Book Review: The Elementals by Michael McDowell

{BOOK REVIEW}
Title: The Elementals
Author: Michael McDowell
Reviewer: Grace
Genre: Horror
Length: 292 pages
Rating: 4.25 Stars

Synopsis

On a split of land cut off by the Gulf, three Victorian summer houses stand against the encroaching sand. Two of the houses at Beldame are still used. The third house, filling with sand, is empty…except for the vicious horror which is shaping nightmares from the nothingness that hangs in the dank, fetid air.

The McCrays and Savages, two fine Mobile families allied by marriage, have been coming to Beldame for years. This summer, with a terrible funeral behind them and a messy divorce coming up, even Luker McCray and little India down from New York are looking forward to being alone at Beldame.

But they won’t be alone. For something there, something they don’t like to think about, is thinking about them…and about all the ways to make them die.

Grace Review

It’s that time of your when I try to squeeze in at least one paranormal or horror book, ’tis the season, and all. On top, following a very angsty read, I felt due for a genre change.

This book came to my attention through Tiffany Reisz. If she was traumatized by a story, I knew it was worth checking out.

This book has a lot of elements of a classic horror tale:
A mysterious house no one will talk about.
A series of unexplained deaths.
An isolated location.
And the curiosity of a child.

Following a very odd funeral, two families, the Savages and McCrays, pack up for some quiet time at Beldame, a remote location in Alabama. Beldame consists of three identical homes, the ocean, and sand. Lots of sand. In fact, sand has begun to consume one of the three homes. A home no one wants to talk about or go near. It surprised me how much these two families feared this house, yet chose to spend their time so close to it.

Although this story has some creepy reveals early on, the true creep factor doesn’t kick in for quite a while. The majority of the story explores the unique personalities within both families. I didn’t dislike these parts, but I wished the mysteries of the third home, played a bigger part.

What is in the third home? Is it truly a threat to others?
I had my suspicions early on and wasn’t too far off track. I credit years of horror movie viewing for my wild imagination. But the slow reveals of the third home were disturbing. So much so, that I refused to read this book near my bedtime. There are few scenes that had my heart racing, but the details of the Elementals made it easy to visualize the horrors.

Dubbed as gothic horror, this is an interesting and at times disturbing read, that is worth checking out if you are looking for a change.

– Grace

PURCHASE LINKS
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