by Karina Halle
Series: Experiment in Terror #1
Narrator: Jo Raylan
Length: 7 hours and 55 minutes
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
[bctt tweet=”Darkhouse by Karina Halle was a good start to the Experiment in Terror series #audio” username=”kimbacaffeinate”]
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!
I plan to listen to book two shortly Debbie.
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.
Everyone has encouraged me to keep listening, so I will try the next one
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!
Yes, Dex has me unsettled at this point.
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!
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
I am hoping the next audio delivers. Folks say it only gets better.
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
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.
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.
Thanks, Andriana, It had some good points so I will be listening to the next book.
“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 🙂
LOL. I read two previous titles that I enjoyed. I will be listening to the second book so we shall see.
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.
I have and enjoyed them, so I am curious to see what happens in book two.
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!
I am really glad to hear that as I will be listening to book two shortly!
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.
I am excited to listen to the next one, and everyone says that get better!
This one sounds kind of interesting but maybe not high on my list but will put it on my wishlist. 🙂
Folks love this, so I am curious to listen to the next one.
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!
Right. The fandom is harsh. LOL, I am curious to see what the next audio brings.
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!
The heroine is young enough that I am hoping we see growth.
You had me at a mixture of X-Files and Supernatural. Sounds good to me.
Really bad comparison thus far, we will see what book two brings.
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
You’re welcome, Braine. I am curious to see how I feel after listening to the next one.
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.
Fingers crossed Sophia!
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.
I’ve read a few others and enjoyed them. I am curious to see how I feel after I listen to book two.
Liked your pros and cons. The pros are definitely intriguing enough to pick up the book though. Thanks for the review! 🙂 ~Aleen
Yeah, I enjoyed it enough to want to continue and see what develops Aleen.
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.
I am curious to see what I think about the next audio.
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.
Oh, now you have me curious. I do have the next audios coming so I am excited!
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. 🙂
Well, now you have me curious about American Horror Sorry: Roanoke!
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!
I am assured it only gets better 🙂
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.
Never mess with the boys. Hehe
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!
I hope so Cindy.
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!
I have read two others. I am anxious to try the next one
You are sure going through audios 😀
LOL Yes, when life was crazy in March and April I devoured them.
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
Hopefully, I will listen to the next one soon.