“It was easy to kiss someone when it didn’t matter; it was more difficult when it might be meaningful.”Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Mexican Gothic
Publication year: 2020
Page count: 320 pages
Publisher: Del Rey Books
Genre(s): Horror, historical fiction, thriller
My rating: 3 stars
TW: Sexual assault, violence, suicide
Noemi lives in Mexico City is known for being a flirt and glamorous girl. After Noemi receives a mysterious letter from her cousin begging for her help, Noemi’s father agrees to pay for her master’s degree if she goes and makes sure her cousin is okay. Noemi makes a trip to High Place, her cousin’s new home, in the Mexican countryside. When arriving, she slowly discovers all the horrors that had gone on in the house previously, including murders and a suicide. As Noemi spends more time in the house, she finds herself more drawn to it and wonders why she ever wanted to leave in the first place.
This is the first thriller/horror novel I have read and although I’m not quite sure what I was expecting, I don’t think it was this.
The first part of the novel started off very slow. We basically just watch Noemi move to High Place and she begins to have nightmares and visions. This is pretty much the first 60% of the book. I listened to this on audiobook, so I didn’t mind the slow pace but if I were reading it physically I’m not sure I would have enjoyed it as much. During this part of the book though, we did get to learn more about the characters and I did see some good development.
The last 30% of the book is where it really started to go downhill for me. I thought this was going to be a 4 star read, but this last third of the book brought my rating down. Things became super chaotic all at once. I felt like the author was trying to put an entire book’s worth of horror in the last 100 pages. This made it so chaotic that I wasn’t even creeped out by what was happening, because it was honestly almost absurd. I’m not sure if this is normal in thrillers, but I really didn’t feel high tensions at all while reading this.
The other thing that brought my rating down in this book was that I felt the ending was so drawn out. About 75% of the way through, I thought the book was wrapping up because it felt like that was the time to end, only to find out I still had a few more hours of listening time. In the last 25% of the book, there were multiple places where I thought the book was going to end, but just kept going. It almost just felt like a page filler.
All in all, I just really didn’t get the creepiness factor others did while reading this book. I definitely wouldn’t be opposed to reading horror in the future, but this just wasn’t my cup of tea.
Have you read this book, and what are your thoughts? Leave them in the comments!