Janz’s first novel and it shows the potential that he’s capable of. The Sorrows is a unique take on the Shirley Jackson classic, The Haunting of Hill House and the movie House on Haunted Hill. I’ve always had a problem with the whole overused and tired premise of trying to drag a bunch of characters to a secluded house where bad things have happened and making it seem realistic. It has always come across as a bad B-movie with idiots for characters. Janz did a good job coming up with a reason to justify that and have it seem plausible. The characters are in the horror movie business and are looking for inspiration to score the music for the next blockbuster they are working on. And what better place to get an inspiration than a creepy castle located on a secluded island off of California where murders took place in the 1920s? OK. I can buy it. Janz offering does have the feel of a B-movie. In some places it works quite well. He takes inspiration from Brian Keene’s Dark Hollow and offers us up a very unique monster whose exploits will stay with you long after you’ve finished the book. In other places, there’s still some of that tired cliche-like characters that feel a little like wooden stereotypes and not realistic people. But, Janz produces a slow burn throughout The Sorrows and gives us some wonderful eerie moments that overcome any short comings it might have. All in all, an enjoyable read and insight on what’s to come from one of the new heavy hitters in horror.
4 out of 5 stars
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