Through the Peephole by Ana Rotea

Through the Peephole by Ana Rotea
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Young Adult (14 – 18 y.o.), Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Paranormal, Contemporary
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Viewer discretion advised.

After Mother leaves home, a strange girl shows up in the building, luring the children into opening the door. As a protector of the house and his little brother, Marcus tries to keep the door close, no matter what happens outside. But what if the real danger for Marcus is already in the apartment? He will learn that he cannot fight with a memory from the past. Also, he will have a revelation about his own fragile nature.

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One of the things I enjoy the most about Ms. Rotea’s work is how talented she is at finding the horror in what should be a completely ordinary moment. Marcus and Gabe were used to spending hours home alone together while their mother went out. Seeing how they reacted to their quiet evening suddenly being interrupted by an unsettling little girl made me shudder in a good way. It was deliciously scary to see things shift into inexplainable territory so rapidly.

I would have liked to see more foreshadowing included before the ending was revealed. It was a satisfying conclusion, but it didn’t seem as connected to the few clues that were shared earlier as I would have preferred. There was more room here for tying everything together, and I think spending a bit more time doing just that would have made the whole storyline even more memorable and cohesive.

This tale did a wonderful job of making the reader think about which characters should, and maybe shouldn’t, be trusted. There was evidence to support multiple theories about who might be telling the truth. I liked sifting it all out for myself and coming up with ideas about what was really going on here. This seemed like it would be something that would a lot of fun to discuss in a small group since one could reasonably argue so many different interpretations of who the good guy (or girl) might be.

Through the Peephole was a thought-provoking story that I’d recommend to anyone who love open-ended horror.

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