet published)
Dust to Dust (Not yet published)
With all this said, I will now take you on to my review of the first book of the series...
NO MAN IS AN ISLAND
"I have your back, OK? Don't forget that. I won't let you."
There are so many vampire, werewolf and faerie books out there, and I admit, I have read a large share of these, though after a while, supernatural and fantasy books along these lines can quite often look the same and make you become almost numb to all things in this genre. This book, and the series as a whole, deals with the supernatural, and in the main, ghosts, though it covers this genre like never before.
The Experiment in Terror series takes the supernatural on to a whole new level in more ways than one. The main focus is upon ghosts and the supernatural, though this book reads so 'real' that you almost forget that you are reading fiction. The author throws in so many twists and turns and throughout the whole series as well as this book, the story takes it one step further and provides amazing entertainment.
In this third instalment, we return to Perry Palomino and Dex Foray as make their way over to a tiny, fog shrouded island in the rough strait between British Columbia and Washington State; D'Arcy Island.
D'Arcy Island has held a dark secret for decades; it was once a leper colony where over forty souls were left to rot and die alone, burying each other in the sea with barely enough supplies to keep them from one day to another. Now, with their show 'Experiment in Terror' finding some success on the internet, Dex and Perry embark on their most terrifying investigation yet; right into the heart of the island which has since been turned into an isolated camping ground.
It is the heart of winter, and the camp ground is empty, at least from those campers who are still alive, and Dex and Perry have the whole weekend to discover that there is more to the island than an isolated retreat with a terrifying history, and soon, the island and its inhabitants begin to reach into the duo's minds, quickly pitting them against one another whilst throwing their minds into the depths of madness that serves to destroy everything they hold dear from their relationship to their lives...
The very first thing I did before I had even turned the first page of this book is to look up D'Arcy island online as I had heard that this island and the base story was actually real, and I was not disappointed. Just knowing that this story was based in a true setting which held a true, frightening history of its own which is also the basis for this story, makes the whole book seem even more scarier, and yes, unlike the first two books which held a large sense of creepiness to them, this book touches upon the more scary aspect. I did not find any information of any real haunting on this island, though the true account of what happened in the past is enough to start the fear brewing inside you, and then it is not long until Karina Halle and her storytelling with provide the rest of the fear.
From wikipedia: "The island was used as a leper colony for Chinese immigrants from 1894 to 1924, and ruins of the building built during that time are still visible. It was declared a marine park in 1961, and included as part of the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve in 2003."
In the main, this whole series has been about ghosts and the supernatural, and 'Dead Sky Morning' is the peak of such goings on. To start everything off, what better than an isolated island with the means of escape being thorny and strenuous, which is hindered by the terrifying storms and weather which leaves you barely able to see in front of you. Add the darkness, the history given in the story, scary hordes of animals and many more bumps in the night, and you already have yourself a fantastic base line for a story, and all of that is here. To top it off, the story itself and the characters simply bring it to such a height that you will want to turn on the light to remind you that you are in fact safe at home and not on this terrifying island in the middle of nowhere with other worldly beings who would rather you join them than leave them.
The main story which takes place on the island takes a while to get to, though once the two main characters have begun their journey onto the island, the fear and trepidation really takes off, and the story itself grows and puffs out splendidly. The books before this are great, though this story really takes the whole 'ghostly supernatural' to a new level, and unlike many ghost stories, this one has bulk and flow which is presented wonderfully. Once the story got going, I could not put the book down at all. It was like a drug; so addictive and so difficult to walk away from, even if I had have wanted to.
As I specified above, there is a main story that flows brilliantly through this book, though it is not the only story. There is a continuous sub-story which has been growing through the series so far, and in some ways, it is actually the main story with the ghosts of D'Arcy Island taking a back seat. This sub-story as such focuses upon the two main characters; Dex and Perry, and more than ever, their separate stories merge together into one. Whereas the first book acted almost as an introduction to their characters and history, their stories and history begin to slip out further, with information leaking through their hardened shells as their fear emanates from their very beings. It is obvious that there is a lot more to learn about these characters and their stories, and the author lets just enough out in this book to keep us on our toes, and although it is frustrating as I want to know more, I have no doubt that this is the perfect way of writing their stories as it seals the deal on the other books. Who would want to give up the Dex and Perry story now?
The three different aspects of the story roll into one in this book and they all flow together throughout the book brilliantly, creating a scary atmosphere combined with enough mystery and twists and turns that we are forever on the edge of our seats and wanting more.
Although the 'main' part of the story does not take off until well into the book, the beginning of this story does not read as slowly as the past books as the characters stories are much more involved and therefore I was able to fall quickly into the tension and action without wanting to rush ahead for the main story. There are also a limited amount of slowness throughout the story which is possibly something else which heightens my love of this book over the others. In the past books, the pace often quietened down, which was certainly not a bad thing as it gave pause for thought, though in this book the action continued throughout which gave a different feel almost, and once I actually preferred. Another reason that this book is my favourite so far!
The story did have a small sense of predictability, though enough twists and turns happened which were surprising that the aspects which I did predict did not matter in the slightest.
Even more prominent than the storytelling, is the characters in the story. All of the characters involved are written with such a real feel that a heightened sense of reality ensues, providing an even more stronger sense of fear when reading. Like with the first two main books, the two main characters are fantastically written from all different angles. We get to know Perry much more than the mysterious Dex, though both are written without any flaws and enough detail is provided to really appeal to the reader. Never before have I read a main character which I can relate to in many ways, and one which pleads for my full attention to completely. Neither one is fake in any way, and both seem to jump from the page with such perfection - I was absolutely amazed with their characterisations, personalities and the way that they are both written into the story. As already mentioned, we also find out a lot more about their backgrounds in this book, and with the help of alcohol and fear, we are let into Dex's mind a little more which opens up the story further.
The story probably best falls into the supernatural genre. The genre, though, is not that easy to place as there is aspects of amazingly funny humour, an undercurrent of a love story (though one which does not go anywhere in this story), a mystery, horror, thriller, action...you name it, this book has it all and everything is incorporated into the story in such an amazing way that you don't really concentrate on what genre this should rightfully fit it - you just fall in love with every part of it!
The story is written from the first person perspective as already mentioned, and this is from Perry's perspective. This is a fantastically written viewpoint and we learn just as much as the author wants us to about this character, with the story opening up before us as it does to Perry. We see and feel her insecurities about her life, her body and her thoughts and feelings. We feel her fear. We cry out in shock the moment she does. It is possibly one of the best third person points of view I have read as there is nothing unreal about this character, and although I can not relate to everything about her, there is bound to be something with this person that everyone will be able to relate to.
The following warning is written in the blub of the first book and still applies here;
"The Experiment in Terror series is a horror/romance for mature audiences only. Readers who are easily offended by harsh language should think twice about reading it."
This is something to take note of. I am not one to love reading harsh languages within a book and often feel that it is put there for no good reason other than the way younger readers tend to speak these days, though I do admit that most of this language within this book feels right to be there. Perhaps it is the 'real' feeling of the characters and storyline which makes these words seem in the right places? Perhaps it is something else, though either way, I was not offended by it in the slightest and it became as part of this story as the characters themselves were. There is a lot of this type of harsh language, though, so do be warned.
Other aspects to be aware of are such things as violence, sexual tension and mental health. All of these pop their heads in and out of the pages throughout the story, with the sexual tension going a little further in this book than ever before. They are not paramount in the story, though they are constant. It is certainly a book for more mature audiences of youngsters.
So what makes this book any different to other books along these lines?
Everything makes this book different from other books along the ghostly/supernatural lines. Yes, it does have elements from other books and films, a couple which spring to mind is the US television series of Supernatural and also X.Files, though still, I find that this book goes even further. I think it is the perfectly written reality of it all which keeps it grounded whilst allowing the mind to roam free which creates such an amazing read. The story is not overly unique in many ways, though there are a number of surprises, and again, the way it is written creates the feel of something until now, left undiscovered. Also, due to the element of truth in the story of the island, it makes the whole story become that much more real.
One thing which I find very important in a book is the ending. A story can be written perfectly, though if the ending is wrong, then it gives me a really terrible feel to the whole book, almost as though I feel my time was wasted reading it, even if I did enjoy the rest of the story.
So how does the ending of this book compare?
The ending of the book simply left me wanting more. The story grew to great heights, yet calmed down enough to wrap everything up perfectly, leaving just enough to lead on to the next book, something which I recommend having with you before you get to the end as you WILL want to read on straight away.
"Red sky at morning, sailors take warning. Red sky at night, sailor's delight"
Like the other books in the series, I really enjoyed this one, in fact, I loved this one, even more so than the others. I was hooked from the very beginning and fell into the world created by the author with extreme ease. It has fantastic characters and a brilliant story line and the fear factor is so much more prominent in this book in comparison with the others. A perfect ghost story with so many excellent additions.
Will I read the next book?
I have already read the next book! I could not wait and have managed to get through three and a half books plus one sub-book in a matter of a couple of weeks as this series gets you so addicted, and it all began with this first book! The author certainly knows what she is doing!
The paperback version of the book is 359 pages.
The price of this book on Amazon is slightly more than many books of this kind coming in between £8 to £9 for the paperback form. The Kindle book is a lot cheaper at only £1.99. That is my kind of price! Don't worry if you don't have a Kindle, simply go to Amazon.co.uk and download their Kindle app absolutely free to your PC and then download the Kindle book in seconds.
Do I recommend this book?
Without a Doubt!