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James Herbert is a horror writer and while he is very well known and popular I don’t think I have enjoyed many of his books. He started out by writing quite physically frightening books – what can be any scarier than oversize man eating rats and chemical weapons? When I picked up “The Magic Cottage” I began to think that I was going to be reading a fairy story as it is about a cottage in the heart of a forest. It seems that the lovely cottage is not a place full of love and nice things but that it has a dark side.
It is full of weird people and even more weird creatures. Then there are the bats and these really seem to play a major part in the horror although there is not the feeling of horror as there is in some of the other books he has written.
Rather than concentrate on physical horror and something that you can see and feel around you this is also fantasy based and as such I think that there will be a lot of science fiction fans who like this as much as horror fans will. It is not a blood and guts horror story but will keep you interested.
The couple in the story are looking for an ideal place to live and get away from the rat race. The cottage seems to play tricks with Midge and Mick lives as at first they find such success and highs and then it changes and the there are some unpleasant occurancea that they had to live through. When things start to go wrong the horror such as it is begins.
James Herbert claims that this is one of his favourite books that he has written but I really don’t share that opinion. It was hard to read and hard to believe. Before I bought this I read a number of reviews where people talked about how scared they had been reading it and I can’t understand how they could be affected that way.
There are a couple of occasions when there is a little bit of horror and I thought that this was the start of the interesting bit, but it never lived up to its potential. It is not a book I would read again and not one that I would recommend. It promises so much at stages but does not live up to that promise.