Wow...apparently if Santino Hassell writes it, I'll read it...

Stygian - Santino Hassell

So in a nutshell 'Stygian' is the kind of book that normally gets a bit "No thank you." from me and then I move on. But, I loved ICoS, got hooked on 'The Five Boroughs', adore the Barons, have 'The Community' quayed up and ready to go and don't get me started on the 'Cyberlove' series he co-writes with Megan Erickson...ok, point made 'the author made me do it'...sorta'?

 

As scary books go this definitely wasn't the scariest that I've ever encountered...but I can't say that I didn't have a chill running up and down my spine on more than one occasion. While rock bands aren't at the top of my reading list they're not a deal breaker either. So I definitely went into this one eyes wide open...I knew there was a rock band, I knew they were going to end up at a big ole' deserted mansion with mysterious owners...cause that didn't scream...haunted and creepy...damn straight it did.

 

While the setting for this story was definitely Halloween worthy there's a lot more to this story than a scare or two...there's more than one person who's ready to either implode or explode...depending on what triggers the event. 

 

The plan was for the band to go on a retreat focus on creating some new music together get ready for the next phase in their career...well we all know what they say a bout the road to hell...right? It's paved with good intentions and these guys are heading there from the minute they arrive at the Carroway mansion because it was all down hill. There's misunderstandings, miscommunication, lies are told, secrets are kept and everyone seems to have an ulterior motive.  Nothing was as simple as it seemed in this one.

 

I really enjoyed all aspects of this story. Whether it was the big ole scary mansion and it's secrets or the dynamics between the characters in the story. It all worked for me. For someone who's not a big fan of horror 'Stygian' proved to be a good choice. Yes it gave me a chill or two but no nightmares...yes, I can seriously get these if the story's scary enough and well written...what can I say I apparently have a vivid imagination... anyways, this one kept me sitting on the edge of my seat without being afraid to go to sleep at night.  The dynamics between the  band members and how they came to be where they're at was another aspect of this story that easily held my attention and honestly one that I'm not going to delve into because 1. complicated and 2. by the time I finish explaining it you may as well just read the book.

 

I listened to the audio version of this book and it was narrated by new to me narrator Geoffrey Alan and I have to admit, while I think this is mostly me, if I'm rating just the narration for this one, it's going to get 3 stars at best from me. I just wasn't connecting with this narrator. I can't say that there was anything about the narrator that I didn't like or that bothered me but I just wasn't connecting with the voices and at times it felt like they were becoming a bit monotone...almost like someone was reading an itemized list. I didn't find this narrator's voice to be the worst that I've ever experience by any means and I probably would give them another listen on something else in the future...just a side note here that when I checked for more titles narrated by Geoffrey Alan there was only one other audiobook and it's not one that would interest me...so maybe, a new narrator and I'm willing to wait and see what the future brings.

 

However, if you're a fan of Santino Hassall or you like a solid story line with an added hint of horror to it, I strongly recommend checking this one out. It was a 4 star listen for me and for a book that sits in a genre that's in the 'no fly' zone for me. That's pretty impressive.