Author: Georgina Hannan
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Horror
Publication Date: 07th January 2013
Blurb: Reality and Myths collide.
A young adult story about a group of four friends who embark on a holiday together to the gorgeous countryside of Dartmoor, Devon. Each of them hoping for an adventure, something they will always remember. However it isn’t long before they get what they want.
The group are plagued by noises after hearing the myths and legends of the area. Is it just their overactive imaginations or is there a visitor in the spare room who is trying to get their attention?
Join the group on a spectacular journey as they discover what Dartmoor has to offer.
Cursed is a great beginning to this trilogy which young adult readers (I’d say 14yrs+) and adults can enjoy. The main character, Daisy, is travelling with her best friend, Alice, Alice’s boyfriend, Jake, and Tyler who is a close friend to them all. After arriving at the house they are to be staying in for their holiday it becomes quite clear that there is more than meets the eye with a possible figure in one of the room’s windows, noises around the house that sometimes sound like crying and the door to the spare room is found open after it has been closed. Could it have been one of the friends, are the noises just the wind, is it just their imagination, or is there something more sinister going on?
Cursed has quite an eerie feel to it, which I absolutely loved. These types of horror are my favourite, as well as being ghostly and unexplainable it creates a psychological feel to it as the characters question whether events are real or not. To really capture the feel for the place where the group are staying, and the surrounding area, the group enter the local pub and speak to Frank. Frank spends many an hour going through some of the myths and strange happenings around the area. Although listening intently, the gang do have their reservations and wonder just how true some of it is. But, as the story continues it becomes clearer that there certainly are at least some elements of truth to what they are being told. Some of the details Frank gives them provides them with an awareness of the possibility of what could be happening when they find themselves experiencing these strange happenings.
Daisy is the focal character and experiences the most, which does make her question whether or not she should tell the others just in case they ridicule her or believe that it is just her imagination. (Jake would have certainly taken this approach as he thinks scientifically and believes that there is an explanation for everything, although his belief waivers at times!) But, the figure of Lady Howard who seems to be haunting the house is wanting the attention of Daisy in particular. At the same time as trying to cope with these ghostly encounters, Daisy and Tyler reach a point where their relationship becomes a little more intimate and they enjoy a little romance. But as the holiday wears on Daisy begins to question whether this romance will continue once the holiday is over, or is it just a holiday fling?
The storyline and the characters come across very well. The reader can connect with them and easily get sucked in by the horrors. I did feel that at the very beginning of the story there could have been a little more build up to create more of an atmosphere, but then again as it is a story to engage young adults this may have been intentional by the author. The plotline is written clearly and therefore easy to follow, although at times I felt it could have flowed a little smoother. It is also packed with historical information of the Dartmoor area, with Alice enjoying being a tour guide for the gang and takes them and the reader through some of the nearby towns and their ancient buildings, such as churches, castles, etc.
Cursed left me wanting to read Book 2 of the trilogy, Obsession, as I wanted to find out how the group’s holiday affected them when they returned home, in particular how it affected Daisy. And I have to say that Obsession was an absolute brilliant read that did not disappoint. (Please see below for my review of Obsession.)
Cursed was provided by the author in return for an honest and fair review.
Reviewed by Caroline Barker
Author: Georgina Hannan
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Horror
Publication Date: Friday 13th September 2013
Blurb: There’s a fine line between Obsession and Madness.
After a strange and exciting holiday, Daisy is looking forward to the new start University life will bring.
A life changing assignment makes her question the fine line between Obsession and Madness.
Can she tell the difference?
Obsession is book 2 of the Cursed trilogy and engages young adult readers and adults. After reading book 1, Cursed, I had to continue with book 2 as it left me wanting more. I was not disappointed and felt that the writing and flow of the story was excellent. As the group of friends begin their University life they have new challenges to face. Daisy, in particular, has to deal with the affects that their recent holiday has had on her, her love life with Tyler and new-found family history facts.
The intro of Obsession is informative and recaps what took place in Cursed (book 1). It is written very well and reminds readers of Cursed at the same time as allowing a fresh reader of this trilogy to easily slip into the story without any confusion. I would strongly recommend that Cursed be read first, but it is not absolutely necessary.
As Daisy begins her first term at University, studying to become a journalist, the class is asked by the tutor to research their family history for an essay and newspaper article. Daisy spends a great deal of time speaking to her father, her grandparents and looking through family photographs to gather as much information as possible. During this time, even though Daisy has returned from the holiday in Dartmoor, she is still plagued by the ghost of Lady Howard.
Meanwhile, Daisy’s boyfriend, Tyler, is noticing the difference in Daisy and wishes that they could spend more time together. It doesn’t help when he is working on his own course and just taken up a part time job. But, when he does spend time with Daisy he feels she isn’t entirely with him mentally and is quite distant, behaving strangely at times too. Surely the myths of Dartmoor haven’t followed her back?
Daisy distances herself more and more from her friends as Lady Howard still appears to her and talks to her. To make matters worse, she also finds out the truth from her grandfather about what really happened to her mother. Her mother didn’t die, or leave, something she didn’t speak to her father about as it was too upsetting for him, but in fact had been institutionalised for mental health reasons. And what’s more is that there appears to be a connection between her family and Lady Howard. The family curse. Daisy becomes more and more obsessed with finding out as much as she can about her family history and the history of Lady Howard, becoming distant from everyone and eventually being heard talking to Lady Howard. Is she going mad or is she obsessed? Or both?
The idea of obsession being a form of madness is a constant theme running through Obsession. Is it really madness to be obsessed with something? The story provides many questions as well as answers. And again, the story is a paranormal horror but with psychological elements. It is quite a powerful read and the reader can easily become ‘obsessed’ with this trilogy.
The family curse that Daisy discovers means that sacrifices have been made in terms of life and love. Family members throughout generations have lost loves, and/or have been deemed mad and then lost time with loved ones as a result or lost them for good. Lady Howard appears to Daisy in flashbacks and talks to her in the present day. She wants the family curse to be gone, be destroyed, and it seems that she won’t stop haunting Daisy until she gets what she wants, or until Daisy is deemed mad and has lost Tyler and her friends.
Obsession carries on the trilogy’s insight into history and as the information is gathered by Daisy it makes for a very interesting read, as well as being eerie. The atmosphere in Obsession is built up brilliantly, the reader truly feels the fear and confusion in Daisy, and the flow of the writing is smooth and reads very well. I am certainly looking forward to reading the ending of this trilogy in Absolution!
Obsession was provided by the author in return for an honest and fair review.
Reviewed by Caroline Barker
Author Bio: Georgina is an IT Consultant and Writer from Surrey, England.
She is the Author of the Cursed Trilogy.
Georgina started writing when she was fourteen; she always had a problem with reading before she started Secondary School. It was when she was about eleven or twelve that she started going to the library and she found the books which interested her. Since then she’s become a reader and a writer. She loves writing and hopes it can continue for many years to come.
Facebook Author: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Georgina-Hannan/418399218236108
Facebook Cursed: http://www.facebook.com/CursedBook1
Facebook Obsession: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Obsession-by-Georgina-Hannan/124919204352501
Facebook Absolution: http://www.facebook.com/AbsolutionBook3
And finally, here is the blurb, cover and links to Absolution. The final book of the Cursed trilogy!
However, her agreement sees her facing some of the hardest choices of her life and she stands to lose more than just her sanity.
Can she handle the choices?
Can she end the curse without ruining her life or that of a loved one?