Narrator: Matt Godfrey
Published by Self Published / Indie on 15 February 2018
Length: 10 hrs and 18 mins
The Deadfall Hotel is where our nightmares go, it’s where the dead pause to rest between worlds, and it’s where Richard Carter and his daughter Serena go to rediscover life - if the things at the hotel don’t kill them first.
Think of it as the vacation resort of the collective unconscious. With the powerful prose that has earned him awards and accolades, Steve Rasnic Tem explores the roots of fear and society’s fascination with things horrific, using the many-layered metaphor of the Deadfall Hotel. Drawing inspiration from literary touchstones John Gardner and Peter Straub, Tem elegantly delves into the dark corners of the human spirit. There, he finds not only our fears, but ultimately our hopes.
Cover art by John Kenn Mortensen.
©2012 Steve Rasnic Tem (P)2018 Steve Rasnic Tem
ABR received this audiobook for free from the Narrator in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect our opinion of the audiobook or the content of our review.Buy from Audible Buy from Amazon.comAdd to Goodreads
Man, I wanted to love this book. Give me a haunted hotel or house any day, and I want to immerse myself in it. This story had so much potential for greatness but fell a little short for me.
The setting is a hotel where monsters, ghosts, and creatures go on vacation or to retire. Deadfall Hotel is not what I would call a horror story. It was not scary but more like some of Stephen King’s books’ unusualness rather than scariness. There are supernatural elements like ghosts, monsters, a swimming pool that appears and disappears randomly, and the hotel has its own weird quirks.
Jacob, the current caretaker, was the hotel manager before Richard and his daughter, Serena, came to Deadfall Hotel. Richard takes the manager’s job and Jacob stays on as a mentor of sorts. There seems to be a history of former managers becoming caretakers and staying on to help care for the hotel’s “special” clientele. Throughout the book, Jacob shares parts of the story through his journal entries, and I found those parts the most revealing.
Richard, a single dad following the death of his wife in a house fire, responds to a job ad, and the next thing you know, he’s the new manager of the Deadfall Hotel, where apparently, no experience is required. Although, I don’t know what prior experience he could have had to prepare him to manage a hotel like Deadfall.
After Richard and his daughter settle in, it’s not long before Richard’s dead wife makes several cameo appearances; not so much to interact with Richard or his daughter, but more so with Jacob. Richard is the protagonist in the story, but his character is never fully developed. For a story with so much going for it, none of the characters were compelling. I never discovered a sense of who Richard or his daughter was. I felt lost at times because the story seemed to jump from scene to scene without smooth transitions and no strong sense of the timeline. A book needs a definite ending. This one sort of rambles on.
On the bright side, the narrator, Matt Godfrey, has a pleasant reading voice and did a fantastic job with each of the characters, particularly the voice of Jacob. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Bottom-line, I would have liked: more depth to the characters, Jacob’s point of view instead of Richard’s, and that all the under-developed great ideas within the story could have been …well – more.
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