Frozen Charlotte - Alex Bell

Genre: YA/Horror
We're waiting for you to come and play. Dunvegan School for Girls has been closed for many years. Converted into a family home, the teachers and students are long gone. But they left something behind...Sophie arrives at the old schoolhouse to spend the summer with her cousins. Brooding Cameron with his scarred hand, strange Lilias with a fear of bones and Piper, who seems just a bit too good to be true. And then there's her other cousin. The girl with a room full of antique dolls. The girl that shouldn't be there. The girl that died.


Review: Frozen Charlotte is the second Red Eye installment I've read, after Sleepless by Lou Morgan. While imbued with a similar creepy atmosphere that makes it work well as part of a series with Sleepless, it is also a good standalone novel. My attention was drawn by the mention of 'creepy dolls' in many reviews, and the beginning of the novel completely reeled me in. It felt like the start of a Supernatural episode, except that from then on things only got weirder and weirder.

Frozen Charlotte is well written novel inspired by actual dolls which I had never heard of - themselves inspired by a cautionary tale about a girl freezing to death. While the dolls give the novel its title, they were not the creepiest aspect of the book for me. Rather, it was that the book employs the opposite of an unreliable narrator - nobody around the narrator is reliable, feeding contradictory stories about each other to Sophie. I genuinely wasn't sure who to trust for quite a while, and this drove my need to find out what would ultimately happen. Despite being aware that one or more of Sophie's cousins were untrustworthy, or outright bad people, I loved the characterization of each one.

For a novel that felt like quite a light, easy read, there's quite a bit of depth in it - parts of the Frozen Charlotte story are related, as so is the history of the dolls through the history of the schoolhouse where Sophie's cousins now live. Creative, creepy, and full of suspense and twists, Frozen Charlotte is a great little horror read for the YA audience.

Rating: 3/5

No comments: