The first and arguably the strongest entry to the Red Eye book series as of yet. Frozen Charlotte is a classic possessed doll story that takes on a modern twist in a secluded island setting. Anyway, let’s have a look and see what all the fuss is about, shall we?
We start the story with a dark note – Sophie’s friend dies in a freak accident after they experiment with an Ouija board. Distraught, she goes to spend the summer with her cousins. The extended family does not provide a distraction; Piper is just a tad too nice while Cameron is the definition of a broody teenage boy. Let’s not forget Lilias and her strange fear of bones. The memory of their dead sister Rebecca lingers on like a dark cloud over everyone’s heads.
In their house, Sophie discovers frozen charlotte dolls (which are a real thing and have their own creepy backstory). As one would expect, weird things start happening. Think of any freaky doll cliché and it’s probably there but in this story, it somehow works. If anything, although this is classed as YA, I would say it could pass as an adult horror if you aged up the characters a few years.
The isolating setting definitely adds to the feeling of helplessness and claustrophobia which is crucial in this genre. As the events gain speed, Sophie has nowhere to go and no one to turn to which makes you feel for her.
Mild spoilers ahead
I think this book does a great job of making one think about how much one can influence a person. Have the dolls caused people to commit the things they did? Or were these people already corrupted and just needed an excuse to let the ‘evil’ out? The horror genre is great grounds for exploring themes of morality and the inherent darkness humans have and it’s done really well here.
As far as the story itself goes, a lot of plot twists could’ve been predicted by anyone who reads these types of stories often. However, that doesn’t detract from its effectiveness. If anything, it’s fun to read back and catch all the hints one might’ve missed.
Overall, I do think this entry in the anthology lives up to the hype. It ticks all the right boxes and while the story does not necessarily reinvent the wheel, it is still highly entertaining. Out of the whole bunch, this is probably the one I’d recommend the most.(5 / 5)
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