Books Horror

Smithy by Amanda Desiree [book review]


Book: Smithy

Author: Amanda Desiree

Published: April 13, 2021

Publisher: Inkshares

Genre: Horror

Pages: 500

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Welcome to Owl Book World! If you’re new here then my name is Kaili. I’ve been blogging since 2018 and it’s something I’ve really enjoyed doing. I predominately review thrillers and horror but every so often I do review coming of age and fantasy. Today I’m writing a review for Smithy by Amanda Desiree.

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Smithy book summary:

Smithy is a horror book by Amanda Desiree. It primarily takes place in 1974 but there are a few events in the 1980s. The story follows a group of students who are asked by a professor to teach a chimp how to talk through sign language. Instead of keeping Smithy in a lab, the professor wants to keep him in a home-like environment with a family. These few students are his family and they love him just as much as they would a family member. 

For a while, Smithy does a good job learning in a structured environment and he’s well-behaved. He does have his moments where he pitches a fit but that’s typical of any kid or chimp at such a young age. When these students hear about the place they are staying at is considered to be haunted, they start to realize that some of the things that have been happening during their stay may not have been all Smithy. Is the place truly haunted? Or is Smithy acting out because he’s a wild animal.

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Rating: 4 out of 5.

What I thought about Smithy:

I got an advanced copy of Smithy and I’m so glad that I did. I love horror books especially when they revolve around paranormal events. That’s exactly what this book deals with. All of the students that are taking care of Smithy are living in a really old mansion. There are tons of rooms but most of the house is in terrible shape. That’s due to the house once being a private school for boys and girls. The disrepair is what makes the house a little bit creepy.

The Characters

The book follows Ruby, Wanda, Gail, Eric, and Tammy. There are a few other characters in the book but we really don’t get their perspective at all towards the situation. I kind of found myself really liking Ruby and Eric. To me, they are the more relatable characters in Smithy. I wasn’t really a fan of Wanda but I don’t really care for how some of the other characters treated her. They couldn’t stand her up until it was time for someone to take charge of things when she wasn’t there. It’s not easy to be in charge of teaching a chimp and making sure that everyone in the household was on the same page.

The only character I really did not like in the story is Gail. I. Could. Not. Stand. Her. I guess her being the youngest and least experienced ended up making her intolerable. There are some things that happened in the storyline where she had to be in charge of things while Wanda was away. Her being in charge even for a short period of time made her look a bit self-absorbed. 

The Plot

So, the plot of Smithy is done very well. The storyline pretty much builds up until it gets to the more creepy aspects of the story. That’s one thing I love about certain horror books. The build-up makes things so much better. However, I do feel like some things in the story could have been taken out. Certain things were repetitive and didn’t get to the point of the story. The other thing that bothers me is that you never really get any answers on whether the place was haunted or not. Throughout the whole story it’s speculation and that’s it. I’ve never been one to really care about speculation in books. I want the cold hard facts and for things to not be left for the readers to decide.

If you’re wondering why I don’t like things to be left for the readers to decide it’s because the author typically already has their minds made up about certain aspects of the story. I don’t want to assume that the building was haunted when the author knows that it’s not. Plus, the book is the author’s baby and I don’t want to assume something that the author didn’t really intend.

Even though there are certain aspects of the story I didn’t care for I still really enjoyed the book. I feel like if you’re a horror fan then you should really check it out!

If you like this review then make sure to go and check out my review for Children of Chicago.

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