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Haunting Sins by Zoe E. Whitten

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Rated 6.74 out of 10 Statistics

Information

Chapters: 9

Genre: Horror / Supernatural

Audience: Adult

Updated: Completed

Content Advisory

Frequent Sexual Content

Occasional Coarse Language

Occasional Violence

Statistics

Overall Rating: 6.741

Average Rating: 1 (Guests), 7 (Members)

Ranking: #288

Rating Count: 2 (0 Guests, 2 members)

1 indicates a weighted rating.

"creepy is where it's at"

Rating: 7 / 10

First: a warning. This story is most definitely not safe for work. There is violence and mature (sexual) themes, and not in the nice way. This is meant to disturb.

My review: Haunting Sins is the type of horror tale that sneaks up on you. It starts off mild, like a pinprick of fear. I can handle this, you think. Then it gets a little worse. Still doing fine, still reading. Then a little worse, and then worse, and all of a sudden you realize that – actually – the story is pretty damn creepy, and you’re too far in to turn back.

With only 9 parts total, this novella is a quick read, and one I gulped in one sitting. It’s eerie, starting off mundane and sinking slowly into the bizarre and twisted, with just enough intrigue throughout to keep the reader’s interest.

I’m not very widely read when it comes to horror, but the plot seemed to me quite original. The supernatural elements didn’t rely on tired stereotypes and thus were unpredictable, adding to the overall mystery. And “mystery” is a good word to describe this story: this is horror, with a kind of murder-mystery undertone.

That said, my main gripe with the story was about this very murder mystery. The reveal and story resolution came too close together; we’d barely figured out what had really been going on before the story was over. I felt that the reveal lacked foreshadowing; things didn’t enjoyably click into place at the end, rather, we were taken down a corridor that wasn’t really visible beforehand.

I cannot deny, however, that the story was an entertaining read. After a slightly slow beginning, the story picks up and introduces distinctive, likeable characters. David is sometimes adorably bumbling, when he’s not freaked out of his wits, and secretary Nina made me smile several times.

The writing is solid, atmospheric, evenly balanced between dialogue and description, so no complaints there.

The website itself is easy to navigate, although I prefer hard returns between paragraphs on-screen; I found the blockiness of the text a little wearying on the eye.

In sum, creepy, quick, quality horror. What are you waiting for?

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"One creepy little story"

Rating: 7 / 10

Okay, I reviewed this on my blog back in December but didn’t get round to reviewing it here until now.

Before I start this review I feel a warning is in order. “Haunting Sins” by Zoe Whitten contains mature material including references to sexual activity and pornography, which while central to the plot and not done for titillation (quite the opposite in fact) may be too much for some people. Reader discretion is advised. I’d also have to state that you shouldn’t read it at work.

Synopsis: David has been unemployed for some time and is living on the bread line, so when he’s offered a job as webmaster for an online porn site he takes it even though it’s definitely not his dream job. Then he starts seeing a teenage girl in his office. A girl who apparently isn’t there. Is she a ghost or is there a more mundane explanation?

Review: I liked this novella a lot. It’s wonderfully creepy and atmospheric with a subtle increase in terror and not too much gore. This is just how I like my horror. It gave me a J-horror kind of vibe and I’m a real fan of J-horror so that’s good.

I do feel the resolution could have done with a touch more foreshadowing. It’s only nine chapters, and the big clue comes in chapter Eight. That said any extra foreshadowing would have to be done carefully, or risk ruining the plot. This is also the reason I can’t explain this criticism any more clearly. I’d have to spoil a crucial plot point. But as I said it’s not entirely out of the blue and it doesn’t ruin the story.

Verdict: All in all I found this to be a strong Horror Novella well worth a read (though do bear my warning in mind). I think it would make a good horror movie too.

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