Book #6 World’s Scariest Places series (CAN BE READ OUT OF ORDER)
Published by Ghillinnein Books (1st September 2020)
My rating: ⭐ ⭐
Actual rating of 2.5
The Hotel Chelsea is thought to be the spur behind so many creative geniuses who have walked through it’s doors over the years, and is still seen as the muse for those who have followed the greats into the hotel in search of ideas. Though not only is it known for the old greats who slept in it’s beds over the years, it is also known as one of the most haunted places in the country. When a journalist enters the hotel to gather information to write a piece on the ongoing renovations he finds more than he bargained for when confronted with history in a way he wasn’t expecting.
I was super keen for this one. I love the stories that surround the Hotel Chelsea, I would love to set foot in it’s front door one day purely because of these stories, just to get a feel for the place myself, ya know? So when I saw that Bates had written a story that was set in the infamous hotel, I could not pass it up. Though I will admit, though the story was filled with promise and possibilities, the ending really let it down for me.
When a journalist is tasked with the job of writing a piece on the Hotel Chelsea, he gets to know the quirky folk who still call it home and refuse to leave despite the pressure from hotel management and the ongoing renovations that make living there quite uncomfortable. He learns stories of the past famous creatives who passed through the Hotel doors and called it home for a while, and he also learns of their experiences with the paranormal. Falling under the spell of the Chelsea, the journalist becomes enamored with finding out more about the strange happenings, but it could possibly lead him down a path that he wishes he didn’t tread.
There was a lot of promise in this story, and the paranormal experiences that the hotel guests talk about are super intriguing. I wasn’t sure which way this story was going to head in it’s conclusion, and honestly I could never have picked it. That’s not to say that I like where it went, because I really didn’t. The ending was highly disappointing and came somewhat out of left field for me. It was reminiscent of the ending and reveal of the original IT movie. One minute there’s a clown ghost, next minute it’s crab people. This had that feel to it, though I’ll tell you right now, it wasn’t crab people, there were no crab people in this story at all. I just did not see it coming and it felt kind of like a copout ending.
I also found that between the interactions with the hotel guests, and the few strange things that the journalist himself encountered, the pacing was pretty slow and felt like it just about stopped in some places. I’m not sure if it was because I felt like the story was kind of a hodge podge of ideas and it didn’t really know what it wanted to be? That’s the best way I can describe this instalment of the World’s Scariest Places series, a mish mash of ideas that were thrown together until they somewhat merged.
The characters were interesting and I really enjoyed the way that Bates wrote the famous people we cross paths with in the story. As always Bates has done an absolutely amazing job of researching his source material. In all of his books this is one thing that always shines through. Thought this one let me down a bit, I will still continue to read through his catalogue and look forward to future releases because I feel like he is a strong voice in a genre that is so flooded with stories that it can become difficult to find a gem.
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