Thursday, July 3, 2014

ARC Book Review: Dollhouse by Anya Allyn

Dollhouse (Dollhouse #1)

Anya Allyn

ARC Disclaimer: I was not paid in any way by the publishers to review this book favourably. The review is my own honest opinion (Whether or not it is agreed with).

Re-Publication Date: May 20th 2014 (Paper Lantern Edition)

Publisher: The Studio, A Paper Lantern Imprint

Pages: 205

Genre:  Horror, Young Adult

Dress-up turns deadly. . .

When Cassie’s best friend, Aisha, disappears during a school hike, Cassie sets off with Aisha’s boyfriend Ethan and their best friend Lacey, determined to find her. But the mist-enshrouded mountains hold many secrets, and what the three teens discover is far more disturbing than any of them imagined: beneath a rundown mansion in the woods lies an underground cavern full of life-size toys and kidnapped girls forced to dress as dolls.

Even as Cassie desperately tries to escape the Dollhouse, she finds herself torn between her forbidden feelings for Ethan, and her intense, instinctive attraction to The Provider, a man Cassie swears she has known before…

Because Cassie’s capture wasn’t accidental, and the Dollhouse is more than just a prison where her deepest fears come true—it’s a portal for the powers of darkness. And Cassie may be the only one who can stop it.
Thanks to Netgalley and Paper Lantern for allowing me to read and review this book.

Wow, this book is crazy in the best possible way. So much is stuffed in there and it's hard to put it down. It's hard to summarize, because there just is that much. I will try however. In short, our main group of characters are walking through the woods one day when they find a huge creepy house. Then later that day one of the girls, Aisha, runs off and promptly disappears. The other three spend the rest of the day looking for her and nothing. Weeks pass and it's like she disappeared into thin air. The three left know that the house must have something to do with it, so they go back to investigate.

What they find is so much more than they bargained for, a life size dollhouse where people are forced to look and act like dolls.

As soon as we entered that dollhouse I was gripped. My eyes were glued to my e-reader's screen and hours passed without me paying attention (I almost missed an appointment in fact). As the dollhouse is introduced, I am terrified. The descriptions... and then what happens... Living in the dollhouse is like slowly losing your mind.

There are so many layers to this tale. It seems like one kind of horror story and then as new things are revealed, new mysteries happened it changes.

Having read one of the older versions of this book, I couldn't help but constantly compare. There were a few pacing things I loved about the older version (there was much more of that losing your mind and realism to it) that were tweaked to make it more concise, but the setting up of the plot and revelations about things was done much better. When I originally read it I was shocked to find out there would be more, now it feels natural, there are so many questions I want to learn the answers to. 

The mythology behind this horror story is now very interesting and well done, but it does not feel as if things were thrown at us all at once and out of nowhere.

I recommend this to people who are fans of Horror. Even if you're not fans of YA, as long as you get through the first, establishing bit, I think you could very well enjoy this on its own as Horror. I also recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed The Forbidden Game by L.J. Smith. It lacks the obsessive romance of that series, but the horror felt similar.

Also, if you read the original version of this and felt it was only so-so, I urge you to please pick up this version. Things make so much sense, things are more concise, the mythology of the world isn't all over the place and there are a couple of things (especially at the end) that hadn't happened.



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