Nuns, haunted houses, sacrifices to stem the flow the ancient evil lurking in the dark recesses of the world. Sounds like a top notch read doesn't it?
I'm a big fan of haunted house stories, and I am deathly scared of Nuns, so on paper this should be a book a book that chilled me to bone. Sadly this was not the case. There is a decent story buried somewhere in this book, a story that would probably be better suited to a novella or a short story. As it stands the story feels protracted and laboured.
The authors over reliance of phrases like "shot a glance" quickly get weary, not every look has to be something, sometimes people just look at things. Phrases like "Necks being broken to impossible angles," "and A shudder ran through her spine, and she picked up her pace, not stopping until she reached the library." Just don't help the narrative flow. If she was really far away from the library and with the neverending picking up of pace that is implied in that sentence, at what time would she reach terminal velocity. As stated above sometimes things just sometimes people just run. A good writer doesn't have to constantly fall back on poor metaphors and similes.
Stilted dialogue that has the Nuns sounding like silly schoolgirls -
“We could save thousands of lives by sacrificing but a few. Sister Anne and I have studied the texts, and we’re pretty confident we can do it… tonight even. We made all the preparations, just in case you changed your mind. The sacrifice required is relatively small compared…”
doesn't help the story either. I can forgive a lot of this, as English isn't her native language, but there comes a point when bad writing is just bad writing. The characters in the book come across as paper thin ciphers that only exists to further the plot. I didn't care or connect with anyone in the book.
My biggest problem with the book was the fact that it felt as though all the effort was put into the set pieces, whether it be some gory scene dripping in blood and what not, or some clumsy sex scene, that fails to titillate on any level.
Don't get me wrong I don't mind such scenes, but they have to have a place in the narrative, they have to be tempered with a justifiable reason for being in the story. Which just doesn't happen here, Angel Manor feels more like a set of money shots all linked together by a weak plot and a weaker set of characters.
"Behind Every Scream is a story" or so the tagline says it's a pity this story is just not up to it.