I finished this book hours ago, but I still haven't quite processed it yet. All I know is that it was really twisted, but REALLY amazing at the same time! If I had to sum Horrorscape up in a few words, it would probably be: intense
, scary, and even pretty hot
. My emotions were going everywhere the whole time I read it and I even found myself having to stop every once in a while for a breather. Some of the scenes were just so... intense. I can't think of another way to describe it, so I'll probably use that word a lot, haha. The writing was fantastic and it held my attention the whole time. The plot, characters, and everything were just great. My thoughts are still all over the place, so the review might be a little random, but I'll try to sum up some of the really awesome aspects of it. As a disclaimer, I'm friends with the author on GoodReads, but that in no way affects my rating or review of Horrorscape.
First off, Fearscape and Horrorscape were two very different books. I loved them both equally and was thrilled that Horrorscape was just as good (if not better) than the first book. Especially with how often sequels don't rise to meet the expectations set by the first novel. Horrorscape was great and went further with a lot of the elements that Fearscape set up. It was a lot darker in general and in my opinion, even faster paced. We already knew Gavin was the bad guy, so there was no investigating to be done. It jumped right into the plot and never slowed down. The writing was different in the way that it switched point of views frequently, which I thought was interesting. Some authors can't pull off PoV switches, but I thought Nenia did it well. Sometimes I wished it would stay focused on Val and Gavin when they were in the same room together, but it was helpful and added a lot of believability to the plot for us to be able to see what was happening with the other characters, especially since they were all locked up in the same house. The parts written from Gavin's perspective alone were chilling. All in all, I just thought that Horrorscape was a level higher in almost every element than Fearscape- it was scarier, more violent, and even more romantic/sexual than the previous one.
The plot, as I said before, was great. At first I was kind of skeptical as to how well a party with Gavin as the host would be pulled off, especially if both Val and her friends were there. But it worked very nicely and the games they played got creepier and creepier as it went along. The book totally read as a scary haunted house movie and I felt like I was right there watching firsthand. Horrorscape would make a great film actually, but I think it's even better as a book, because Nenia Campbell's writing was so wonderful that I was stricken with every emotion and sense just as the characters went through it. The further the novel progressed, the more terrifying it became. Books rarely scare me or really evoke much of a reaction from me at all. But at certain points, especially near the end, I actually felt my heart speed up and noticed myself biting on my nails during the suspenseful parts. Man, they were spooky. And I rarely knew what was coming next. I loved every second of it.
The characters were great, too. Most of them were different than in Fearscape- rightfully so, since years had passed since the first novel. Val was much more paranoid and scared than before. She never knew if she was imagining her fears or if they were real. I found this totally justified, considering what she went through freshman year. It was sad to see how everyone cast her worries off and ignored her. I felt sympathy towards her a lot of the time, especially at the beginning. I also loved her feelings for Gavin- how she hated him, yet was still attracted to him. In so many horror books, the characters are attracted to the villain, but when he's revealed to be the bad guy, they are revolted and can't stand to be around him anymore. Val wasn't like that and I thought it brought so much more to the novel, since she was still fighting with sexual feelings for him when she should have just been scared or disturbed.
Speaking of Gavin, I still loved him just as much as before. He was really, really scary in this one, though. I'm not sure if he actually changed a lot in between the books or if we're just seeing more of his true colors this time around- he's very unhinged now, because he has nothing to hide from Val. He's a coldhearted killer and will do whatever it takes to get what he wants. In Horrorscape, there was no question as to what his goal in the end was, so we got to see just how serious and dedicated he was to having Val all to himself. I thought it was crazy when he killed Jason just for threatening to murder Val. It showed how protective he was of her. He didn't care about anyone's feelings but his own and would even hurt Val if needed. He truly was terrifying. But sexy at the same time. His scenes alone with Val were hot. They didn't actually DO that much, I mean, compared to some of the other books out there and what he could have done with her if he decided to. But it was still steamy and great. I even found myself a little sad when there was an interruption and he had to go back to being his evil party host self. He definitely knows how to turn on and off his charm and I liked how in control of his emotions he was- that is, until SOMEONE pushed him a little too far a couple of times. But yes. Gavin is a monster. I should not have the teeniest of crushes on him. No. Maybe if I say this enough times, I'll get it through my head.
The minor characters were good, too. James made me angry a lot and I wasn't that sad to see him die, to be honest. Lisa had some great one liners and was hilarious, but she was still the same not-so-great best friend as before. Blake was a nice new edition and I liked his personality a lot. The other new characters from the white team were interesting, as well. Charlie was pretty frightening and I actually was intrigued by her for a while. Sometimes I was aggravated when it switched to their points of views, but mainly just because I wanted to know what was going to happen next with Val and Gavin. It was a pretty creative writing technique to add suspense, actually. But the smaller characters added some good stuff to the story and I loved some of their comical dialogue. I'll be interested to see what roles they play in the final installment of the series.
I still can't quite express how much I adored this book, haha. I think Fearscape and Horrorscape have earned their way into my favorites. There were just so many small things that made them great. I enjoyed the ending to this one, too. It came quickly (in a good way- it wasn't until I was 98 percent of the way through that I stopped and realized that there wasn't enough time left for what I thought was going to happen to actually pan out) and left my dying to read Terrorscape. I am so grateful that this book exists and I wish more people would read it. I'm tempted to actually go get physical copies of this and Fearscape so that I can lend them to my non-Kindle owning friends (and because it's nice to have hard copies of really good books, in my opinion, so you can flip through them and reread certain parts more easily). If you haven't read Fearscape, you definitely should go back and complete that one before starting Horrorscape. I'm sure you could enjoy this book quite a bit without reading it's prequel, but the allusions made to Fearscape and Val and Gavin's relationship might make a lot more sense if you read the previous one first. I couldn't find many errors and the small issues I had with it were overshadowed by all of the other great elements. Everyone out there that hasn't read these books needs to go get them now! And I shall attempt to patiently wait for the final installment. I'm so excited to see how it ends. I don't wanna make many guesses though, because I'm sure I won't be able to predict anything about it correctly. Props to the author for making such a marvelous series.