The Monster Museum by J.L. Bryan
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
I have been known to rave about Ellie Jordan novels, frankly I love them, and I had this one on pre-order. Unfortunately, I found this one disappointing and frustrating, let me tell you why.
I love Ellie Jordan novels because they are exciting and mysterious spook hunts with a side of personal tension for the main characters, each adventure has a beginning and an end, and then there may or may not be a background arc that continues into the next book or two. Well, in this one, I was left with an impression that it's more personal angst for Ellie with a tiny side of ghosts.
Each story focuses on a haunted location, with Ellie and friends solving the mystery of who the ghost is and how to get rid of them and the important bit - they solve the problem, that's the satisfying ending. Well, in this book, that gets lost in two things:
- Ellie obsessing about her attraction to two men - now Ellie has a tendency to brood about relationships, but this goes way beyond that and just gets frustrating, it doesn't really have a point, or take the plot anywhere and doesn't get handled realistically at the end
- so that brings me to the second thing, the end, which is swamped by a huge drama mostly unrelated to the haunted location that diminishes the build up and mystery to a point where I thought it was all rather pathetically handled, undervaluing the trauma and drama of the haunted location and its inhabitants .
This felt like a good story (The Monster Museum piece) sacrificed to the 'background' arc, which took control (not very originally IMO - spotted it from the moment it was hinted at and just hoped throughout the book we weren't going in that repetitive direction, but we did) and left a cliffhanger that really got me annoyed (I don't like cliffhangers at the best of times, but when it undermines any satisfaction in the solution to the mystery at the heart of the title of the book, I get stompy).
Please, please, please, make the next book better, I don't want to stop reading what is one of my favourite series ever.
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