Have you ever wondered why virtually every person on this planet has some type of phobia?  Something which terrifies them beyond belief.  An immobilizing fear which has the real potential to take over their life.  Spiders, snakes, heights, fire… and the list goes on.  All intrinsically unique to the individual.  However, what if these fears are not as random as they appear to be?  Perhaps initiated and inveigled by a long forgotten past.  In author Bibiana Krall’s novella, Corvus Hall, we get to see just such a scenario in action.  A profoundly creepy supernatural tale which will mesmerize you from start to finish.

Corvus Hall is Book One in the Irish Phantom series by author Bibiana Krall.  It follows the escapades of the protagonist, Mary O’Brien.  Something from her past haunts Mary, and her life is dominated by unyielding anxiety and paralyzing phobias.  Living in a dreary state of mediocrity and fear, Mary finds that she just does not have that much to look forward to in life.  However, all of this is about to change when she is invited by her best friend to travel to Ireland and stay at the Corvus Hall mansion.  A dream come true!  Or is it more like a never-ending nightmare?  Mary cannot escape the anguished feeling that she has somehow been here before.  The secrets of Corvus Hall are about to be revealed in a terrifying and ghostly fashion… and there may be no escaping this horrid homecoming!

Typically I am usually not a huge fan of novellas.  I find that they are frequently lacking in the development which is needed to adequately immerse me in the story.  That is not the case with this tale!  The opening of the story, and the creepy stalker on the street, instantly hooked me in as a reader.  There was no looking back at this point.  The foreboding atmosphere did not let up for the remainder of the work as the tension and conflict was non-stop.  And I mean that in a very good way!  The author knows her craft and how to weave an intense story exceptionally well.

The hypnotic plot is also backed up by incredibly detailed and descriptive writing.  All the senses are utilized in order to virtually transport the reader into the actual pages of the novella.  This not only occurs when outlining the physical beauty of Ireland, but also when describing facets such as the architecture of the mansion.  Both beautiful and poetic descriptions which contribute to the overall eerie feeling of the tale.

In regards to the characters of the story, they are absolutely dynamic and serve to enhance the plot.  For instance, Mary is a sympathetic character with a definite edge to her.  In contrast, Nigel comes across as both pathetic and creepy, and will generate strong emotions of the other sort within the reader.  What they, and the other characters in the novella, have in common is that they are all believable and compelling.  We can envision these people.  By adding imagery and symbolism to the description of these players Ms. Krall only further evokes these emotions… and reels us right in!

As this is Book One of the series, I am definitely interested in exploring the other titles as well.  This was a truly engrossing read, from start to finish.

5 out of 5 Creepy Stars for this one!  *****