I do consider myself a horror movie fan, the scarier and bloodier the better. I love anything unique most of all, which is why the plot of this book intrigued me so much - seven teenagers facing their fears at a creepy funfair? Hell yeah!
The book hooked me within the first page. Ivy is clearly the lead character with the most interesting history - her parents were murdered six years ago and she's never quite got over it (you wouldn't really), having nightmares every night. I think Ivy applied to the competition just for fun and never really expected that she would win a place.
There's a lot of different histories here from body dysmorphia to post traumatic stress disorder and even with each character having their own story, I found myself struggling to remember who was who. Later when they started disappearing I didn't really feel any pangs of sadness, or hope for them reappearing, which may be okay in a horror movie but not in a book.
I was quite surprised when I got to them meeting each other and found that I was actually fifty percent into the book already. The actual horror stuff didn't even start until at least sixty percent. It was during the last forty percent that things started going really downhill and downright confusing at times.
There was added romance between a few characters, I remember Ivy and Parker but there were two others. I don't really have any feelings towards the romance either, it was just sort of there. I remember being pissed at one character who was angry at Shayla for sleeping with... Garth?, as he felt she had been flirting with him. Clearly if a guy thinks you're flirting with him you're not allowed to sleep with any other guy. Or breathe near them.
I'm unsure if there were any paranormal elements in this. I don't think there were. There did seem to be a fair few people in the fairground sometimes, or perhaps just one really speedy one? With excellent make-up techniques? And an ability to change a costumes fast? I did strongly believe for a whole chapter that one of the characters was going to come back and announce themselves as the orchestrator like, 'Surprise bitch, I bet you thought you'd seen the last of me!' But no.
Welcome To The Darkhouse is an movie style horror story that just left me with a shopping list of questions. Some questions felt like the author couldn't answer them, so thought she'd just ignore them and hope they'd go away. The ending was just blah and I'm only rating this as high as I am because the first sixty percent was really good. If you're the type of person that hates unanswered questions, I'd go ahead and skip this one.