With Book Two of the Experiment in Terror Series, Perry Palomino and Dex Foray trade in the stormy Oregon coast for the unforgiving deserts of New Mexico.
In the forgotten town of Red Fox, New Mexico, a Navajo couple is tortured by things unseen and by motives unknown. Wild animals slink through their house in the dark, a barrage of stones pound their roof nightly, and mutilated sheep carcasses are turning up on their property. Armed with a camera and just enough to go on, Perry and Dex travel to the desolate locale, hoping to film the supernatural occurrences and add credibility to their flailing webcast. Only their show has a lot more working against them than just growing pains. Tested by dubious ranch hands, a ghost from Dex’s past, and shapeshifting deception, the amateur ghost hunters must learn to trust each other in order to fight the most ancient of myths…or die trying.
**TRIGGER WARNING** There is an attempted rape in this book, and then some non-con action immediately after (no matter how ‘innocent’).
I’m incredibly conflicted about this book, and this series as a whole so far. I liked Perry in the first book. I understood her. She’s insecure and unsure of herself, but at the same time she’s not going to let anything – including herself – hold her back. I could relate. In Darkhouse Perry was straight-forward, honest, no-nonsense, and pretty sarcastic. What she wasn’t, overly, was too-stupid-to-live.
I can’t say the same for Red Fox. Perry made one stupid decision after another in this book to the point where I was beginning to wonder how she survived to her current age, much less how she was going to survive to the end of the book. From taking a drink from a shady, suspected-of-nefarious-deeds stranger, to wandering in the deserted hills alone when you know there’s freaking animals (and possibly people) out there with the intent to harm…and that’s not even the worst of it.
I went from respecting Perry to wanting to smack the hell out of her. What the hell right does she have to judge people and assume they’re all women beaters? She makes these snap decisions about people she knows nothing about, all because of chance encounters. She, and Dex, apparently have a serious aversion to calling the cops. Broken down car, empty, in the middle of the road? Eh. Just drive on by. People disappear, get attacked and nearly killed? Meh. No big. We’ll just get out of dodge. Seriously get attacked, bleeding and drugged? Oh, it’s okay. Epic trigger rant coming up:
I mean, it’s not like you were almost fucking RAPED or anything? Nah, two guys have roofied you, or something, drug you outside, have your pants pulled down – you can’t even fight back. Does anyone call the fucking cops? Hell no. Why do that? AND THEN, Dex takes her to the house they’re staying at, UNDRESSES HER WHEN SHE’S STILL OUT OF IT, CLEANS HER UP IN THE BATH (I think), and puts her to bed. You know what her thought is about this when she can form a coherent thought? Maybe something along the lines of freaking out about being so vulnerable after nearly being raped? Nope. Wrong. That would make too much sense. She’s fucking EMBARRASSED because Dex saw her naked. Embarrassed. Give me a fucking break. Not to mention, she’s drugged and almost raped and it never even bothers her or is brought up again. Fuck me, I give up.
On top of all of that bullshit from Perry, there’s a ton of inconsistent crap going on in this book. I, obviously, wasn’t enjoying myself enough because my brain kept nit-picking at the little things. Pupils don’t retract, for example. They constrict. If you’re in and out of consciousness, it’s unlikely you’re going to remember a bit of nearly every step back to the house. Likely you wouldn’t be able to piece them together in the right order or even understand what’s really going on – I know, I’ve been there. Especially after a traumatic event. Then there’s Perry, who is drugged, unable to stand on her own two feet or talk without slurring her words and suddenly, five minutes later, she can flat out run. Give me a fucking break.
My disbelief could not be suspended.
Dex is still Dex. I’m not sure what to make of him, or if I want to like him or hate him. I waffle back and forth between both. But I kind of like that about his character. What I don’t like? Cheating. If you’re interested in Perry, and it’s more than obvious you are, fucking break up with your girlfriend. I swear to whatever gods there are that if you haven’t broken up with her by the next book and this shit carries on, I’m going to flip the hell out. What I also don’t like? Perry thinking Dex is the love of her life. Give me an effing break. Seriously? You’ve spent a grand total of maybe a week with him. And he’s the LOVE OF YOUR LIFE? You have no credibility with me anymore.
I’ve ranted so much I’m not even sure I can talk about what’s good in this book – and the mystery/horror/paranormal part (if I forgive the great big authorial hand I see pushing the characters into certain situations) is interesting and fun and I wanted more of the creep factor. But there wasn’t enough.
And yet, I don’t want to stop reading the series yet. I’ll continue on to book 3. See where it leads. (ETA: I have never continued on…) One of my friends said that Dead Sky Morning was the book that hooked her, another said she ended up rage-quitting it. I wonder where I’ll fall. (ETA: This is kind of making me want to try again with book 3…-___-)