Official rating: 4.75 stars
“Actual” rating: 3 stars
Why the above discrepancy? This book was wonderfully done, but it wasn’t really for me. No, not because it’s horror and I almost never read horror. The problem was that I’m neither an emotional enough or a visual enough reader for this book.
The description in The Raventree Society was perfectly done, placed exactly where it needed to be; the ghosts were creepy and awful, and if this were a TV show and I was seeing them (exactly as they were described) on a screen, it’s doubtful I would have been able to finish the show because they were terrifying. But my brain doesn’t conjure up images very well when I’m reading, I get sporadic flashes of images as description is inserted, so this didn’t have the effect on me that I could have if I were more visual.
Likewise, the characters were all very distinct and well-developed, but none of them really mattered to me because I’m not an emotional reader. I have the same problem with just about any book I read, with very few exceptions. I don’t get connected to characters most of the time, so what happens to them doesn’t really affect me. If I were to rate this book according to how I felt about it, it would only earn three stars.
All that said, however, this book was well deserving of 4.75 stars (with a quarter star docked for minor grammatical issues and several instances of paragraphs that weren’t divided properly and made it hard to tell who was doing and saying what). The description was on point, the characters were deep and distinct, and Kyle’s internal struggle was well portrayed. I’d definitely recommend it to fans of horror who are more visual and emotionally invested readers than I am.