If you’ve been following the blog, you’ll know that I’m not the biggest horror fan. After reading a few books in this genre last year and actually enjoying them, I’ve been wanting to read more in this genre. That’s when I read about Harrow Lake. I thought it sounded really interesting and decided to join the blog tour.
A big thanks to Dave from The Write Reads, Penguin and the author for providing me with an ARC to read and review.
Welcome to Harrow Lake. Someone’s expecting you . . .
Lola Nox is the daughter of a celebrated horror filmmaker – she thinks nothing can scare her.
But when her father is brutally attacked in their New York apartment, she’s swiftly packed off to live with a grandmother she’s never met in Harrow Lake, the eerie town where her father’s most iconic horror movie was shot.
The locals are weirdly obsessed with the film that put their town on the map – and there are strange disappearances, which the police seem determined to explain away.
And there’s someone – or something – stalking her every move.
The more Lola discovers about the town, the more terrifying it becomes. Because Lola’s got secrets of her own. And if she can’t find a way out of Harrow Lake, they might just be the death of her.
I started Harrow Lake with an open mind and hoping I wouldn’t be scared too much, haha. While reading I had to say that I was sucked into the story from the start. The creepy vibe is something I did feel that grew throughout the story. Harrow Lake doesn’t seem like a place I’d want to be sent while my father was recovering.
Kat Ellis’ writing made me fly through this book and added to that creepy feeling. At times this book got slow for me, but it didn’t take long again for it to pick up. While I don’t agree with everything that happened, this author definitely surprised me with some twists in Harrow Lake. I definitely felt like I was in an old horror movie when she described the setting. It was interesting to see how much the town didn’t change to keep tourists coming.
The one thing that made it hard for me to completely get sucked into the story was being able to connect with the characters. It stayed kind of shallow for me at times. I didn’t learn enough to become completely invested, especially in Lola. Her character did interest me, but also left me with a lot of questions. There is clearly a lot that has happened in her past and I felt like that took a bit too much of the backseat in this book. Especially her use of “Optimal” during the book. I really needed more information about this and felt I was missing a big part of her story/history. It’s clear that there is a lot going on with her relationship with her father as well. I think it would’ve grabbed me a lot more if that went deeper in Harrow Lake.
That being said, after reading Harrow Lake I would love to visit a town like Harrow Lake (as long as I can make it out alive), even though I’m a scaredy cat. I loved the element with Mister Jitters. I love the mysterious/scary part of the horror story. Also, it does get ‘horrory’ in the sense that there are elements that made me think “ewww”, but not as much as I expected to get in a book like this. I also really enjoyed the cast of side characters in Harrow Lake. We didn’t learn a lot about all of them, but they really added to the story and atmosphere.
All in all, even though this book left me with some questions, I thought Harrow Lake was an interesting read! It definitely keeps me wanting to explore this genre and pick up the other books Kat Ellis has written. I enjoyed reading outside of my comfort zone and her writing style kept me going!
About the Author
You’ll usually find Kat up to no good on Twitter, trekking through ruins and cemeteries with her camera, or watching scary films with her husband.
I have to say that I’m starting to enjoy horror just a little bit more! If you have any suggestions for me, definitely let me know. Harrow Lake was really interesting and definitely left me with a creepy feeling.