Review: Into The Hollow by Karina Halle ★★★★★

Into The Hollow by Karina Halle
Genre: Horror/Romance
Series: Experiment in Terror #6
Publication Date: November 12th 2012
ISBN: n/a
Page Count: 
Rating: ★★★★★
Review Copy: ARC & Own Purchase
Reviewed by: Janice
Synopsis: Perry Palomino has fought her demons – and won – but the battle is far from over. She’s now left broken and on her own, leaving behind her life and family in Portland to focus on giving Dex Foray – and the Experiment in Terror show – a second chance. But their past mistakes continue to tease and test their relationship, as does the wild and desolate terrain of the Canadian Rockies. The snow-covered peaks and ravenous forests hide an urban legend too unbelievably frightening to be true and the only way the duo has a chance of surviving is if Perry can let in the very man who sent her to hell and back.


Toil and trouble! 

Into The Hollow begins right on the heels of the last book, On Demon Wings. Normally that wouldn't be worth mentioning but in this case, I think it's particularly significant and something you MUST keep in mind while reading. But more on that later. First, let's catch up with Dex and Perry.

Since they first met in "Darkhouse", our supernatural-hunting duo has tangled with an angry lightkeeper's ghost, skinwalkers, vengeful spirits on the Island of Death, the Ghost of Girlfriend Past, and most recently, dealt with demon possession. They've traveled to the Thin Veil, the Black Sunshine, and have both been irrevocably changed by the experience. They've been chased, drugged, haunted, nearly drowned, and attacked by more crazy animals than I can count (seriously, what is up with the animals in this series?!?!?). You'd think, after surviving all of that, they could weather any storm, beat any odds. I mean, they've done it before, right?

Alas, they are only human, and humans make mistakes. Sometimes really big ones. If you've read the other books (and if you haven't, you should!) then you know what happened and why the relationship between Dex and Perry is so...fractured.

After the harrowing events of On Demon Wings, our gal Perry is a confused, volatile, angry mess. She's escaped being locked away in a mental institution - barely - and her relationship with her parents is strained to the nth degree. She needs a change of scenery. Somewhere safe where she can rebuild the ruins of her life.

Enter Dex Foray, the man who broke her heart, with an offer she can't afford to refuse. He swears he is a different man now, that he will do whatever it takes to make things right, but how can she possibly trust him again? How can she look at him, talk to him, and not remember everything she suffered?

And yet, with a little prodding from her always-amazing younger sister, Ada, Perry reluctantly accepts Dex's help...for now. Just until she gets back on her feet. First chance she gets, she's gone.

Being around Dex again is difficult. He has changed, physically and otherwise, and Perry can't help but notice. And she hates that pull she still feels toward him, that accursed attraction that got her into this mess in the first place. So she lashes out, rebuffing Dex at every turn. And yet, after a fateful call from Shownet about restarting the Experiment In Terror webshow, she agrees to work with him again. That Dex is against the idea only firms her resolve.

And so off they go, to investigate reported sightings of a monster that may or may not be Sasquatch. And of course, like every investigation they've been on, everything goes to hell in a hand basket.

The horror aspect of the story rates fairly low on the scary scale. Yes, there are tense moments, and one scene in particular that had nothing to do with the monster sent a wave of shivers up my spine. But for me the real terror of the book was not knowing what the hell would happen between Dex and Perry. Will she forgive him, or won't she? I was on pins and needles the entire time, shouting at Perry and shaking my ereader in frustration every time she pushed Dex away. It was maddening how willfully blind she was. Here is Dex, finally opening up and handing her his heart on a shiny silver platter, and she doesn't drop everything and run straight into his arms? Are you kidding me?!?!? What the hell is wrong with this girl?

The answer? Not a damn thing. Remember I pointed out that Into The Hollow starts right after On Demon Wings ends? This is why. You HAVE to remember the timeline to understand - and forgive - some of Perry's behavior in this book. Perry doesn't get any downtime or chance to really recuperate before she jumps from the figurative frying pan and into the fire. So everything she went through at the end of Lying Season and in On Demon Wings, all that pain and horror - it's right there, front and center in her mind. Looked at in that light, her behavior makes total sense. The poor girl's been to hell and back. She's earned the right to be angry.

Lucky for Perry - and us - Dex is there every step of the way, taking everything Perry dishes out and proving, over and over, just how changed a man he really is. I LOVED Dex in this book. He was sweeter, more honest and more accessible than he's ever been. Perry isn't the only one who needed to see that side of him. I needed to see it too. I adore Dex but he's really screwed up in the past. It was time for him to step up, and in a way that didn't sacrifice his essential "Dex-ness".

The book's humor deserves a special mention. Karina Halle has always had a knack for funny scenes and one-liners, but she really outdoes herself here. Oh, and the sexual tension? Off the frickin' charts.

So do they find the monster? Do Dex and Perry fix their broken relationship? I guess you'll have to read to find out, huh?

Into The Hollows didn't scare me as much as other EIT books have, but it was every bit as engrossing. I devoured every word of it, and when I was done, I immediately started re-reading. That's how good it was. For Dex and Perry fans, it's an absolute must-read, filled with all the intensity, humor, and emotion we've come to expect from a Karina Halle novel.

5 Stars ★★★★★



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