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Wednesday, August 06, 2014

MARY: The Summoning by Hillary Monahan

As a child, I played the legendary game of Bloody Mary and I still remember standing by the mirror with the lights off, frightened for my life. Bloody Mary is such a cultural cornerstone and Hillary Monahan brings her to life in such a wonderfully, grotesque form. Mary: The Summoning was a surprisingly scary novel, this is just what readers will want to read to get goosebumps down their spine. Few YA horror novels are as great as Monahan's debut and I'd love to see more novels like Mary: The Summoning on the market.

This is a novel about 4 friends who summon Mary and are forced to face the consequences of their action. Readers will be brought back to their childhood years when they had played Bloody Mary and will revisit this chilling game. This novel takes the famous game and makes it extremely terrifying for the YA audience, I'd be quite surprised if younger readers would even attempt to play the game after reading The Summoning.

Something that bothered me was how Monahan completely warped the story I had heard as a child, I remember Bloody Mary being Queen Mary I, not a troubled American child. I'm aware that Monahan wanted this novel to take place in America, but I feel like this story lost something in translation when Bloody Mary became an American legend. It didn't feel like the Bloody Mary I grew up with because she was American; I did enjoy the inventive, epislatory backstory on Bloody Mary, but the alteration of her story  just didn't sit well with me.

In typical horror movie fashion, The Summoning is quite brutal to its characters and there isn't much character development. Most of the novel is spent on thrills and spooky moments to the point where I felt like I didn't know anything substantial about any of the characters and I couldn't really sense the history that the characters shared because their relationships weren't clearly defined. I wanted to know more about each character, especially about Mary and Jess who the novel didn't concentrate on enough.

I'm not exactly sure why this novel was expanded into a series because this would've worked much better as a stand-alone. Though readers do gets answers, I didn't really feel like this novel had a satisfying ending and I felt like I was left hanging unnecessarily. There wasn't a real need for further books about Mary and the fact that Monahan didn't give readers the answers they deserved, in order to stretch the story out really bothered me.

MARY: The Summoning is a perfect Halloween read and this is the type of that will best be enjoyed under the cover with a flash-light in that classic, spooky way. I will still continue reading about Mary, despite the fact that I feel that this book should've been a stand-alone. I really enjoyed reading Mary: The Summoning and I have a feeling that book will appeal to horror fans who aren't quite ready for Stephen King.

Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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2 People left their mark' :

  1. I'm a huge fan of horror. i have always been. I have never read anything Stephen King , but I wanted to. I think I would really like this book
    GREAT review
    Your reader,

  2. I love the whole paranormal love going around YA books at the moment. I'm only just getting into it really, but I like what the genre has to offer. I actually spotted it a few weeks ago and I'd like to read it because I too remember standing in front the mirror as a kid. I'm a little saddened to hear that it didn't keep the original tale and made it American,but I'll still give it a go. If you haven't already, you should read Anna Dressed in Blood, or The Drowning. I have a review for that one. Anyways, Happy Reading!