My Haunted Library

All things spooky. Your source for paranormal and supernatural book and movie reviews, strangeography, Halloween crafts and a little cozy fall baking.


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Review: Infernal

Infernal – F. Paul Wilson, 2005.  Rating:  3/5

After years of separation, a family tragedy brings Jack together with his waster brother, Tom, who wants Jack to help him start a new life, under a new name. Tom is, to put it nicely, an opportunist. A crooked judge, he’s been taking bribes and working the system to benefit himself for a while. Now, the Feds are after him. Tom’s only hope is to recover and sell the Lilitongue, one of the Seven Infernals, which is supposed to grant protection from one’s enemies. It also happens to be a cursed artifact that the Catholic Church tried to dispose of (for good reason) centuries ago. Jack has no love for Tom’s crooked ways, mooching personality, and his crush on Jack’s girl, Gia, but family obligation wins out. The two sail to Bermuda, successfully find the Lilitongue and bring it back to New York. When Vicky, Gia’s young daughter touches the creepy thing, a dark stain appears on her back and she has only hours left in this world—unless someone takes the stain from her. While Jack desperately searches for a cure, he tries to track down the terrorist group responsible for a mass-slaughter at La Guardia that took the life of someone Jack loved.

I’ve been a big fan of the Repairman Jack series since Book 1, The Tomb. The gritty under (and upper) belly of New York City, the supernatural weirdness, and the characters—especially Jack, a seriously tough guy with big heart who loves classic horror films—all click. Everything works. With each book in the series, I look forward to a tight, realistically paranormal (!) thriller with NYC attitude. That’s why it hurts to say that Infernal falls short. While I enjoyed learning more about Tom (kind of) and Jack’s family, the plot lacked its usual tension. Events felt a little too pat, and the end was not a surprise. The trip to Bermuda read long and was a believability stretch even for a series in which some weird stuff happens all the time. The Lilitongue? Not so scary. The vengeance-against-terrorists subplot was another disconnect. That said, Wilson’s writing style is great, as always, and Infernal did inch the overarching storyline along, and best of all, I got my fix of Jack and Abe. Yep. I’m still a big fan. I’m looking forward to the next title, Harbingers, and hope Wilson, and Jack, get back in the groove.

rating system three crows


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Review: The Haunting of Sunshine Girl

(Paige McKenzie, Alyssa Sheinmel, Weinstein Books 2015)

It is unusual to find a young adult story that deals with demonic possession.  This one does.

Sunshine is a relatively normal teenager other than the fact that she was adopted as a baby and is very into vintage clothing and “old-fashioned” things.  Shortly after her sixteenth birthday her life changes for the weird.  Sunshine and her mom, Kat, move from sunny Texas to gloomy Washington state and Sunshine begins to notice strange things about their rented house.  Footsteps.  Repositioned objects.  Childlike crying. A mysterious feeling of cold that only she feels.  Yes, her house is haunted.  But events take an even more serious turn when her mother grows increasingly distant and strange.  Helped by her new friend, Nolan, Sunshine learns that she is not exactly human, and that it is up to her to save her mother’s spirit from demonic annihilation.  If Sunshine fails this initial test of supernatural abilities, her mother is lost forever.

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