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Cinema of Shadows Paperback – August 9, 2011
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"Cinema Of Shadows is a full-throttle, unique journey that takes the concept of the conventional 'haunting' to new territory. West proves once again that his voice is rare and quite formidable." ~Shroud Magazine
Top Customer Reviews
One Thing I really enjoyed was the characters they were all interesting and engaging. It is hard to make characters in a horror novel interesting and get you to care about them because honestly you never know what is going to happen.
The Cinema itself was an awesome setting. I loved the description of the beautiful old grand theater the way a theater should be. It made me what to grab a camera and explore the place.
I love the adventure that the characters went through. I love the tale of Kim and Tyler it is so fluid and wonderful.
The author writes people well. Especially the wide range of characters that existed in this book. I really liked that Professor Burke had a reason to be interested in parapsychology, it made it more real and believable.
I would highly recommend this book to Older Teens and adults. I enjoyed this book greatly and look forward reading some more by this author. I am so glad that I read this book in October it set the mood for the whole month. I will say this it is a fast read but it is for sure a great terrifying (in a good way) read.
I give this one 4.5 Stars out of 5.
I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
The Woodfield Movie Palace used to be a place of art of culture in the modest town of Harmony, Indiana, until tragedy upon tragedy reduced it to a porno theater, then scheduled for demolition. The man who built it died in his seat on the night it opened for business, was the site of a tragic balcony fire that killed several people, plus more than one murder within its walls. So, upon news that the place is going to be torn down, a parapsychology professor at the local university assembled a small team of his students to assist him in a paranormal investigation. After years of seeking a single event of documented paranormal activity, Professor Burke sees the Woodfield as his last and greatest chance to prove ghosts exist.
The lead character of the novel isn't Burke though, but Kim Saunders, who Burke suspects may be the key to his success given her ability to hear and see spirits while her classmates must rely on the scientific instruments they take with them on their "ghost hunts." Kim, however, has a past with apparitions ever since she was an infant, and it seems the last thing she wants to do is go on one more expedition, especially since she only took Burke's course for the easy credit. And, she now has a love interest with a young local doctor, who is having his own strange experiences with the supernatural.
The novel is chock-full of ghostly encounters, some harmless, but far more wind up treacherous--even fatal. Michael West does everything he can to ramp up the tension and the stakes in this book, which is the first time I can recall reading his work. He does a good job shaping the characters through their interactions with one another, though there was a bit more of the inner monologues from some characters than I would have liked. But when it came to the action, Michael didn't hold back, and it became really easy to imagine this rundown theater harboring some really sinister spirits. The place has a ton of backstory that is relayed in the narrative quite well.
Where the disappointment in the novel occurred for me came from my confusion over just what the limits of the spirits' abilities were. I was under the impression that it was the theater that was haunted, so if you wanted to see some ghostly action the characters needed to go in there, but on more than one occasion characters encountered paranormal activity outside the theater. Had that aspect of the novel been better explained, I could have rolled with the punches better, but it felt like a speed bump for me. That, and there was a character introduced late in the novel that wound up playing a surprisingly integral role in the climax, which struck me as a tacked on solution for the established characters.
Cinema of Shadows might not be the new Hell House, but it's a fun, bloody romp that has a great B-movie feel to it. The pacing really felt cinematic, and reminded me of the better Fangoria Fright Flicks that I've seen over the last couple years. Not perfect, but it's worth taking a chance on it if you love ghastly ghost stories.
When Kim Saunders was a baby, her mother was sure that she was developmentally delayed or autistic. Despite being assured by doctors that her beautiful daughter was absolutely normal, she still worried because it seemed that Kim was watching things that no one else could see.
The story then flashes-forward to when Kim is in college, and she is taking a Parapsychology course to fulfill her Psychology requirement. Professor Burke uses all types of specialized equipment in his investigations to identify paranormal activity, such as infrared thermal scanners to detect changes in temperature.
With the news that the Woodfield Movie Palace is slated for demolition, Professor Burke is keen to take his students there to investigate for paranormal activity. The old building has long been plagued with unusual occurrences and violent incidents, and there were claims of spectral activity made by both staff and patrons. Before the building is destroyed, Professor Burke wants to determine whether there is any truth to the rumors.
What happens at the Woodfield Movie Palace is straight out of a horror flick! Cinema of Shadows is delightfully creepy, and West has a way of writing that makes the hair stand up at the back of your neck. At a particularly eerie part in the story, I flipped the page and was faced with a ghastly illustration (courtesy of Matthew Perry) that startled me into dropping the book!
Some horror books are pretty gruesome and gory, but this book falls more into the "scary" category. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a book that gives you the creeps while reading! West is a new-to-me author, and I certainly plan to read more of his work!
MY RATING: 4 stars!! It was really good! You should put it on your TBR list! Thanks to Seventh Star Press for the review copy!