The Seance in Apartment 10 by Ambrose Ibsen

Standalone Book - No Series

Would you like to speak to the dead? When Tori moves into a studio at the rundown Lamplight apartment complex, she gets more than she bargained for. The faucet leaks, the water heater barely functions and the lack of air conditioning makes the summer nights brutal... But worst of all is the dark presence that stalks the building. When she and her friends play around with a Ouija board, Tori learns first-hand why the living have no business communing with the dead. Something sinister is roused in the process, and her life begins to spiral into madness soon thereafter. She suffers terrible nightmares, hallucinations, and feels as though she's being watched at all hours of the day. And that's only the beginning. If the spirit has its way, it'll consume her completely. With a terrifying specter on her trail and only a few cryptic clues about the building's curious past to aid her, Tori searches desperately for a way to get rid of the spirit. What has escaped from the underworld will not go back so easily, however.

"I thought it would stop. That I could take it with me in death. But I couldn't. It never stops. Never stops. Because death is not the end."

Third time's a charm. It's official; I'm now a bona-fide fan of the author. Three books I've greatly enjoyed, and each stands apart without blending. Not always an easy feat, especially if in a similar genre and trope (haunted spots). While I didn't dig this one quite as much as the other two I've read (in case you're curious, they are The Sick House and A House by the Sea), it's a fun little spook story that offers some different twists while keeping up the familiar for fans of the haunted stuff.

It's a novella size sampling that doesn't harbor nearly as much creepiness as some of his other works, but that's not to say it doesn't dish out its own goods. Enter the Ouija, creepy spirits without moving mouths, and a tiny mystery. The feeling of suffocation in the tiny apartment as it keeps growing darker is felt with the well-done writing style. Tension is tight, especially when she's caught (more than once!), and when she was attacking a window, I was especially tense. This would have been the scene where, if it were a movie, there would be high-strung orchestral music hammering on the audience's eardrums while they covered their eyes with their hands.

With horror I like to list how liberally it applies the blood splatter for those who are curious about gore level; there isn't much, if any, here. There doesn't need to be. It wouldn't fit into the vibe. This one is pure psychological tension all the way. It has what it needs: some creepy pauses, tense moments, characters dropped into volatile situations, a small mystery to keep it intriguing, an ending that closes the last page with a slam. Well done.

Oh, and don't use Ouija boards. This book tells you another reason why.


coming soon

No comments: