Tanvi isn’t the girl of Misha’s dreams; she’s the girl from his nightmares. She has appeared in his chilling dreams before he even meets her; when he DOES meet her, he falls for her.
Their relationship turns stormy, bordering on abusive, and takes a dramatic turn when they are held captive by a group hoping to extract money from Tanvi’s wealthy family.
But there is something more sinister at work, and the kidnappers and their victims find themselves struggling for survival as a supernatural force from Misha’s nightmares makes itself known in the real world.
Cara Martin is the author of several acclaimed novels for young people published under the name C. K. Kelly Martin. Her most recent novel, Stricken, was released in 2017. A graduate of the Film Studies program at York University, Cara has lived in the Greater Toronto Area and Dublin, Ireland. Within the space of 3500 miles she’s worked a collection of quirky jobs at multiple pubs and video stores, an electricity company, a division of the Irish post office, a London toyshop, and an advertising analytics company. She’s also been an image editor for a dot-com startup that didn’t survive the 90s, and a credit note clerk for Canada’s largest national distributor of General Merchandise. Cara currently resides in Ottawa, Ontario with her husband and is still afraid of the Child Catcher from the film adaptation of CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG.
It has been a while since I read a horror book that could freak me out. So when I saw the cover for Shantallow and then read the blurb, I knew I had to read it. I was intrigued and excited about it. While I am glad that I read Shantallow, I was a bit disappointed by the book.
The plotline for Shantallow did flow well once I got into the book. But, at the beginning of the book, it was choppy. There were several points where I felt the plotline lagged. Those two elements did affect my reading.
I didn’t like Tanvi. I felt that she was stringing Misha along the whole time and then lied when she got caught. She also moved on quickly. I mean, she had a new boyfriend almost immediately after she and Misha broke up. Her behavior, while she was kidnapped, was also weird. I wondered if she had a part in it until stuff started happening in the house.
I was on the fence with Misha. I did feel bad for him, but at the same time, I thought that he got what he deserved when he barged in on the kidnapping. I understood why he was obsessed with Tanvi, but after a while, it bored me. There were parts where I eye-rolled because it was cliched.
I did think that the horror angle of the book was well written. There were parts where I was freaked out. But, again, I wish that there were more hints dropped other than Misha’s nightmares. Because I was taken aback by the whole dream sequence when everything was explained. I also felt that the entire horror angle was crammed into the last half of the book and at the time, it felt rushed. I wish it were more drawn out.
I didn’t need to read teenage drama. Honestly, a good chunk of the book was that — teenage drama. There were points where I was wondering when the horror was going to start.
I did like the paranormal angle of it, but again, I wish it was more fleshed out. I had so many questions about the house, the entity, Misha’s father, and Tanvi’s cousins.
The end of Shantallow felt rushed. I had to reread it a couple of times because, honestly, I didn’t get what happened.
I would give Shantallow an Older Teen rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.
I am on the fence if I would reread Shantallow. I am also on the fence if I would recommend it to family and friends.
**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**