Middle Grade, Horror| 136 pages | 09.01.2019 | Jolly Fish Press
First of all, I love that middle-grade horror is starting to take off and is getting the attention it deserves. Thomas Kingsley Troupe’s Haunted States of America Series is a lovely idea and a fun resource for any middle-grade library. I quite enjoyed Trapped in Room 217 and had high hopes for this book. Sadly, Curse of the Dead-Eyed Doll left me wanting more.
I love the author’s motivation for this Key West haunted doll story. Haunted dolls are creepy, unpredictable, and something anyone could encounter at any time. I wish this concept would’ve translated into his story. I was mostly bored and sometimes confused by the plot. The build-up to the main protagonist’s agony was lacking. I enjoyed that Al didn’t believe in the superstitions of this doll. I liked that he challenged the warnings and dismissed them as coincidence or superstitions. But when the creepy events started to compile I was expecting a slow progression from disbelief to horror to belief. That didn’t happen in my opinion. But that is exactly what would’ve made me, as the reader, scared as well. I wanted to experience the dread with Al. I wanted to live his emotions but I couldn’t because they weren’t on the page.
I will check out the other books in the series in hopes that they are more like Trapped in Room 217 and less like this book.
I would like to thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for my advanced copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.