Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Shantallow by Cara Martin, hosted by Xpresso Book Tours. This is a super creepy read, perfect for heading into the Halloween season. Let’s go!
About the Book
Author: Cara Martin
Publisher: Cormorant Books
Release Date: May 26, 2019
Genre: YA Horror
Blurb: Tanvi isn’t the girl of Misha’s dreams; she’s the girl from his nightmares. She has appeared in his chilling dreams before he even meets her; when he DOES meet her, he falls for her.
Their relationship turns stormy, bordering on abusive, and takes a dramatic turn when they are held captive by a group hoping to extract money from Tanvi’s wealthy family.
But there is something more sinister at work, and the kidnappers and their victims find themselves struggling for survival as a supernatural force from Misha’s nightmares makes itself known in the real world.
Review: I am going to start this review with a trigger warning. Not because of blood or gore or anything like that — if you’re reading a horror novel, you know to expect that sort of thing. There is one scene that has to do with a guy who decides to get back at his ex-girlfriend by posting naked pictures of her across all of her social media accounts. I will say that this action is not glorified. He is immediately horrified by what he did and takes the photos down. The girlfriend also really lets him have it. But I do know that revenge porn can really ruin someone’s life so, if that is something that bothers you, maybe sit this one out. Or at least skip that scene. It’s not necessarily integral to the plot.
On to the review itself. This is a story primarily about toxic relationships. Our main character, Misha, is struggling with the memory of his abusive father who abandoned the family. He has haunting reoccurring nightmares where he is running through the woods with a girl that he doesn’t know, something that gets weirder when he sees the girl while he is out working at his landscaping job. The girl in question, Tanvi, comes from a rich family, but is also dealing with her own family issues. They come together in this whirlwind, passionate romance that always seems to teeter on the brink of destruction, until it finally implodes. Misha thinks Tanvi is cheating on him with her ex, the revenge porn thing happens, Tanvi goes off on him and trashes his room, and they are no longer together.
Next up comes the horror aspect, which you get hints of through Misha’s nightmares, but gets really, really frightening once the story picks up speed. Tanvi is kidnapped and Misha sees it happen while he was driving by her house (I told you it was toxic) and intervenes. He ends up getting kidnapped too, along with Tanvi’s little cousin, Lauren, and another friend of hers, Cal. The kidnappers take them to this old house, but the old house is definitely not what it seems. It is very, very haunted by an evil spirit who is definitely not resting peacefully.
Is there anything creepier than a dark, empty house that is rotting and falling apart? It is the quintessential horror story setting and Martin uses it perfectly. Every item in the house feels sinister. Every time they have to open another door, you hold your breath waiting to see what’s on the other side. People randomly disappear from the group (there are eight of them, the four victims plus four kidnappers). Lauren keeps getting possessed and saying really creepy things in a really creepy voice. They try to escape through the woods only to be led right back to that house. I honestly doubted that they would ever get away from it because it felt that vicious and vindictive.
GoodReads Rating: 4 stars.
About the Author
Cara Martin is the author of several acclaimed novels for young people published under the name C. K. Kelly Martin. Her most recent novel, Stricken, was released in 2017. A graduate of the Film Studies program at York University, Cara has lived in the Greater Toronto Area and Dublin, Ireland. Within the space of 3500 miles she’s worked a collection of quirky jobs at multiple pubs and video stores, an electricity company, a division of the Irish post office, a London toyshop, and an advertising analytics company. She’s also been an image editor for a dot-com startup that didn’t survive the 90s, and a credit note clerk for Canada’s largest national distributor of General Merchandise. Cara currently resides in Ottawa, Ontario with her husband and is still afraid of the Child Catcher from the film adaptation of CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG.
This tour comes with an international tour-wide giveaway! You can enter via this Rafflecopter link to win a signed copy of Shantallow, plus a $25 Amazon gift card! Good luck!
Follow the Tour!
For more information on this book, be sure to check out the other stops on the tour. Thanks again to Xpresso Book Tours for the opportunity!