Title: Ashes to Ashes
Author: Karina Halle
Series: Experiment in Terror, #8
My rating: 5+ / 5
It’s been two months since Perry Palomino and Dex Foray’s relationship reached a new turning point, two months since Perry started a new life in Seattle, and two months since their Experiment in Terror show took on a new partner, ex-Wine Babe Rebecca Sims, and found a new level of success. But whenever there is light in their lives, the madness still has a way of coming back in.
When the team is sent back to the stormy Oregon coast to investigate a haunted school, Perry wants to use the opportunity to reconnect with her family and reintroduce Dex into their lives. Only Perry’s not the only one who’s reaching out – her grandmother Pippa has started appearing to her with disturbing warnings and Perry’s presence at the school has ignited a chilling new wave of supernatural phenomenon. Once used a century ago as a sanatorium to house children dying of tuberculosis, the school’s past residents are slowly coming back to life and with one thing on their mind. They want someone to play with, someone to join them. Forever.
Even when dead, some children get whatever they want.
And they want Perry.
-- As seen on Goodreads
“To the thing that hurts you most. To the paranormal and to never being normal.”
-- Perry Palomino, Ashes to Ashes, by Karina Halle
I can always count on Karina Halle to write a fantastic book. I LOVED Ashes to Ashes. I didn’t think Dead Sky Morning, Lying Season, and On Demon Wings could be topped for scariness, but I think this book managed it. It certainly matches my favourites in the series. The only thing that sucked was waiting until February to read it.
Come Alive was written in Dex’s POV, and while I love Dex and seeing inside his head – which was just as fucked up as I was expecting by the way – I prefer the series when Perry is the narrator. I love the humour, horror, ghosts, and the romance. It’s blended so well together it just… works. Ashes to Ashes continues on two months after Come Alive ends, brings Perry and Dex full circle, and they go back to where it all began: The Oregon Coast.
I was hooked right from the beginning and on the edge on my seat throughout. Over the course of the eight books and the novella’s, I’ve become so invested in both Perry and Dex, and they are easily in my top five favourite characters ever list, both individually and together as a couple. I love how much Dex in particular has grown since Darkhouse. Plus, we get to see a different side to him: Sexy Dexy has become quite the romantic! Without giving spoilers away, anyone who has read the book will know of a certain scene in the postman’s cottage… around the 90% mark… *sigh* I actually cried. It’s so sweet and mushy, and I don’t usually like mushy! If you never loved Dex before, you will fall for him in this book. Or like me, fall for him again. *Sigh* I’m in total fangirl mode now!
On a more serious note, there is a melancholy vibe to Ashes to Ashes: you can really sense the end is nigh. I’m going to be in pieces when the last book is released. I can’t wait to read Dust to Dust – WTF, that ending?! – But I also don’t want to read the last ever EIT book… *sniffle*