Darkhouse by Karina Halle

May 18th, 2017 Kimberly Review 56 Comments

18th May
Darkhouse by Karina Halle
by Karina Halle
Series: Experiment in Terror #1
Narrator: Jo Raylan
Length: 7 hours and 55 minutes
Genres: Paranormal
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
Narration: 4 cups

Take all the suspense and sexual tension of The X-Files, combine it with the charm and antics of Supernatural, and you get Darkhouse. Well, not quite. Dex and Perry might have the chemistry of Mulder and Scully and the scares of the Winchester Brothers, but I promise you this duo is unlike anything you've seen before. When twenty-three-year-old Perry Palomino explores a supposedly haunted lighthouse, she runs into Youtuber Dex Foray, a sexy, snarky and opportunistic ghost hunter who doesn't quite believe in ghosts. What Dex does believe in is making money and in Perry he sees a viable opportunity: create a ghost-hunting show on YouTube that would rival anything you'd see on TV and watch the dollars roll in. But creating and filming a ghost-hunting show isn't easy when there are actual ghosts haunting them-and then some. Sometimes terrifying, often hilarious, Darkhouse is the first book in the Experiment in Terror series.

Audiobook paranormal WTF? SUSPENSE

DARKHOUSE and the Experiment in Terror series by Karina Halle have been in my TBR pile forever, thanks in part to my bloggy friends. When DARKHOUSE released on audio, I knew it was time to dive into this series. While I enjoyed aspects of DARKHOUSE,  it didn’t deliver the awesomeness I had been expecting.

Narrated by Jo Raylan, Kale introduces us to twenty-three-year-old Perry Palomino. With a degree in marketing, Perry is struggling with the day to day grind and disappointment of working as a receptionist at a top marketing firm, instead of in one of its posh offices. A weekend at the beach, has her exploring an old lighthouse, having the bejeezus scared out of her and meeting Youtuber, Dex Foray who is looking to be the next Ghost Hunter TV sensation.

Caffeinated Aspects:

  • I love the premise. Seeing ghosts, encountering nasty entities, and paranormal ghost hunters. The concept and idea of where this series is headed certainly have me excited. Kale is a clever storyteller and weaves a tale that no matter how awkward pulls you in.
  • Blogging! Perry’s younger sister is a fashion blogger with a huge following. When she gets sick, Perry fills in and shares her Lighthouse experience. It was fantastic and I enjoyed seeing Perry put all of her skills to work.
  • Perry is awkward and at that place in life between college and a successful career. She is still living at home, has no social life and hasn’t left the chubby girl of her teens completely behind.
  • Dex Foray is sexy, mysterious and a complete opportunist. His air of mystery drew me in even if I was unsure.
  • Both characters have an interesting past and Kale slowly reveals things adding interest and depth.
  • There are some downright creeptastic moments that will have you holding your breath as they send shivers down your spine. I loved the attention to detail and build up to each climatic scene. Kale did a fantastic job of creeping me out with her descriptions. Like the old lady. OMG.
  • Jo Raylan did a good job of capturing Perry and listening was enjoyable.

Decaffeinated Aspects:

  • X-file, Winchesters..nope. Just no. Maybe as the series progresses, but in DARKHOUSE I didn’t feel the character connection of Mulder and Scully. The Winchesters they are not. So dismiss these notions going into the tale.
  • I liked Perry and I didn’t. I prefer confident women, and Perry was indecisive. I wanted more from her. She does have potential and I look forward to seeing growth.  Dex, on the other hand, unnerved me. What is his game? Is he a good guy or a snake charmer?
  • Unlike the Winchesters, these amateur ghost hunters lacked the proper equipment one would expect when visited a haunted site. I didn’t expect them to have all sorts of high tech gadgets as they aren’t funded but adequate lighting, first aid kit, and a plan would have been nice. A little research would have been nice too.
  • The pacing of the story wasn’t consistent. In fact, its slow beginnings almost had me setting it aside.
  • With more descriptions and a little development, the entity could have been terrifying.

Overall DARKHOUSE was a worthwhile listen and a good start to the Experiment in Terror. I plan to continue on audio and have been assured by friends that I won’t regret it. I will be sure to let you know.

Darkhouse by Karina Halle was a good start to the Experiment in Terror series #audio Click To Tweet

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

56 Responses to “Darkhouse by Karina Halle”

  1. Debbie Haupt

    Oh I agree Kim, great premise but as far as comparisons go I sort of hate when publishers etc.. do this because then the reader has certain expectations and they rarely get it right.
    As far as the rest of the decaffeinated aspects perhaps these things will right themselves as the series progresses. Thanks for the great review!

  2. Trish

    I’m loving the Lighthouse and Blogging aspects! But sorry to hear it didn’t quite live up to your expectations, it’s always hard when books are hyped up.

  3. Samantha

    I am currently listening to it as well and feel the same way!! This is certainly not a Mulder Scully team by any means. I kind of think Dex is creepy and weird. However, everyone tells me to keep reading because each book gets better. So, I will trust them and keep going!

  4. Darlene

    I’ve had this one forever on my Kindle and have seen great reviews on other blogs. Maybe I’ll wait and see if the series gets better for you!

  5. La La in the Library

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this one. When it first came out I wanted to read it because GHOSTS, it can’t get any better than that for me, but I saw all of those meh reviews, too. When I saw it was one of the free SYNC summer reading audiobooks I downloaded it so I could try it. I can always listen to it on 3X speed if it starts to bore me. XD

  6. Lily B

    I don’t know much about this series, but for some reason I thought it was horror? I know her writing is loved by a lot, so I’ll have to give her a shot

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I think the series moves towards horror, I have heard book three is scary..but it has a strong paranormal vibe and hints at romantic thoughts? IDK.

  7. Adriana

    Hmm… I don’t know. It doesn’t sound like there is much there. I like the idea of them “hunting” ghosts but it doesn’t entice me. I see where you wouldn’t love Darkhouse.

  8. Michele

    “The Winchesters they are not.” Perhaps more like the Ghostfacers, then? I have to admit, that’s what first came to mind when I read the synopsis. I’m glad there were aspects of this that you did enjoy. I’ve heard a lot about this author so I tried one of her books and ended up DNFing (yikes), but I’m certainly willing to give her another shot. I’ll be looking forward to your thoughts on the rest of the series, and maybe this will be one I should try. Great review 🙂

  9. Nadene

    I like the sound of this one. I am yet to read anyting written by this author. I may check this one out, Great review.

  10. The Bibliophile Babe

    I really struggled to finish this one. I didn’t really like it at all, to be honest. For some reason I picked up the second one and I am so glad I did. It still had some issues, but the story gripped me and I was seriously creeped out. By book 3 I was hooked (that one had me sleep with the lights on for three nights…), and it’s now my all time favorite series. Great review!

  11. Geybie's Book Blog

    Glad you finally gave this a try, Kim. I understand what you mean. I felt kinda the same with book 1 when I started but I promise you, it gets better. I hope you read the rest books in the series.

  12. Katherine

    I was pretty much hooked at the mention of a haunted lighthouse. I do like the sound of this despite the flaws. The Winchesters AND X-Files probably shouldn’t have been in the blurb. That’s a LOT to live up too!

  13. RO

    This sounds like a good read except for the indecisiveness on the part of the heroine. That trait is one of the reasons that I stopped reading Barbara Cartland novels way back in the day; but they were good historical romances to start out with. (lol) Your review is amazing!

  14. Braine

    I have a few of her books on my TBR too and if I were to try here I think I’d start here just because of the genre and the massive response this series got.

    Thank you for grounding us who haven’t started this yet. Low or no expectations are better than having great ones given all the blog reviews I’ve read in the past

  15. Sophia Rose

    The premise sounds great, but you’re right about that comparison being a lot to live up to. Hopefully things will pick up with the next book.

  16. Heidi

    I read this book years ago when I first started blogging and before Karina Halle really made a name for her. I felt much like you do. I was a little underwhelmed. I still haven’t read anything else by her. I need to.

  17. Lampshade Reader

    Liked your pros and cons. The pros are definitely intriguing enough to pick up the book though. Thanks for the review! 🙂 ~Aleen

  18. sherry fundin

    Ooo…sounds like a good one to me, even though you found it a bit disappointing. Sounds like she might get better as it goes along and I will be watching to find out.

  19. Lorna

    I love Dex! Hopefully he will grow on you. He’s really flawed though, as is Perry. Lots of stuff to be revealed that make these two what they are! Hope you like the next one. The third one scared me so bad I had to put the book down several times 🙂 at least I think it’s the third one- takes place on an island.

  20. Genni

    This sounds pretty interesting! I’ve read a couple other books by this author and really enjoyed myself, so hopefully I will again! The plot reminds me a bit of the second half of American Horror Sorry: Roanoke, which I absolutely loved. Indesicive chatactwrs are the worst though, so I’ll keep that in mind when reading. Thanks for the review. 🙂

  21. Cyn

    I hate when people try to sell books as X meets Y because they never usually love up, sigh. Glad overall it was still a good listen! Lovely review, Kim!

  22. kindlemom1

    Pffft, comparing anyone other than Sam and Dean to the Winchesters is always a waste of time. 😉 Glad you did like this even if it had it’s down moments as well. Maybe the next will be better? For some reason I normally gobble this author up but I don’t remember seeing this one. I’ll have to grab it.

  23. cindy

    This one sounds interesting and hopefully Perry will grow more confident as the series progresses. Great review and I love the format of your review!

  24. Nick

    Can you believe I have yet to read a book by Karina Halle? I really want to though because I’ve heard nothing but praise. This one sounds good, Kim, especially that Dex! 😉
    Though it’s a shame that the pacing was off. I hate when a good book is ruined by the pacing!
    Great review, Kim!

  25. Melliane

    COmplicated one but you’re right the premise sounded good! I liked a book by this author and I know I should try more. In a whole a good one but I hope the next one will be better