“ Print Length: 139 pages / Publisher: Metal Blonde Books / Published: 11 Aug 2012 „
The Dex Files - Karina Halle
I am back with another review covering the third novella in the fantastic Experiment in Terror series by Karina Halle.
I came across this series a month or so ago and found that it had some amazing reviews. I was so happy when I found that the very first book in this series; Darkhouse, was FREE on Amazon, and continues to be free to download on Kindle still. If you have not already started the series then you have no excuse! If you do not have a kindle then that is not a problem - Amazon allows you to download a PC kindle free also! I really do love that word!
From the very first book, I was hooked in completely and utterly. It was entirely different from anything I had ever read before, and held a 'realness' between its pages from both the storyline as well as the amazingly written characters. From that moment, I knew I would have to read all of the books one after another without delay, and was able to obtain them all on kindle with a push of a button. The main books in this series are also in paperback form, though so far, the novellas can only be found on the Kindle format.
My review on the previous books in this series can be found on my book blog; elfie-books.blogspot.co.uk.
There are currently six main book in this series with a further three due to come out shortly. There are also a number of shorter novellas which fall in between the main books, Old Blood being one of these. This novella is the third one and comes between On Demon Wings (book five) and Into the Hollow (book six), though I would recommend reading it after book six as there is a short piece in this book which takes place at the time of Into the Hollow, and you would not want to spoiler yourself!
The books in this series so far are as follows;
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 the following novellas;
The Dex Files
And with Madness comes the Light
With all this said, I will now take you on to my review of this second novella of the series...
THE DEX FORAY SPECIAL
"She was mine. For the sake of appearances, she was my wife, but she was mine anyway. She didn't know it yet, but I did. It was wrong and it made no sense, but she belonged with me. No one else, not anyone else."
There are a whole array of supernatural books out there, and I do admit, I have read my fair share of these, though The Experiment in Terror series takes this genre to a whole new level. The main focus of these books are on the supernatural, though from the very beginning, an extremely large factor in the storylines have been focuses upon the two main characters and their lives both with the supernatural and otherwise, and as the books progress, more of the focus turns to their complex relationship which is like no other I have ever read. Both storyline and characters have so many twists and turns, shocks and surprises that you are constantly left wanting more.
In the past books, we see the story pan out through the eyes of our heroine of Experiment in Terror; Perry. We are now taken through some of those past moments, and some completely new scenes, from the point of view of our sexy hero Dex. This is the moment that many readers would have been waiting for; a chance to see into the depths of Dex's mind, to find out exactly how he feels and why he has been the way he has been. Up until now, many things Dex related have been a mystery, though through this short novella, we are able to crack open his exterior and really feel what he feels.
This novella is written as a compilation novel to accompany the series as a whole. It is not necessary to read this to enjoy the series as a whole, though I can guarantee that once you reach this stage, you will not be able to help yourself - you will want more and more, and this novella is not one you will be able to walk away from.
Some scenes in this book have been published before in previous books, albeit from Perry's point of view, though some are completely new. As mentioned, this should NOT be read before the previous books as it does contain some major spoilers.
Some great scenes that you will find in this compilation novella include The lighthouse meeting and pie scene from Darkhouse, with an eye opening scene between Dex and his girlfriend Jenn. We see an extended version of the bar scene from Red Fox as well as the 'playing nurse' scene which is possibly one of the loveliest scenes to read. From Dead Sky Morning you will find a number of scenes you are familiar with including more information from various tent scenes including the truth or dare game. Dead Sky Morning is my favourite book so far so these scenes here were absolutely amazing in my opinion. We see more of the Christmas party from Lying Season with scenes that we have been waiting for since reading this book, as well as getting deeper information about that phone call from On Demon Wings. We also see a couple of short scenes from Into the Hollow which is why I think that this book is better read post book six.
Like with the other books in this series, the characters are once again written spectacularly. We get much more of an insight into Dex's character due to the point of view change and we are finally able to empathise with him to a larger degree. Both Dex and Perry are written in such a fantastically 'real' way that you can really begin to relate to both of them in ways you may never have thought possible with a fictional character/s. You might think that we would lose a lot of Perry's characterisation due to the view point change, though this certainly does not happen, and instead, we find Perry's character growing even more so as we get to see her from a different angle. She is still a character who I can really 'feel', more so than any other heroine before in other books. Of course there are other lesser characters which feature in this book, such as Dex's girlfriend Jenn. All of these are also written perfectly with only a few minor flaws here and there, though nothing that really stands out when reading the book, it is only after I pull it apart to review do I really pick up on the flaws!
It is difficult to asses the flow in this novella as it follows bits and pieces from other books previous to this. With the new, never before seen, parts of the book, the flow is as brilliant as we have become accustomed to in this series, though with the shorter scenes which we have read before, I found that the flow was more disjointed. Usually, this would be offputting, though due to the style of this book, the haphazard flow actually works, especially when you compare it to the character of Dex himself.
It is very difficult to find a real negative point to these books as the author is extremely clever and is able to turn any flaws on their head and make them work brilliantly! I have so much praise to offer to Karina Halle and her writing!
I have spoken of predictability in the previous books, though due to the scenes being already well known, it is obvious that the story is predictable. That is not to say that there is not still some surprises, and right at the beginning there is something quite shocking which you will be gaping at throughout the rest of the book.
The supernatural scenes are still apparent in the book, though in the main, the scenes focus upon Dex and his thoughts and feelings about Perry and life itself. This is a fantastic insight and a very well timed stage of the series.
The main genre which this book falls into is Paranormal Romance, though you see a lot of other genres creeping in throughout.
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. Possession is another aspect which is paramount in this book with references to evil and demons.
So what makes this book any different to other books along these lines?
The series as a whole is tremendously different to others of this kind as it is written in such a 'real' way that you find yourself living every moment alongside the characters. The storyline, the characters, the creepy settings - all of these contribute to the fantastic read which keeps you on your toes throughout and you are forever wanting more. You are pulled right into the world of Experiment in Terror right from the word go, and once you have read the first page, you will never look back. Other books in this genre certainly have something to look up to.
In comparison to the other books in this series, the main difference is the change of perspective. This, in many ways, creates a whole new feel to the story, though in other ways, it does not change much at all due to the fact that the writing is simply perfect whichever way the author presents the story.
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?
I do not think that the ending is as powerful as the past books in this series, though it is certainly exciting and full of energy. It rounds everything up wonderfully, whilst leaving a perfect amount open, just enough to make you need more of the story, to find out answers which have been left open and to continue where the story has left off.
"Now it was my time to blush. Except that I'm a man and I don't do that."
The whole Experiment in Terror series to this point has been absolutely fantastic. I can not praise the author enough, and this novella is no different. I would have loved it to be a little longer, though I know that soon, we will get a whole book from the point of view of Dex which I feel quite excited about.
You do not need to read the novellas in this series to enjoy the story as a whole, though unlike the first novella, this one does contain a lot of interesting and often useful information which can open your eyes to the action in other books.
Will I read the next book?
I already have! This is not a series you will be able to leave easily once you have started!
Throughout this series I have learnt that you will simply not want to wait for the next book so I suggest purchasing them all at once. Luckily, if you are reading on a Kindle device, the one click download enables you to buy the book and read it without delay which is fantastic, as once you have entered the world that this author creates, you will not want to leave it!
This novella is approximately 139 pages long and can currently only be bought in Kindle format for £1.92 on Amazon.
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?
Yes, without a doubt!
The Experiment in Terror series has to be one of my favourite series this year.