Harrow Lake by Kat Ellis | 5 Star Book Review | Blog Tour
Hi friends! I am so excited to be taking part in the Write Reads blog tour for Harrow Lake, which was SPECTACULAR. Full disclosure, Kat is a dear friend of mine, but this has not impacted my review in any way, I promise.
Without further ado – the review! Trigger warnings at the end.
Harrow Lake by Kat Ellis
on July 9, 2020
Genres: Young Adult, Horror
The must-have thriller of 2020 that will keep you gripped, keep you guessing and keep you up all night.
Welcome to Harrow Lake. Someone's expecting you . . .
Lola Nox is the daughter of a celebrated horror filmmaker - she thinks nothing can scare her.
But when her father is brutally attacked in their New York apartment, she's swiftly packed off to live with a grandmother she's never met in Harrow Lake, the eerie town where her father's most iconic horror movie was shot.
The locals are weirdly obsessed with the film that put their town on the map - and there are strange disappearances, which the police seem determined to explain away.
And there's someone - or something - stalking her every move.
The more Lola discovers about the town, the more terrifying it becomes. Because Lola's got secrets of her own. And if she can't find a way out of Harrow Lake, they might just be the death of her.
Harrow Lake blew me away. Starting off immediately with mystery, it pulls you in, keeping you reading with the desire to find out what’s happening. It’s deep, there’s a lot more going on than you first think, with hints dropped throughout. It makes you question who you can trust, is anyone reliable? Even your own memories?
The supernatural elements are deliciously creepy, so definitely read this one with the lights on! The story follows Lola Nox, daughter of successful horror movie director Nolan, who finds herself in her mother’s home town and the location of Nolan’s movie Nightjar.
I don’t want to spoil this book, so I’ll keep my overview brief. Trust me when I say it’s good, well developed and shocking!
Harrow Lake is told from Lola’s perspective, with some interviews in the beginning and ending to give an insight into what’s happening. Lola is a classic case of unreliable narrator, which I love. We get glimpses into the past with flashbacks that are inserted seamlessly. There are so many elements to Harrow Lake which are bone chillingly creepy, and a lot of supernatural elements that can’t quite be explained away. How much is real and what is imagined? Why is this creepy town plagued by misfortune?
Mr Jitters is the perfect creepy being, the name makes you shiver and his teltale signs make your skin crawl, Kat really did a good job of creating this nightmare.
There’s some minor romance in here, which I liked. It’s not the focus of the novel but adds to it, and aids the character development of Lola who has led a sheltered life in terms of friends and relationships.
Lola is a fantastic character. We see her development throughout, discovering how her childhood has affected her in many ways. I won’t go into too much detail as I don’t want to spoil it, but there are things she’s taken from both parents that deeply affect her every day. I really liked the touch of her writing down secrets and hiding them places, it was such a nice touch into how she deals with life. She spends the novel learning how to overcome her traumas and become her own person, as she has been spending her life hiding in fiction. Something I think a lot of us can relate to. Like I said, I’m trying to be spoiler free so I can’t go into tons of detail on her development without spoiling, but I really enjoyed getting to know her.
Lola is the main character of Harrow Lake, but the supporting characters are well fleshed out without being too obtrusive. They all have their own things going on, their own traumas and ways to deal with it. I think it was done so well, I believed these characters had depth without it being shoved in your face.
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed Harrow Lake. Trying to figure out what was going on, how much is real or imagined… it’s a page turner for sure! Well done Kat! So proud of you <3 Preorder here!
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Special thanks to Cassandra Lee – MADEUP Parenting and Book Reviews who is Galactic Warrior!
Trigger Warnings: Sexual Abuse, childhood trauma, phsyical abuse