3 out of 4 stars
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Have you ever encountered a ghost or a demon? Have you only heard of them in books and films? Are these supernatural entities real or are they simply a figment of authors’ and directors’ imaginations?
When a newlywed couple, David and Danielle Mitchells, moves from the city to a quaint town named Bakewell, they have no idea of the horror that awaits them. Firstly, they find out that their new home is directly opposite a church and a graveyard, but the couple isn’t bothered by this at all. They enthusiastically decide to explore the town by visiting a few shops and buying a few new things. Later, they meet a couple of the locals, and they are unpleasantly surprised when someone mentions that strange things often happen at the house they had just moved into. The couple isn’t sure if they believe the rumors. But later that night, the pair meets a frightening entity that infiltrated their new home. It soon becomes clear that the entity is not a friendly one. To make matters worse, Halloween is right around the corner. Will David and Danielle come up with a plan to rid their home of this terrifying evil? Or will they pack up and leave Bakewell? Read The Virtual Entity by Richard Street to find out.
This young adult novella follows a premise that is common among horror stories and films; oblivious homeowners move into a haunted house. Thankfully, the story isn’t totally predictable because the author included a few surprises. There is a religious element to the book although the main characters aren’t religious. I think that this aspect added to the unpredictability of the tale. It was interesting to see how good and evil tried to outwit and destroy each other.
The descriptions were one of the book’s best features. The author tried to appeal to all of the reader’s senses. In my imagination, I could hear the trees tapping against the glass, see the disgusting vomit spewing from the entity’s mouth, and feel the cold chills in the house. Great descriptions can either make or break a horror story. I think that the ones in this story were an excellent addition because they maintained a spooky tone throughout the story.
However, the characters were not developed very well. Since David and Danielle were newlyweds, I expected more romantic chemistry between them. Their matching names, humorous banter, and eagerness to prank one another made them seem more like siblings than newlyweds. They also weren’t very relatable, and there wasn’t anything about either of them that was extremely likable. Moreover, the book did not seem professionally edited due to the presence of errors.
Although I think that the character development and the editing could be improved, I will still recommend this book to young adults who enjoy reading short horror stories. It is the perfect story to read on a dark, rainy evening. Based on the book's enjoyability and the spooky descriptions, I will award The Virtual Entity 3 out of 4 stars.
The Virtual Entity
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