Saturday, August 15, 2015
Randy Speeg

Saturday Short Story Review: The Doll by J.C. Martin

J.C. Martin’s short story The Doll is an excellent little ghost story. What caught my attention and prompted my purchase of this ebook was the setting. The Island of the Dolls is a real location in Mexico that has been featured on a few ghost hunting reality TV shows. This place has always fascinated me.

Martin does a decent job of capturing the spooky atmosphere of this location. Her characters are believable and relatable, and her pacing to build the tension is good.

Martin brought some real world occult practices and terminology into the story, which was a nice touch and added that extra bit of believability to the plot.

My one major complaint about this story is there are not enough actual paranormal events taking place to actually justify the actions of the main character. Human beings have an uncanny ability to write off most paranormal happenings with hopeful logic until the frequency and severity build up to a snapping point. However the main character in this story reacts after the tiniest bit of prodding. This lends to an ending which arrives too quickly before enough spooky tension is built in the readers mind.

The ending itself may be one that avid readers of ghost stories see coming a mile away. Although, I must award points for just how well written this climax was. Also, it’s not an easy thing to find untrodden ground in an overly saturated genre. For what it’s worth, I’m sure readers less familiar with the many tropes of the genre will be pleasantly surprised.

If you’re a fan of ghost stories or of haunted dolls I would recommend giving this story a shot.