Haunted Lily (The Nightmare Ball) by Sidney Fox
March 28, 2008
Paperback, 284 Pages
Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “What kind of psycho likes clowns?”
There are a few tiny spoilers in here.
Documentary film maker Darby McGregor had ia charmed life until his fiancée is killed on their wedding day. When ghosts, real and imagined, threaten his sanity he finds himself searching for an answer to his problems. He finds Lily Dufrene. Lily has been interacting with ghosts since she was a small child. Circumstances forced her to lie low and not advertise her talents. Now older, she and her family help others who are being plagued by the supernatural. A young woman who is fighting demons of her own, Lily represents all that could be for Darby. As Darby enters into Lily’s world, he finds he’s not only fighting for his sanity, he’s also fighting for Lily’s life.
I was intrigued by this book after hearing all the wonderful things being tweeted about it by Nat of Wicked Lil Pixie blog. So I hailed my partner in crime Mandi and whined, “Pleeeeeeze let me review this.” Mandi being the awesome-licious person she is said, “Go for it.” So I did. And I’m glad I did.
First off let me say the cover art is to die for. After you finish this book you see just how right this cover is for it. Haunted Lily grabbed me from page one and I could not put it down till I turned the last page. Touted as a scary ghost story; I felt it was more of a psychological horror. Often enough it’s our mind and emotions that holds the key to what frightens us most. The story line’s mesmerizing characters and deeply twisting arc creates a whirlwind journey of thrills, chills, love humor, and lost. While there is no doubt you’ll be more then a little scared by this book, there is also a strong feeling of love, hope, and redemption built into to the story that shines through.
Ms. Fox seems to have a very active imagination and it is readily apparent in this book.
I feel instantly in love with Lily and Darby. Both victims of tragedies; they rise above their circumstances rather then drowning in despair. Ms. Fox gives us real protagonists to connect with; not imbibing them with over blown skills or talents. As we are submerged into their lives, we see the strength and courage of these two characters. Once they meet, you see the connection they make and you can’t NOT see them together. The romance between them is very slow building; playing second fiddle to the main plot. They become friends first and I appreciated that.
The suspense and tension of the story ratchets up in a series of events that layers the chills and thrills on you till your practically screaming, “what’s NEXT!?!” The writing is smooth and the story flows gracefully between the different aspects of the arc. I found the underlying theme-scary clown villain-to be terribly creepy due to his absolute need for Lily. You are assured that no matter what, he will never give up and will destroy whatever blocks his path.
The secondary characters provided humor, personality, and a wonderful base to play Lily and Darby off of. Dave and Nigel had to be my favorites. With snarky comments flying, these two show an abundance of love and loyalty for Lily and Darby. I hope they remain an integral part of the story in future books. The use of real life places and events adds excitement to the story. That feeling you get when you read thinking, “Hey, I’ve been there,” or, “I’ve heard that story.”
The ending was surprising and comes at you fast. At first it had me flipping back thinking I missed a page or two. Then as I read it again, I understood what was happening but still felt abit abrupt. It’s a unique way to end this story and pave the way to the next one. She leaves us with some intriguing questions and I for one look forward the next in the series.