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The Unseen

A book by Alexandra Sokoloff

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Enticing and thrilling, primordial folklore meets new age intelligence

  • May 2, 2010
I read a lot of horror and supernatural fiction so naturally I have read all of Sokoloff's books and I liked this one the most. One warm April afternoon I spotted "The Unseen" with the corner of my eye at my local library while waiting for some complaint resolution ( someone took my Patterson book that I had on hold) and ended up walking home with it instead, after finishing it I still want to get my own copy to read again, the paper back coming out has a fantastic cover and this is something that I admired and I definitely want to read again in the future. The book started off slowly but somehow I kept coming back to the story, time constraints made it a slow read but I kept crawling back to it, I just had to know what happened. The novel has an air of sophistication to it, there is a certain amount of succulence in the paragraphs and after reading Alex's "The Price" and "The Harrowing" I can definitely say that this book shows the growth and tightness that the author managed to establish rather well. This might not please everyone but after finishing I smiled, I liked this book, I liked it a lot!

Parapsychology and poltergeists are the meat of the story, or rather finding out if any of it actually occurred, the failed eerie Rhine ESP experiments at the Duke University parapsychology department have been buried and almost forgotten for forty years, that is until the dusty files ( 700 boxes of them) somehow call to Lauren, the new teacher who has seeked refuge and solace at the infamous Duke library under the stern eye of librarian Warden. Young and sensitive Lauren has moved away from a painful memory she left behind along with her beloved San Francisco; her cheating fiancée and that awful unexplained accident with mirrors are all in the past, that is until she runs across the old files that spark her interest in a new scholarly project. ESP has been a popular talent in her family and Lauren's interest and quest for closure has driven her to solve the riddle of the Rhine experiment that have shut an expensive house and put students in mental institution. Lauren has no idea what really awaits at the house, she thinks it's a hoax but she fears that it could be something real, something that will not only satisfy but perhaps even kill her curiosity. Equipped with plenty of food, score sheets and a fellow teacher and two bright students, she sets out to find the house and for once solve it's solemn mystery.

Full of scares, enticing build up and even sexual tension, The Unseen guarantees a satisfying read, one perhaps best spend with someone else close by, just in case it gets too intense. I especially loved the shocking ending and the final pages, this proves that the author has what it takes, I can't wait for her next novel. This is a brightly woven tapestry full of wondrous words, the book only gets better the more I think about it and that's definitely what reading is all about.

- Kasia S.

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Kasia S. ()
Ranked #225
   I’m a total book lover; it eclipses all other hobbies, mainly of the horror genre that embraces all the things that make one sleep with their back to the wall. Horror is a lush terrain … more
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About this book


In Sokoloff's serviceable supernatural thriller, two Duke University psychology professors, Laurel MacDonald and Brendan Cody, stumble on suppressed findings of an inquiry into poltergeist activity conducted under the auspices of Duke's Rhine parapsychology lab nearly half a century earlier. All the participants appear to have died, disappeared or, in the case of Laurel's enfeebled uncle, gone mad. Determined to advance their academic careers, the pair corral two students with strong paranormal potential to camp out at the spooky Folger House, site of the original experiment. No sooner do they begin their study than they're confronted with uncanny phenomena that suggest they've awakened a malignant presence that pervades the house. Sokoloff (The Price) keep her story enticingly ambiguous, never clarifying until the climax whether the unfolding weirdness might be the result of the investigators' psychic sensitivities or the mischievous handiwork of a human villain.(June)
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ISBN-10: 031238470X
ISBN-13: 978-0312384708
Author: Alexandra Sokoloff
Publisher: St. Martin's Press

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