Sunday Series Spotlight: Experiment in Terror Series by Karina Halle

About the Series

I started reading ebooks in 2012 after received an e-reader for Christmas. Although I love technology, I always preferred reading a print copy of the book and having the rich sensory experience of touching and turning the pages. So, I avoided reading online until I realized that Amazon had lots of books available for free downloads, lol and I could get any book I wanted to read instantly without having to wait for shipping.

Moreover, one of the best benefits has been the discovery of some excellent reads from talented independent authors that I, otherwise, probably would never have encountered. Karina Halle’s work is one of those rare gems that I have come to treasure.  I downloaded Darkhouse, the first book in this series when it was offered for free, and from that point, I was hooked on Perry Palomino and Dex Foray’s  journey together into the world of the supernatural where they explore haunted places to capture paranormal evidence for their Internet ghost hunter series, and along the way they must each grapple with literal and figurative demons that have continually tested their sanity.

Here is an overview of the series from Goodreads:

In a large, flaky nut­shell, the Exper­i­ment in Ter­ror Series is an nine-part sci-fi/fantasy/horror series that revolves around a pair of ghost hunters. Well, aspir­ing ghost hunters, any­way. After film­ing a creepy expe­ri­ence in her uncle’s dilap­i­dated light­house, 22-year old Perry Palomino becomes a YouTube and inter­net star overnight. She attracts the atten­tion of Dex Foray, a pro­ducer and cam­era­man for a site that spe­cial­izes in var­i­ous webisodes, who con­vinces her to be a host for a low-budget ghost hunt­ing series. The only prob­lem is, nei­ther Perry or Dex are entirely “with it” — I mean, they see ghosts, after all. And when the duo isn’t wrestling with their very notion of real­ity, they’re grap­pling with a work­ing rela­tion­ship that’s deep-cut with sex­ual ten­sion. As the series moves on, lead­ing Perry and Dex to new locales and super­nat­ural sit­u­a­tions, their lives become more and more inter­twined, where they dis­cover that ghosts aren’t the only things that can haunt them.

This is a series that must be read in order, and for all of you paranormal fans out there, I think you’ll find it to be worth your time. Although romance does eventually become a significant aspect of the plot as the series unfolds, the scary, chilling, and downright creepy scenes from Perry and Dex’s adventures will be more than enough to satisfy your paranormal cravings. In fact, I should warn you, this series can be addictive!

The series is comprised of full length novels as well as several novellas. I have highlighted the main books in the series and the novellas I read.

Darkhouse #1

Dark HouseWith all the vampire, werewolf and faerie books out there, it’s easy to become numb to all things supernatural. The antidote? Darkhouse introduces two real and unforgettable characters, Perry Palomino & Dex Foray, amateur ghost hunters who are “attractive, relatable and oddly heroic,” “flawed but loveable,” “slightly crazy” and just the most endearing pair to ever tackle the paranormal…just don’t call them normal.

Darkhouse is a thrilling and sexy new take on concepts like Supernatural and The X-Files, bringing a breath of fresh air to a genre that has been inundated with the dead.

***Darkhouse and the Experiment in Terror series is a horror/romance for mature audiences only. Readers who are easily offended by harsh language should think twice about reading it.

Published March 10, 2012

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11356211-darkhouse

Favorite Quotes from the book: 

“Somehow by dealing with the dead, I had never felt so alive.” 

***

“Because sometimes I lie, Perry. We all lie, even you, but not everyone is brave enough to admit it.”  -Dex

***

“If there was a moment that determined the course of my future, I’m pretty sure this was it. I had two somewhat simple choices. I could make a run for it and go back to Uncle Al’s. Back to the bonfire where my cousins and dear sister would be drinking and revel in the normalcy of a Saturday night and forget I ever went to this horrid place and ran into this weirdo. Or I could go with said weirdo up the stairs in this decrepit old lighthouse, which was most likely condemned and unsafe, towards some unknown person (or thing) that was walking around, potentially waiting to murder us in horrific ways. 

It didn’t seem like a very hard decision to make. In fact, I think 99.7% of people in the right frame of mind would have picked from column A and gone on with their merry lives. But for some freaking crazy reason, I thought that maybe, just maybe I should go with this stranger up those kelp-ridden stairs and toward the lair of unimaginable horror. You know, because it was the more interesting alternative.” -Perry

Red Fox #2

Red FoxWith Book Two of the Experiment in Terror Series, Perry Palomino and Dex Foray trade in the stormy Oregon coast for the unforgiving deserts of New Mexico. 

In the for­got­ten town of Red Fox, New Mex­ico, a Navajo cou­ple is tor­tured by things unseen and by motives unknown. Wild ani­mals slink through their house in the dark, a bar­rage of stones pound their roof nightly, and muti­lated sheep car­casses are turn­ing up on their prop­erty. Armed with a cam­era and just enough to go on, Perry and Dex travel to the des­o­late locale, hop­ing to film the super­nat­ural occur­rences and add cred­i­bil­ity to their flail­ing web­cast. Only their show has a lot more work­ing against them than just grow­ing pains. Tested by dubi­ous ranch hands, a ghost from Dex’s past, and shapeshift­ing decep­tion, the ama­teur ghost hunters must learn to trust each other in order to fight the most ancient of myths…or die trying.

Published March 24, 2012

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11710500-red-fox

Favorite Quotes from the book:

 “Dex,” I whispered.
“Mmmm?” he grunted.
“I hope you never stop feeling alive.”
I could have sworn his heart skipped a few beats. He tensed. Then relaxed.
“As long as you’re around,” he said softly, “I’ll be alive.” 
***
“Do you think you’re special, Perry?” he asked seriously.
I winced. “A little bit. Maybe more in the Special Olympics kind of way.”
***
“Too many live in the future. If you keep living in the future, in what may be, then the future gets shorter every minute.” 

Dead Morning Sky #3

Dead Morning SkyWith the Experiment in Terror show finding some success, amateur ghost hunters Perry Palomino and Dex Foray embark on their most terrifying investigation yet. A tiny, fog-shrouded island in the rough strait between British Columbia and Washington State has held a dark secret for decades: It was a former leper colony where over forty souls were left to rot, die and bury each other. Now a functioning campground, Perry and Dex spend an isolated weekend there to investigate potential hauntings but as the duo quickly find out, there is more to fear on D’Arcy Island than just ghosts. The island quickly pits partner against partner, spiraling the pair into madness that serves to destroy their sanity, their relationship and their very lives.

Published October 12, 2011

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12322385-dead-sky-morning

Favorite Quotes from the book:

“I guess I am just a pervert with rapist facial hair.”
“Well, you’re my kind of pervert.” 

***

“In all of our experiences together, there always was that moment that I could have turned back and I never ever did. Even if it scared me to the core, to the very soul and fiber of my being, I still went forward into the unknown. Some may call that brave. I don’t think I’d call it that. Stubborn beyond repair seemed more fitting.” 

Lying Season #4

Lying SeasonAmateur ghost-hunter Perry Palomino has battled ghosts, fought off skinwalkers and skirted the fine line between life and death. But can she survive bunking down in Seattle for a week with her partner (and man she secretly loves) Dex and his perfect girlfriend, Jennifer? And can she do so while being tormented by a malicious spirit from Dex’s increasingly shady past? With love and life in the balance, Perry must discover the truth among the lies or risk losing everything she’s ever cared about.

Published December 12, 2011

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13061289-lying-season

Favorite Quotes from the book: 

“You’re the light in all this madness. You’re my light. I should have been with you…” The thought hit him as his face crumpled in amazement. “Oh God, why am I not with you?”
“Because you’re an idiot,” I said.”

***

“If I thought I was head over heels for him before, this time I was so far gone, it’s like I fell into my own grave. Head over heels and down a whole. Bury me with dirt, stick a stake into my heart, and call it a day.” 

***

“Dex isn’t a big guy by any means. He’s on the short side and toned but still thin. But he has unpredictable pit-bull tactics and one hell of a lippy attitude with strangers. For heaven’s sake, never give that man a shovel.” 

On Demon Wings #5

SONY DSCWhen the life you wanted has crumbled beneath your fingers, there’s nothing left to do but pick up the pieces and soldier on. You’ve done this before.But what happens when you no longer feel like yourself anymore? When fires spontaneously start-up around you, when you hear growling coming from underneath your bed, and you no longer recognize your face in the mirror. What happens then?Ghost-hunter Perry Palomino doesn’t have much time to find out. Now, the evil she used to hunt is a lot closer to home. It’s inside of her, taking over her life bit-by-terrifying bit, and there’s only one person who can help her. 
If part of her doesn’t kill him first.
Published April 2012
Favorite Quotes from the book:
“He was still a douchecanoe. The douchecanoe who was going to paddle me to safety.” 
***
“She’s waking up. Get the bat.” Not exactly the best words to wake up to.” 
***
“Perry,” he said quietly, his fingers trailing down the side of my face, “you’ll never have to save my life. You gave me life. I never lived a single day until the day I first met you.” 

Old Blood #5.5

SONY DSCA haunting novella from the Experiment in Terror Series…

From her harrowing introduction in Darkhouse, the spectre known as “Creepy Clown Lady” has been a constant fixture in Perry Palomino’s life. But beyond the horrid makeup and piercing stare lies Pippa, a woman just like everyone else.

Well, not quite.

When Perry discovered Pippa’s message to her and Dex on the EVP recordings, she thought she heard the last of the old woman’s message. She was wrong. In the novella Old Blood, Pippa relays the tale of her troubled and tortured past, revealing how an aspiring actress and loving mother fell into madness and how an unfathomable betrayal led to her untimely death. 

For Perry, the repercussions of her message are life-shattering.

Published June 2012

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13599714-old-blood

This novella was a quick and essential read for me to find answers to questions and to gain a better understanding of Perry and Declan’s backgrounds and motivations. One of the foremost questions is who exactly is the crazy, creepy clown lady. She consistently appears throughout the series and her cryptic comments make the reader believe that she knows quite a lot about Perry and Dex. Old Blood explains Pippa’s relationship to both both characters and, by telling Pippa’s story, Halle provides greater clarity about why Perry began to see ghosts as a child. I also have a better understanding of why Dex behaves as he does (…maddeningly frustrating at times to me).

Pippa has her own poignant story of struggling to to find her way in the midst of love and loss. Pippa’s character is strong, independent, daring to defy fate for the love of a daughter. The consequences of her decisions have impacted Perry’s life in ways I couldn’t have imagined until now.

I’m not a fan of novellas and tend to skip over them if possible when reading a series. However, Old Blood provides the transition readers need to move forward with the series.

The Dex-Files #5.7

The Dex FilesThe truth is out there…

The Dex-Files is a compilation novel that accompanies the Experiment in Terror Series and is not to be-read as a stand-alone. In the Dex-Files we find a variety of scenes and chapters from the enigmatic Dex Foray’s POV from books #1-6 in the series. Some of these scenes have been previously published, albeit from Perry’s POV, while other scenes are completely new.

In addition to it not being a stand-alone, the novel also contains some major spoilers and should be read only by those who have read all the published books in the series. 

Published July 2012

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15746858-the-dex-files

In an author interview with Halle from Pawing Through Books, Halle states that Dex is her favorite character to write. Her depiction of Dex: “He’s an asshole with a heart of gold, a million contradictions in one and always keeps the readers on their toes.” I have to agree. It was enlightening to get Dex’s POV regarding some of the most memorable scenes from the series. Thanks Dex, it was a helluva ride!

Favorite quotes from the book:

“Sometimes you can foresee certain moments in your life. For me, it’s usually a moment based on a lie. Cause and effect. You lie, you hide something from the world and you know one day someone will uncover the truth. And you know when that happens, it won’t be pretty.
It will be ugly.” 

***

“Saying goodbye to something or someone after that long of a time, even if it brought you pain and misery, is hard. It’s like living with a gangrene foot. You know you need to just whack it off and you’ll be healthier for it. But damn if you don’t feel some sort of emptiness when your decaying foot is gone. You look at the end of your leg expecting to see it there in all black and rotting but there’s just nothing but air now.” 

Into the Hollow #6

Into the HollowPerry Palomino has fought her demons – and won – but the battle is far from over. She’s now left broken and on her own, leaving behind her life and family in Portland to focus on giving Dex Foray – and the Experiment in Terror show – a second chance. But their past mistakes continue to tease and test their relationship, as does the wild and desolate terrain of the Canadian Rockies.

The snow-covered peaks and ravenous forests hide an urban legend too unbelievably frightening to be true and the only way the duo has a chance of surviving is if Perry can let in the very man who sent her to hell and back.

Published November 2012

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13617933-into-the-hollow

I loved this story! The plot was exciting and scary. I’m usually not one to get scared when reading, but I found this one frightened me more than any of her previous books. The suspense was intense. I love this series; it’s downright addictive for me.

Favorite quotes from the book:

“I was trying to be a better man, Perry. For you.” I shifted in my seat. “Dex…” “And I’ll keep trying,” he quickly said, voice low and somber. “Until I get it right.” 

***

“No, you’re not shooting me down, kiddo … Because I’m not really trying. When I do try, you’ll know it. And then you’ll throw the whole damn rulebook out the window.” 

Come Alive #7

Come AliveIt’s one thing to bring the woman you love back into your life. It’s another to try and keep her there. For Dex Foray, con­vinc­ing Perry Palomino to open her­self to their bur­geon­ing rela­tion­ship has been more chal­leng­ing than hunt­ing ghosts, bat­tling demons and stalk­ing Sasquatch com­bined. Add in the fact that the only way they can keep their Exper­i­ment in Ter­ror show run­ning is to take on a third part­ner in the form of the mys­te­ri­ous Max­imus Jacobs — all while inves­ti­gat­ing a sin­is­ter voodoo sect in New Orleans — and you’ve got the per­fect South­ern storm and a recipe for dis­as­ter. Luck­ily, Dex has never been one to back down, even when his life –and heart — are on the line.

Come Alive is told from Dex’s POV.

Published June 2013

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16143338-come-alive

Without a doubt, I am addicted to this series. Each book just keeps getting better and better. Until I read this one, Lying Season was my absolute fav in this series. Now this book takes the # 1 spot.

I love that the book is set in New Orleans which is steeped in supernatural lore. Dex and Perry are together again but are forced to work with Maximus, who has proven to be a troublemaker in the past in order to revive their online show. Previous events have now paved the way for Dex and Perry’s relationship to finally have a chance, but nothing is ever easy for this couple, and this time, the obstacles they face seem unsurmountable.

Their current investigation of a supposed haunted house immerses them into the dark and deadly world of voodoo and zombies. The story is full of twists and turns that build to a suspenseful, nail biting climatic ending that took my breath away and left me clamoring for the next book.

Favorite quotes from the book:

“Kiddo, I rarely get compliments. So I just decide to compliment myself instead. You should try it sometime.” -Dex

***

“What did the candles smell like?” she asked. 

Was she kidding me?

“Like Eau du Zombie. I don’t know.”  – Dex

Source for books in the series: I found book one for free and purchased the rest of the above books.

*****

I did not read the following two novellas in the series and I don’t think this affected my ability to follow the plot’s progression. However, as this series is drawing to a close soon, I’m sure I will go back and read these when I need another “Perry & Dex”  fix like I need my morning coffee.

The Benson #2.5

SONY DSC

This short story/novella sees amateur Youtube ghost-hunters, Perry Palomino and Dex Foray, investigating the real-life hauntings of Portland’s infamous Benson Hotel. It occurs between books #2 (Red Fox) and #3 (Dead Sky Morning) and is the perfect primer for anyone interested in the EIT series. 

44 pages

Published February 2011

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13129155-the-benson

And With Madness Comes the Light #6.5

With Madness Comes LightThe Man. The Mystery. The Madness.

Dex Foray has never been anyone’s fool – until he missed his chance for happiness with Perry Palomino. Broken and alone, Dex has no choice but to rise from the ashes Perry left behind and find his own path to redemption. But nothing in Dex’s life has ever come easily, especially when there’s a dark madness waiting in the wings.

Told from Dex’s POV, And With Madness Comes the Light is short story/novella that spans the time period from the end of Lying Season (Book #4) until the end of On Demon Wings (Book #5). If you were ever wondering what really happened to Dex while Perry was gone – his journey to Dex 2.0 – now is your chance.

94 pages

Published February 2013

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16159713-and-with-madness-comes-the-light

Up Next ! Review of  Ashes to Ashes #8 & Giveaway

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3 comments on “Sunday Series Spotlight: Experiment in Terror Series by Karina Halle

  1. Pingback: Spotlight & Giveaway for Dust to Dust (Experiment in Terror # 9) | Sun Mountain Reviews

  2. Pingback: Cover Reveal for Dirty Angels (Dirty Angels #1) by Karina Halle | Sun Mountain Reviews

  3. Pingback: Book Tour for Ashes to Ashes (Experiment in Terror #8): Review & Giveaway | Sun Mountain Reviews

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