The tension is pumping from the first pages as CN tells of a small chapter in Angel Manors history, a small but bloody and violent one that sets the mood for the entire book. CN does not shy away from the gore element, moreover she kindly shows you the wet bloody scenes and then slaps you around the face with them a bit to ensure you are equally covered in blood, guts and tears.
Once I was finished reading how the “Order” kept whatever is below sealed in the house I felt quite exhausted; but then CN starts the physiological path of the book, she introduces the main characters and breathes life into them.
Freya is one of three best friends, joining her are Oliver and Bam. Freya has inherited Angel Manor from her batty old Aunt, all families have them but my, oh my this family has spades and buckets of them!
Between them they have a plan to make the huge house into a hotel, famous as much for its beauty, surroundings and food as well as the local legends regarding hauntings and the fall of Lucifer. It soon becomes clear that the house has other ideas and it bonds with them and starts using their energy to reawaken the horrors that lie within.
Oliver and Bam are from random characters, they too have their own huge sub plots which enhance the terrors and emotional rollercoaster for Freya.
Logan and the Chancers, a group of troubled teenage boys who are working as building apprentices, are employed to help with the renovations, he soon become the lust/love interest for Freya which allows for some hot sex scenes, CN revels in many of these as several of the house occupants are seduced in various ways, she does them well with just the right about of intrusion to make you feel a little uncomfy.
As the house begins to claim more souls to torture in so many unique ways the gore, murder, blood, death and ghostly goings on begin to get more intense by the page but is this all in their minds? Apparently not! As when Ms Florifera arrives with her paranormal searcher crew it all becomes a little more real as science is proving what the guests are feeling.
Impossibly CN is able to increase the tension as the equinox approaches and all sorts of horror starts to occur, but whatever is floating around in the house does not compare to what is buried underneath, will they be able to keep the seal intact and not unleash this horror into the world.
I loved all the depth to the characters, so much time was spent on their history, development and emotions that I could not help but feel involved which made for some truly shuddering and breath holding moments. The characters are so believable that they drew me into caring and hoping that they made it out alive, or at least in one piece.
CN is brilliant at gaining your attention and then scaring the skin of you, sometimes with subtlety and others with plain all out horror, the ultimate chill is this is book ONE, hells bells what else is coming!