DNF: Damned: A Magnus Blackwell Novel by Alexandrea Weis, Lucas Astor

cover for damned
© Vesuvian Books, 2017.


“Over a hundred years after the death of Magnus Blackwell, Altmover Manor sits abandoned.

Lexie Arden and her fiancé, Will Bennet, are determined to rescue the neglected Mount Desert Island landmark. They want to make Altmover Manor their home. But Magnus has other plans.

A spirit bound to his former residence, Magnus finds himself inexplicably drawn to the young woman. She has a supernatural gift; a gift Magnus wants to exploit.

As Lexie and Will settle in, secrets from Magnus’s past begin to surface. Compelled to learn all she can about the former owner, Lexie becomes immersed in a world of voodoo, curses, and the whereabouts of a mysterious dragon cane.

Magnus’s crimes won’t be so easily forgotten, and what Lexie unearths is going to change the future … for everyone.” (Source: Goodreads)


Damned: A Magnus Blackwell Novel sits among titles on NetGalley under the horror genre, but after force-feeding myself more than half of the book, I finally give up. I really, really wanted to like this book and I was excited to start reading it. Old houses, malignant spirits, all of that is most definitely my cup of tea. Pointless sex scenes, wish-washy spirits, and overly repeated points on the other hand are not.

I browsed past this title many times on NetGalley, mostly because I wasn’t sure I wanted to read it. The title and the synopsis were interesting enough, but the cover constantly discouraged me. In the end, while repeating to myself that age-old motto of “don’t judge a book by its cover,” I requested it. And, in rare fashion, found that it is exactly what it looks like on the inside.

Slow plots are nothing new to me. I’ve read some books that crawled. In most of them, by time you hit the halfway point something major has happened or there is a clear building of suspense, fear, etc. With Damned, that is not the case at all. Aside from one major change in the plot, which is rather anti-climatic and heart-breaking for someone like myself (I won’t say more than that because I don’t believe in spoilers), the book centers mostly around sex. By chapters ten-twelve, I read three sex scenes that aren’t even remotely arousing. In fact, it was a fourth scene of this nature that turned me away from finishing it.

Perhaps it is a mistake that this book is listed as horror on NetGalley. This genre label is not attached to it via Goodreads, after all. In fact, those tags are mystery, supernatural, ghosts. Generally I don’t review a book if it turns out it’s outside my genre, but here’s the thing: those are also part of what I read, and if that is where I found it, my opinion would remain the same.

I would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book for the purpose of unbiased review.

Rating: 💀

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