Thursday, August 5, 2010
The Harrowing by Alexandra Sokoloff
Robin is staying at her dorm over thanksgiving break, because she can’t take going home to her alcoholic, emotionally abusive mother. She expects a long weekend alone, but in fact finds that four other students are staying as well. However, after a ferocious storm knocks out the pair, the five students begin a game that turns out to have very deadly consequences. And when the weekend ends, they realize that their terror has only just begun.
Sokoloff’s novel began a little slowly, with a bit of extreme angst, as Robin falls into a deep, suicidal depression, but after the first few chapters, the story really kicks in, and the pages fly by. The character’s are very fun, and all feel rather well fleshed out. The story also manages to play both as a ghost story, as well as pulling in some religious mysticism, and both elements work very well. The story alternates between researching the past to find out what the students are dealing with, and struggling with the paranormal entity.
Sokoloff’s debut novel is a thriller of a horror novel, and an absolute joy to read. I would definitely recommend this one to fans of the genre, but also to those interested in the genre but looking for a nice entry point. A solid short novel.