Audrey’s Door, Sarah Langan, Harper, ISBN 978-0-06-162421-6, $7.99, 412 pgs.

New York City - Upper West Side Building

Image by Adam Jones, Ph.D. via Flickr

This is Sarah Langan’s third book and it continues the themes found in the first two–self-destruction brought on by supernatural forces. This time the setting is New York City Where Architect Audrey Lucas manages to sign a lease for the Breviary, an affordable but oddly proportioned apartment building on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. The building is an example of 1880’s Chaotic Naturalist architecture and is the last of its kind since all others were condemned shortly after being built. Seems the Chaotic style is a bit unstable. The Breviary was the home to the wealthy children of robber barons and contains more than an echo from that time, either in decaying residents or the odd sounds that waft through the building. Lucas is determined to make it work however, ignoring the creaks and groans and bad feelings she has in order to make a new start. She also starts making a door in her living room. A door that leads to the past, or maybe just to death, or perhaps, worse of all, to her own past.

This is a creepy book, but then I’m not sure that Langan can write anything but. I did find it to be a bit too long in the middle, which definitely detracted from the sense of foreboding which had been building. But this is a minor quibble. As with many horror stories perhaps the greatest threat the writer faces is dealing with the question, from the reader or watcher, about why the protagonist stays in what everyone can see is a deteriorating situation. Langan addresses this by utilizing interior dysfunction and internalized self-destructive behaviors. It works in this situation very well.

I liked this book, as I liked Langan’s previous two books, and certainly look forward to the next book she produces. There is something about pairing the internal fears an individual has with real supernatural threats that works really well as a device to ratchet up the scare factor. Definitely recommended and a book you will want to read only in the day time.

Get it from Amazon here:

Audrey’s Door
 

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About damnaliens
Writer, reviewer, home provider to the Damnaliens

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