Review: The Haunting Season by Michelle Muto

Title: The Haunting Season
Author: Michelle Muto
Genre(s): Young Adult Paranormal
How To Purchase: Kindle | Paperback (Amazon)

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Be careful what you let in…

Siler House has stood silent beneath Savannah’s moss-draped oaks for decades. Notoriously haunted, it has remained empty until college-bound Jess Perry and three of her peers gather to take part in a month-long study on the paranormal. Jess, who talks to ghosts, quickly bonds with her fellow test subjects. One is a girl possessed. Another just wants to forget. The third is a guy who really knows how to turn up the August heat, not to mention Jess’s heart rate…when he’s not resurrecting the dead.

The study soon turns into something far more sinister when they discover that Siler House and the dark forces within are determined to keep them forever. In order to escape, Jess and the others will have to open themselves up to the true horror of Siler House and channel the very evil that has welcomed them all.

Creepy old mansion I found on PinterestThe Haunting Season is a spooky, fast-paced read. I love getting that “can’t put down, must finish as soon as possible” feeling about a book, and this one grabbed my throat and forced me onto my couch when I should have been doing stuff.

Its four main characters arrive at a haunted house that’s, even at first glance, hiding something. I love old mansions, and this one has sinister personality. I don’t care what was lurking, I’d start combing through the endless rooms of the Siler House as soon as I arrived, which our main character Jess does. Awesome.

Jess soon realizes that her invitation to participate in a science experiment about her paranormal abilities is more than it seems. As she opens doors, she uncovers the secret of the evil child Riley and his dead nieces. This is how I imagined Riley, especially near the end:

Seriously, don’t click on this if you get creeped out easily.

Each chapter is paced well and left me flipping to the next to find out what would happen next. As each secret is revealed, the book leaves you doubting the motives–and sometimes sanity–of Jess’s companions and hosts.

The grammar was clean and the language crisp; however, I felt at times that the writing voice was less mature than it should have been. Jess is eighteen, but the book sounds years younger. Additionally, Ms. Muto included a romantic sub-plot that I felt was unnecessary and jarring against its youthful voice. I would have loved to see it replaced with something more in the vein of the horror and supernatural, perhaps some further back story about our band of heroes.

The Haunting Season kept me on the edge of my seat. If you’re looking for some fun Halloween fare, I’d recommend it.

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