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on January 9, 2013
Michelle Muto has crafted a riveting page-turner that will engage YAs and older fans of YA Lit. Her characters are real, breathing individuals with unique voices. The dialog is never muddled. The reader always knows which character is speaking--even without the use of dialog tags. That's an art--because dialog is more than he said, she said. It is mannerism and inflection, it's how a character reacts and the choice of words. Four young adults in a creepy situation--a house with eyes and ears that gets beneath the skin and wants .... needs ... everything... There were times in the reading that I felt physically uncomfortable (that's a good thing!), and swore I saw things out of the corner of my eye. At the outset, I'll admit to thinking, "oh, please, how scary can this be?" Well, I gave up reading it at night. The stark light of day made it a little bit easier. I could NOT read it before going to sleep. It got just that disturbing. But it's all good, because that's what you WANT in a story like this. The settings were lush--the book invoked Savannah beautifully, eerily. The reader is drawn to the house, just as the characters are drawn. It's a difficult book to put down. If you're brave enough, try it on a dark and stormy night. If you're like me and not quite that brave, go for it in the light of day in your favorite coffee shop surrounded by people. But, no matter HOW you take this wonderful dose of horror, make sure you take it. You don't want to miss out
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on January 5, 2013
This is one of those few times I wish I were a good writer so that I could do this review justice! I've had the pleasure of reading Michelle's other books and I am loath to say which is better then the other. They are each their very own individual entity which is amazing coming from the same writer. I have to admit I am not a reader of the 'haunted house' genre but I so did love this book. I think the underlying strength of her books are the characters! I always love her characters. OK! I'm done selling Ms. Muto the author now the book. It's damn scary and different. I think it is a new look at a familiar subjects(Demons,zombies,magic,heroes,ghosts etc)and a real page turner. Especially the rip roaring ending. It will take your breath away! If you like scary stories and unexpected heroes(and fun)with it's share of twists and turns then this is YOUR book!
PS. Read her 2 other books too. Fun will ensue.
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on December 24, 2012
I sat down to read this last night and ended up finishing it after midnight. For a moment, I considered turning on a nightlight. There's something in the book about mirrors-read it, and you'll understand. Anyway, if you're a horror fan or you like Stephen King-like books, pick this one up. Well-written and good creep factor. 5 stars.
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on January 13, 2013
Even though i usually stay away from books that might scare me, i couldn't say no to one of Michelle Muto's book since i loved the previous book by her. So here we are me trying to read it..

...and be totally creeped out. I stopped reading 2 times because the images in mind were so strong (talk about a good description!) that i felt that i was in the Siler House along the others. It was like walking into it, listening to it and let's not talk about Riley. The creepy murderer kid in the mirrors. I haven't look in a mirror in my house for like 3 days xD. Okay yes, i'm easily scared but either way i think it really creepy and scary. Michelle Muto, knew exactly what to say and what to make her characters feel to get to you.

Let's talk about the writing a little, because something happened that i was really impressed with it. The book is written in 2 POV's : Jess and Gage. It's the first time, that i feel like the whole writing style changes to fit the character. Gage was more straightforward, more boyish while Jess was easy, calm and slower. It showed the difference not only in their minds but in their personalities too. Oh what i would have give to be in Allison's mind too!

Anna dressed in Blood was good, but Haunting Season was a lot better. It scared me and still i couldn't stop reading. It was like watching those old horror movies (there is even a sex scene in which it didn't disturb me at all like it happens most of the time!!) but instead reading it and feeling everything enhanced.
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on January 23, 2013
The Haunting Season is a decent young adult paranormal suspense novel that introduces the differences in ghosts and demons while also explaining there are other paranormal gifts that can operate independently or in tandem with others, gaining strength in numbers and intelligence from experience.

Four young adults are gathered by a pseudo-government official to explore the merits of paranormal gifts and their practical uses. They are to live together for a month as experiments are conducted that might better define their gifts and perhaps discover practical applications of those gifts. At least, that is the idea. In reality, the house is haunted--meaning, the house, itself, is haunted--even as it hosts haunts that make themselves known in one fashion or another to Jess and Allison, who see ghosts and demons where others do not. Two young girls were killed on the grounds, and they haunt the home along with Riley, their murderer. The four young people gathered to conduct experiments soon find they must apply their skills if they want to live, and they have to figure out how to do this even as their supervisor seems to be deteriorating from his original position and advancing into the same strange attitude that the house seems to eventually share with all its tenants, except, perhaps, Mrs. Hirsch.

A good book for young adults, with good paranormal action and some romance, for the more experienced reader, the actions don't flow as smoothly as one would want, often with simple words trying to explain complicated actions, and vice versa. The author also seems to assume that the reader will understand that there are elements at work that should be scary and assumes an understanding of the frightening experiences. For instance, Jess practices each day in the music room and everyone understands this--but, after what should really be a couple days (considering they are intending to be in the home for just one month), the author seems to imply that Jess' actions are traditional and expected such as when a person has adopted a routine over several weeks or months. The time frames for the thoughts and actions just don't seem to add up, but unless you are paying attention, this is not detrimental to the story.

A good story for young adults in the paranormal genre, it is setting itself up for a good sequel. Perhaps with the experience provided through this first writing, the sequel will be something that experienced readers might enjoy as much as the younger reader.
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on April 8, 2013
The first haunted house novel I read was The Amityville Horror, and I even still have the original hardback. That was 1977 and it's left me craving ghost stories ever since. The Haunting Season by Michelle Muto, while a fictional tale is no less as chilling and entertaining. Four twenty-somethings are brought to Siler Hous, a grand plantation house in the deep south of Georgia. Each one of them possess a particular talent that could lend itself to understanding if there really is life beyond the grave. And if that's true then Siler house is the one place on earth they should be able to find it for certain. Long rumored to be filled with ghosts, this antebellum mansion is filled with a disturbing past. Jess our main character is eager to be a part of the experiments and instantly falls in love with Siler house. For her, it's a mission that is two fold. 1. to perhaps make contact with her deceased father and grandmother and to prove to herself she's not crazy about the ghosts she's seen in her past. The other three main characters have their own demons and reasons to be present for the month long experiment. Once the plot was set I quickly was immersed into the world of Siler house. Muto paints a vivid detailed portrait of a grand home that's fallen on hard times. You can almost smell the dust and hear the boards creak. Her attention to detail is brilliantly executed.

In the beginning I didn't care for the character Gage, a typical jock-type who's as cocky as he is arrogant. He's out of place with the others. So I thought at first. But Muto does something credible, she managed to win me over with a character who was unlikeable at first. I had suspicions about the other characters and was pleasantly surprised I was wrong about my early thoughts. I found the book to be a perfect bedside read. Some books I want to read straight through, then there are books like Haunting Season that I want to savor.

I already was a fan of Muto with "Don't Fear The Reaper" in fact I claimed it as my favorite book of 2011. Haunting Season was equally as entertaining. Muto is a writer I know will continue to read no matter what she writes!
Well done 5 Ghosts! (stars)
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on January 15, 2014
Once I started reading this, I didn't want to go to bed. Not just because it was SO GOOD, but because it was scary. as. hell. No pun intended. I am a huuuuge Haunting of Hill House fan, and so I had pretty big expectations going into this. It delivered. I loved how the suspense built, and the mysteries surrounding Siler House were slowly revealed. And each of the individual participants' "abilities"? Ack! So thrilling. Highly recommended.
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on February 3, 2013
OH.MY.GOD I've never been one to read scary books, watch movies or shows yes, but not books. Why you might ask, well I have a theory. My theory is no one, I mean NO ONE can scare you more than your own mind. Watching something there's always clues when something is about jump out by the creepy music...when you read a book, at least when I do, my mind is already acting out the scene. I have to say Michelle Muto, BRAVO because I don't get creeped out that easy especially when its ghost related, but you had me at the edge of my seat. I seriously could not put this book down and when I had to I got annoyed so everyone just left me alone. It is now midnight and I just finished it!!

We all have our own beliefs on whether or not ghosts are real, but it doesn't mean one is right or wrong. I am a believer based on experiences I've had dealing with the paranormal. Sometimes things happen that can't be explained and I absolutely loved this book. I loved the characters even more. It flowed perfectly and can see myself re reading this book over and over. So what's the story about?

Well 4 teens are brought together for a `study' on whether or not the house changes people and if they have supernatural abilities. Jess is the only one out of the four who truly wants to be there. She has hopes of seeing her father or grandmother's spirits. Bryan has a different ability, one that I can say could come in handy in certain situations if it didn't take a major toll on your body. Allison is a little different. You can't help but feel bad for her because she practically lives in a nightmare. She comes off as insane at first but it turns out she's the only one that's been making the most sense. Then there's Gage *swoons* his ability is mega creepy and I definitely wouldn't want that. Jess and Bryan don't mind being at the house, it interests them. Allison and Gage on the other hand, were forced to be there.

"It was as though it harbored something she could only explain as an essence or soul."

What secretes does the house hold? Why is the government so interested in their abilities? Can a house really be alive? I don't know about you guys but have you ever walked up to a building and get the creeps? It's like it's watching you so you look around trying to find the pair of eyes looking at you, but there's no one there. It's like those old time paintings where you feel like the eyes move when you do....CREEPTACULAR

"I saw a man upon the stairs. I saw a man who wasn't there. He wasn't there again today, I wish the man would go away."

I love how Michelle wrote this book. It's the perfect amount of suspense, creepy, and romance. That's right there is romance in the book...well as romantic as it could get with it being dark and haunted. Sometimes LOVE knows no bounds and happens in the least expected place. Or maybe having a similar traumatic experience brings you closer.... Hell who am I kidding if Gage doesn't make you swoon I don't know what will! He definitely had me eating out the palm of his hand...

"I told you I'd win your heart,"

I hope there is more to this story. The ending was perfect and though I am perfectly ok with the way the story ended, I want to know what's going on with the house now that it's no longer vacant. I want to know if something follows the character's home. I want to know if the government truly believes what they think happened or if their plotting...I mean after all it is the government. So Michelle Muto if you are reading this... I WANT MORE, kk thanks!

Pick up your copy now! Like right now and then devour it and maybe possibly sleep with the lights on
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on March 26, 2013
Picked up Michelle Muto's The Haunting Season because I really enjoyed her Book of Lost Souls. Plus I like good haunted "anything" stories. The Haunting Season didn't let me down. Siler House is the perfect haunted house and Ms. Muto's desriptions and prose set the haunted tone perfectly. Throw in the ghosts of two young girls, a wicked demon, and characters that exhibit some type of paranormal power and you have all the ingredients of an entertaining ghost story. But for a ghost story to really worlk the characters must be individuals you care about and the author does an exemplary job here. The plot is fun, dialogue fast and the ending will not allow you to put the book down. Plus it's got romance and some sexy scenes to go along with the supernatural. Highly recommended for any readers who like haunted house stories--or all readers or who looking for a good entertaining story.
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on April 4, 2014
Particularly in the beginning, from the time of arrival at the haunted manner, this book is very reminiscent of the Steven King movie Rose Red.
That said, this story is different, with a character all its own. Still Rose Red haunts the back of the reader's mind, almost bringing another dimension to the tale.
The characters here are like friends you know, or would like to know. And you truly care what happens to them. And when the director of the study in which they all are participants unleashes evil incarnate, you feel the horror right along with those with special abilities who have been gathered within the house, which itself has become a living entity (not unlike Rose Red).
To say much more, I risk premature disclosure of some of the thrills lying within. But I can say that if you like a good, thrilling ghost story, this is a book for you: I truly believe it is amongst the best of the genre.
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