Monday, September 10, 2018

Book Review | The Siren and the Specter by Jonathan Janz

The Siren and the Specter is a new horror novel from Jonathan Janz.

When David Caine, a celebrated skeptic of the supernatural, is invited by an old friend to spend a month in “the most haunted house in Virginia,” he believes the case will be like any other. But the Alexander House is different. Built by a 1700s land baron to contain the madness and depravity of his eldest son, the house is plagued by shadows of the past and the lingering taint of bloodshed. David is haunted, as well. For twenty-two years ago, he turned away the woman he loved, and she took her life in sorrow. And David suspects she’s followed him to the Alexander House.

Why did I read The Siren and the Specter?

I enjoyed Jonathan Janz's Wolf Land, Children of the Dark, and Witching Hour Theater. When I heard he was releasing a ghost story novel, I wishlisted it immediately.

The Strengths

The Siren and the Specter creeped. me. out. It's a great example of what I want my ghost stories to be. I'm pretty sure it broke tons of rules, and I'm OK with that.

Janz is great at both character development and action, and The Siren and the Specter is the most balanced work I've read from him so far. These two strengths blended well together throughout the book.

I really enjoyed the cross between horror and mystery in The Siren and the Specter. There were a lot of layers to this book.

I complain a lot about "unlikeable" characters, but what I really mean when I'm complaining is "uninteresting" characters. Pretty much all of the characters in The Siren and the Specter were unlikeable, but they were all interesting.

Sheriff Harkless. I want to see this character again!

The Weaknesses

Some of the characters were a bit unbelievable in the beginning, but things got so crazy and over the top in the best possible way by the end of the book that the characters really set the stage for what was to come. 

Would I recommend The Siren and the Specter to others?

Absolutely! The Siren and the Specter was a creepy ghostly book, and I loved it*.

9/10: Highly Recommended

*Be aware there's disturbing sexual content, suicide, and neglect/child abuse.

Review copy provided by the publisher


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  1. I've seen a lot of good reviews for this book, I'll have to add it to my list at some point:-)

  2. I find that creepy books disturb me way more than creepy movies. This one sounds very creepy.

  3. I'll have to read this one as well whenever I catch up.

  4. I love a good haunted house book, especially one that can combine horror and mystery. I will definitely be giving this one a read asap. :)

  5. Replies
    1. I love the cover! I need to get a copy of the hardback. It's even more gorgeous with foil lettering.

  6. I love a good ghost story and The Siren and the Specter sounds great.


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