Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Haunted Cinema

I was going to do a movie review today, but changed my mind while I was at work. I might still watch a movie, have to since it is Halloween after all (Happy Halloween by the way!). Instead of doing a movie review, I decided to do a book review. I just finished this one a couple of days ago. I don't really like doing book reviews since I feel I don't do all that great of a job on them. I'm willing to break that though for Cinema Of Shadows by Michael West. This is the second book I have read by him. If you are interested in reading about The Wide Game, head there but come back.

Kim Saunders has a gift that she is unsure of. Since she was a baby she has been able to see and talk to ghosts. It really goes beyond that, but she hasn't discovered that just yet. The story gives us a little background on Kim, as well as a small theater just outside a small Indiana town where death has a way of showing up. Now in college, Kim is taking a paranormal class taught by Professor Burke. Kim, along with her best friend Tashima, Joss and Kevin start the main story off by investigating a house where a father killed his daughter. The current owner has been reporting strange happenings and refuses to stay there now. They soon discover there is something to this ghost thing after all. Kevin is hurt during the investigation and is taken to the hospital. While there, Kim starts talking to one of the doctors and agrees to go out on a date with him. Burke is impressed by the groups findings and offers to take them to the Woodfield Movie Palace, a place with a lot of history. We get a hint of it at the start of the book, but more is  revealed later on. Burke has his own reasons for wanting to investigate the theater, and thinks Kim is the key to the answers he has been looking for. What they don't know is something in the theater is waiting for them, and it isn't Casper.

In case you didn't go read my review for The Wide Game, I was very impressed with it. I wasn't as impressed with Cinema Of Shadows, but I loved it all the same. Michael West is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. I know he has a new book out, so I will check it out here sometime and hope it is just as good as the last two. After reading The Wide Game, I decided to like his Facebook page so I could find out what is happening in his world. He let everyone know that Cinema Of Shadows was going to be on sale for a short time through Kindle, so I decided to jump on that offer. I'm very glad that I did. One of the things I find so great about West is his way of finding little things to write about that add so much to the story. I was  surprised by this in his other book, but I see now it wasn't a fluke. Little bits of conversation that I would never have thought to include in a story is what kept me reading for a while. It doesn't have much to do with the main story, but it is fun to read.

The story itself was okay. Haunted places have been done a lot, so I wasn't real into that part of the story. However, the story does become a real page turner all the same. Once they get into the theater, even before really, things start to happen and rather quickly. It is easy to figure out where the story is heading between Kim and what is waiting at the theater, but West still manages to throw in some surprises. There are some funny moments with Tashima that I had to smile at as well. I wouldn't call the story scary, at least not to me, but I still didn't want to return to work while I was in the middle of a good part at work. In fact, I broke the rules and read while in the lab, which can be a big no-no.

The main character of Kim is likable. I enjoyed learning about her and her relationship with the doctor, which provided some nice conversations. Joss and Kevin aren't used a whole lot, but there is enough about each to at least care about them. As much as I liked Kim, I have to say that Tashima is the one that grew on me the most as the story went on. I was very surprised when a character from The Wide Game showed up. I won't say which one here, but I really enjoyed that. Hopefully this is something that West will keep doing in the books to come. You don't need to read The Wide Game, but you will understand the nightmare that the character has much better if you have read it.

If you enjoy reading books then I really can't say enough about giving Michael West's books a try. It looks like he is getting a bigger fan base with each book, which he rightly deserves. I know he has been at the HorrorHound conventions so if you should go to one, keep an eye out for him. Even though I have this book on my Kindle, I'm still looking forward to getting my hands on the actual book, and hopefully signed by West. If you haven't given one of his books a shot, now is a good time as any!
4 out of 5 Told you my book reviews aren't very good!

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