12 Following

Leah's Bookshelf

Likes: Horror, macabre, fairy tales, ghosts, hauntings, serial killers, zombies, werewolves, shapeshifters, vampires, time travel, orphans, clones, thrillers, classics, gothic


I like to read anything that tells a good story, duh ;) Genre doesn't really matter much but I tend to read dark fiction and fantasy the most. I skip chick lit and romance novels with a few exceptions for the extraordinary.


My ratings system:

5 stars - ADORED; plan to read over and over and over.

4 stars - ENJOYED; will likely read once or twice more.

3 stars - LIKED; may or may not read again ... someday.

2 stars - MEH; no plans to read again.

1 stars - I didn't enjoy the story and was lucky to finish.

0 stars - I couldn't or wouldn't finish for reasons that may or may not be listed in the review box.

Currently reading

The Oxford Book of American Short Stories
Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville, Henry James, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Washington Irving, Mark Twain, Edith Wharton, Ray Bradbury, Charlotte Gilman Perkins, Willa Carter, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Stephen Crane, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Katherine Anne Porter, Eudora Welty, Nath
Progress: 225/768 pages

Niceville by Carsten Stroud

Niceville - Carsten Stroud

Rating: 3 of 5


A boy, walking home from school in broad daylight on a busy street, vanished (literally!) and an old southern town with a dark history were the two reasons I chose Niceville. Had I known it was the first in a trilogy (does anyone write standalone books anymore?!) I might not have borrowed it.


That's not to say I was disappointed with Niceville just ... underwhelmed.


Stroud hooked me from the first chapter (crafty devil) and ended each chapter with just enough to keep me turning the page (he's obviously an expert tease), but the next chapter didn't resolve the previous one. Instead, it switched to another character and their subplot. I had to wade through some pretty blatant info dump (the kind where one character tells another character lengthy details he had to have already known), lazy characterizations (Chinese dude as IT whiz kid) and downright stupid choices by some of those characters to finally arrive at the climax, which felt rushed and, well, boring. There were genuinely creepy moments sprinkled throughout the story, so I thought for sure the climax would take it up a notch. Sadly, it didn't.


My gut tells me the juicy stuff, the real mystery and adventure, will be in the sequel. Niceville was simply used as a way to introduce the main characters, establish the town's history, and hint at something darker yet to be uncovered. I'll admit to being curious about Rainey Teague and who, or what, he really is. Same with Crater Sink. Is that curiosity strong enough that I'll pick up The Homecoming? I'm leaning toward yes, but only time will tell.


Overall, if you're looking for a fast-paced, multiple POV, masculine mystery with some paranormal activity, you'll likely enjoy this book.


Disclaimer: Contains racism and stereotypes.