Title: Dust to Dust
Author: Karina Halle
Series: Experiment in Terror, #9
My rating: 5 ++ / 5
**The dramatic conclusion to the Experiment in Terror Series.**
Perry Palomino and Dex Foray.
On their own, they’re uniquely brilliant. Together, they’re an unstoppable team.
Because after everything the duo has encountered, they haven’t come across an evil quite like this. An evil that has been years in the making, an evil that will stop at nothing until they, and everyone they care for, are destroyed.
Dex and Perry’s love has survived a multitude of sins.
But can it survive the end?
-- As seen on Goodreads
Well, the inevitable day has arrived: Experiment in Terror has reached its final conclusion. I love this series with all my heart, and I’m so happy it got the send of it thoroughly deserves. I won’t lie: I needed lots of tissues reading this book. Heck, I was sniffling at the dedication page, and I was sobbing my eyes out at 5%! I had a pretty good idea I’d be an emotional wreck reading this book, but I didn’t expect it to happen so quickly.
I’m not going to talk too much about what happens in Dust to Dust, as I don’t want to spoil things for anyone. It continues immediately after Ashes to Ashes ends. The full extent of the aftermath when Michael – Dex’s brother – arrived in Portland is revealed, and Dex has disappeared. Perry and her sister, Ada, along with lots of familiar faces, travel to New York City where Dex has been brought to, and this set the scene for their final showdown.
Dust to Dust wasn’t necessarily as scary as some of the previous books, but it’s much darker, gorier, and grittier and a hundred percent more twisted than any of the others. There are so many scary moments throughout the series that still stick in my mind, and yes, this book had those moments, just not as often. Dust to Dust focused more on the terrors within, and just how far both Perry and Dex are willing to go for each other. There was a completely different feel to this book, and I could sense that this was the real deal – their lives really are on the line.
Out of all the authors I’ve read, I knew Karina would have the balls to end the series… in a certain way, if you get my drift. I absolutely SOBBED at one stage. This was around 50 – 60%. If you’ve read the book, you’ll know what happened then. I swear Karina has full control of my tear-ducts! I’m always an emotional mess when I read her books!
And now onto the two main reasons I love this series: Perry Palomino and Dex Foray. I’ve never connected with characters on the level I’ve connected with Perry and Dex. Ever! They are well rounded, yet tortured souls who have each other to let them see that things won’t always be made up of your worst nightmares. If someone told me this series was based on two real people, I wouldn’t be too surprised at all. They are depicted so believably and they seem REAL.
Perry Palomino: I love this girl so much. She is one of, if not THE most unique female character I’ve ever read about. To see how far she has come since Darkhouse is staggering. She started the series as a shell, with doubts about herself, very low confidence and even lower self-esteem, and watching her struggle with seeing ghosts on a daily basis with no support network was heart-breaking at times. Over the course of the series, she manages to find the one person that helps her see that it’s OK to be herself, to just be Perry Palomino. She has so many flaws and quirks in her personality, but this just makes her an even more perfect character. Her biggest asset has always been her heart, and with all she’s gone through in her life, including demonic possession, she managed to find the courage to remain open to self-discovery, love, and to Dex.
Declan “Dex” Foray: And how could I forget about Dex. Oh Dex! God, Dex was a mess! If you haven’t read the series, the less you know about him, the better. Unravelling the mystery that is Dex Foray was one of the most captivating and entertaining threads throughout the entire series. He’s a smart-ass with the best sense of sarcastic humour I’ve ever read about and has a heart of gold. At the beginning you might not like him. Heck, I think it took me at least four, maybe five books to really begin to see who he was! Looking back now, and seeing where he came from and what he endured in his life, to where he is now at the end of the series is phenomenal. If you think Javier Bernal in the Artist’s Trilogy is a complex character… he’s got nothing on Dex!
This was the ending that the Experiment in Terror series deserved. The easy route was avoided, and the book made me go through Hell – and that was quite literal for the characters, actually – on every page. I couldn’t have imagined this series ending in any other fashion other than in epicness. It was fitting; it was heart-breaking, and it was perfect.
As Karina says in the acknowledgements, not many readers know who Perry and Dex are, but I feel privileged to have followed their story, to fall for both of them, and to have loved and enjoyed every word.
I urge everyone reading this who likes anything involving ghosts and the paranormal to give the Experiment in Terror series a chance, and meet my two favourite characters of all time. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.