Spanning over 100 years of mid-Michigan history, The Eaton tells the story of Sam Spicer, a young entrepreneur who purchases the dilapidated Michigan Central Railroad Depot in Eaton Rapids with the dream of opening a hot new martini bar. But when he and his friends discover an abandoned underground hotel directly beneath the property, they must discover what happened to the original guests-before their own time runs out.
The Eaton is the debut novel of John K. Addis, and combines a flashback-based narrative structure with the gruesome style of '80s horror classics, creating a unique new voice critics are calling "fresh, original, and truly terrifying."
©2015 John K. Addis (P)2016 AE Press
Chris purchases a wine bar and discovers it conceals an aged underground hotel. Who built it and why was it buried away as if it had secrets to hide?
This wasn't particularly scary until my cat went under my bed and started scratching at something and freaking me out; so kudos for that. It was slightly comic the way they could see the apparitions, but I won't spoil it for you.
Writer, reader, now an avid listener, why hadn't I discovered this before!
Yes, because it had lots of wonderful elements in it, it was scary, heartbreaking and just terrible all at once. :)
The fact that it took you on such an emotional journey with the characters, it takes you by surprise because even I wasn't expecting it as a horror. It was very character driven.
Jeff has quite the difference in character voices. I enjoyed all of them, and when the characters were excited and scared so was I.... I really enjoyed his characters voices for Sarah, Kinsey and Janet. : ) so different, yet so woman like. Great job.
There were several moments that really got me. I have to admit, Janet and seeing 'the baby' in the linen basket. Would be horrid for anyone... Sarah and having her nipple in the chomper, and for me that moment when someone you love and care about is crying out to you 'Sarah, I'm hurt... please don't leave me' ugggh, just heart wrenching. I don't know how they could ever leave them, belief or not that it's the creature. What if it just wasn't?
Okay, so for the most part I did enjoy the performance of the book. It was great to listen to, had it's ups and downs, what I wasn't so sure about was some of the flashbacks and places of 'backstory' I know most of it seemed really relevant, and it was and it was much better than the 'reader of the journal' just recanting events as Jonathan experienced them. But, they did interrupt some of the story for me. Mostly because of their timing. I wasn't so sure some of them were totally relevant till I'd gotten past them and into the next scene or chapter.
What this as a book did do for me, was take me back to the scary films I used to watch and the stories I used to read as a young adult. It had good tone and great characters. I will defo come back and see if there are more in the future from this author, and yeah Jeff has a new fan to :) so thank you to both for the 10 plus hours of entertainment. Well worth investing my time, and energy into.
Extra thoughts - Prologue - Not so sure on it they're almost always not needed, but it ended well enough for Zeke, and the creature got out after all! damned. Sarah if she's still alive better run....
Author note - Interesting to hear that I'm not the only Author who takes their dreams and writes them out. Thank you for that. And pretty interesting that there are real facts in here. :) Kudos to the writer, for research. (heck you talk fast though)
"Scary but explicitly gruesome"
I liked this book better than I expected--really held my attention, super suspenseful and creepy. A warning to some that it gets pretty detailed in some gory/gruesome scenes.
"Gripping Old School Horror"
Beautiful, Poignant, Perfectly-Ended.
I really loved the hotel. I would be planning to move in and live there.
For awhile I was wondering if he was the one doing all the voices or if there were multiple female narrators there too. He doesn't just resort to using a falsetto voice to imitate the female characters. He voices each character differently, with different accents and quirks, and makes it more like a radio show than an audiobook.
There is a scene toward the end that depicts needless torture of an animal. The scene does shed light on what is happening to the humans in the story, but I felt deeply horrified as it unfolded.
Overall, very strong work. I didn't like the way the point of view jumped around from character to character. But I feel like that's something the author could tidy up and make future efforts stronger.
"Great beginning and story idea"
I loved the narration and performance!!
I loved the beginning, the set up, the plot itself. But then, over the course of listening, I really had to push myself to finish the listening... it got very bloody and gruesome... I know that the gruesome is part of the story, but after that great beginning I was hoping for a continued run of the idea, and where it might take us...
Instead very soon you get an idea how it will end, what the only possible ending can be... There sure is a twist to the story, so I will leave it at that, so to not spoil it dor anyone, but - I was hoping for more after that great start.
"A great choice!!"
Based on some of the story points in the summary, I decided to give it a try. I admit "debut novel" and "80's style horror" worried me that it might be weak or cheesy and I shouldn't get my hopes up too much.
But honestly, it was an absolutely great listen in story and narration. The characters and pace were wonderful. I never became bored. The setting, an abandoned location, which caught my attention in the first place, was perfect! In that respect, "The Eaton" most definitely exceeded my hopes and expectations. The narrator proved to be very very talented and at one point was able to send shivers through me when voicing the character of a demented old woman.
This book was a perfect story to curl up for a good old can't-put-it-down horror. My only regret is that I can't "un-read" it to be able dive back in and start it over totally fresh.
"Original and addictive"
I almost stopped listening after first five gory minutes, I am very glad I stuck with it because this is one of the most original and electrifying thrillers I've ever read. Sort of like The Shining meets the Poseidon Adventure. Fantastic, made time fly I was so absorbed!
"I didn't expect much, but WOW was I surprised! "
I don't usually write reviews, , but I felt that this book needed one because it was such an unexpected surprise. I really didn't expect much going into this book (I'd never heard of this author) however, it turned out to be an excellent Horror/Thriller novel. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves a good scary story.
"A great listen. Exciting story brought to life!"
Narrator was very talented. He really brought the whole thing to life! At first I was wondering why the whole "cast" of narrators wasn't listed, until I realized that it was all the same guy. Story was very good and you could tell it was well researched. The real-life historical references gave this type of horror story a bit of "Victorian sophistication" and I loved that it was about Michigan (my home state). The specific location and references to Michigan history made the story so believable, I found myself contemplating it's actual plausibility - as silly as that may seem. Great first novel! I will look forward to anything new to come from this author, as well as this narrator. Well done on both accounts.
"Classic Monster tale"
The Eaton is a monster story in the same class as Stephen King or Richard Matheson. If you enjoyed The Shining or Hell House make sure to give this one a shot.
"Flashbacks within flashbacks within cliches"
The pacing is utterly schizophrenic. Every chapter ends in a cliffhanger, and the next chapter begins, annoyingly, with some kind of flashback. There are so many flashbacks, that at one point a flashback actually starts flashing-back in on itself. All characterizations are done through these interminable flashbacks. Rather than having the characters grow naturally throughout the course of the story, we only get to know about them through boring, monotonous flashbacks. So if you are into flashbacks, this could be for you.
No. Addis doesn't know how to give characters motivations without employing flashbacks. The creature, who doesn't have the benefit of flashbacks, goes without any meaningful motivation throughout the entirety of the book, making his actions puzzling and ultimately pointless.
There is some decent production value behind the audiobook. Each character gets their own unique voice, which is appreciated.
As a general rule, I'd cut out every flashback that isn't to the original opening days of The Eaton hotel. I'd especially remove the particularly hammy flashback to Sam witnessing animal cruelty as a child (a cheap attempt to get some emotion, any emotion out of the reader).
I'd also remove the rape flashback. You knew there was going to be a rape flashback, as the strong independent female heroine of the story never stops talking about that one time she was raped, and how it made her a strong independent female heroine. Naturally, she is raped by a fraternity guy, who is from a rich, conservative republican family. Why are we told this rapist is a rich, conservative republic fraternity guy when we are told almost nothing else about him? I guess to John K. Addis being conservative must be all a character needs to have motivation to rape. Nice.
The Eaton boasts a cool concept in a unique, creepy setting. It is just a shame that the story is told so awfully, through an overuse of flashbacks. Moreover, by the end of the book I was so annoyed and disgusted by all of the main characters that I was rooting for the mysterious evil to eviscerate them all.
"The suspense was not quite there."
It is a really unique plot. There are flash backs into the past illustrating the creation o f the hotel. For the first third of the book I was engrossed. The design of the hotel was fascinating. Much of the function of the equipment has a steam punk feel.
Sam and Sarah are the main characters and on the verge of making a committment but as usual there is a deal breaker in the shadows. That deal breaker comes out in a very interesting manner. As usual you start out with a goup and then people began to be killed off. There is the sinister evil which is lurking in the back ground.
There are a few body mutilations but one in particular, which makes me very grateful that I do not have piercings. Very early in the book I had a good idea to what type of evil was torturing them.
It was suspensful but going from past to present and each character had a flashback listening became laborious. The characters in the present seemed to be running in circles and and trying to figures out how to get the elevator to the floors above. That was the main detractor for me. So much time is spent playing around with the elevators before the group even realizes they should be scarred.
So some action is starting and then wham, you are pulled into another direction where in feel of the story detracts from the suspense that was worked up. Heck the evil do not become to talk until the last third of the book. By that time I was not invested in the story.
The sex scenes gave me gave me a gag reflex, especailly when everyone became aware of what was going on. Maybe I am being to picky. Yes, it was an interesting story, but it missed the mark.
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