The Doll

Rated 4.54/5 based on 13 reviews
The Island of the Dolls is a strange and eerie tourist destination in Mexico, where hundreds of decomposing dolls hang from trees like grisly Christmas ornaments. On a trip to the island, Joyce Parker's daughter falls in love with a beautiful but sinister doll. More
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Price: Free! USD

Words: 8,650
Language: English
ISBN: 9781465927972
About J.C. Martin

J.C. Martin is a displaced Malaysian living in South London, England, with her husband and three dogs. After working in pharmaceutical research and in education as a schoolteacher, she decided to put her 2nd degree black belt in Wing Chun to good use. She now teaches martial arts, and writes whenever she can. Her short stories have appeared in anthologies for New Asian Writing, Pill Hill Press and Static Movement, and she is the winner of the 2010 IFWG Publishing Story Quest Short Story Contest.

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Reviews

Review by: John Mc Caffrey on Nov. 25, 2013 :
The Doll, by J.C. Martin is a wonderfully written shorty story, full of believable characters. Ms. Martin pulls the reader easily into the relationship between Taylor and Joyce from the first page. Highly recommended read.
(review of free book)

Review by: loretta martinez on Aug. 17, 2013 :
This was a good little story. I was disappointed in the length of the book. I felt there could of been more to it. Over all it was a good read. Not a 5 star in my opinion
(review of free book)

Review by: nancy defreitas on Dec. 25, 2011 :
This was a very interesting book, and I reacommend it to anyone who wants a good read.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Anthony Bee on Dec. 07, 2011 :
I really enjoyed this short story. It was engaging and beautifully written, with an unexpected ending that raised the hairs on the back of my neck! Very atmospheric throughout, I was spellbound to the last page.

You may never look at your daughter's dolls in quite the same way again...
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Juliana Brandt on Dec. 06, 2011 :
I must admit, I'm not a fan of horror. Frankly, it creeps me out. J.C. Martin is such a fabulous storyteller though that once I read the first page, there was no other option but to read the rest.

Joyce visits the Island of the Dolls, where corpse-like dolls are strung from trees. Creepy right? From there, Joyce's world slowly falls apart as she realizes a spirit from the Island has followed her and her daughter home.

I thought I had The Doll's ending pegged. That it would have a cliche ghost story ending, but boy was I wrong. The ending had me thrown for a loop that made me go bad and read the whole thing again.

Can't wait for more from Martin!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Gregory Dahler on Dec. 02, 2011 :
Good read. Recommend it for other horror writers.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Maria Violante on Nov. 16, 2011 :
"The Doll" had a few rough moments, specifically with participle tenses - I caught a few cases where "have lost" should have been "had lost", or using "may be" for a past scenario (should be "might have been"). There was also a passage where a set of quotation marks was missing, which gave me a little confusion as to the number of tour guides. (Additionally, the Spanish spoken by the native guide had a few mistakes as well; "munecas" should have been "muñecas" with a tilde, and as a feminine plural, the correct modifier is "las", not "la". "Trajineras" is a plural noun; if referring to only one canoe/gondola, "trajinera" should have been used instead.) Overall, though, the mistakes were quite minor and didn't merit much more than a brief pause.

Now, my favorite part - onto the good! First of all, this author has a real talent for description, creating imagery that you can experience in all five senses. The descriptions are both complex and succint, a winning combination that really brings the page to life. Take the following passage for example:

He heaved his sunburnt bulk onto the rotting pier, the arthritic planks groaning and shivering in protest of his weight.

Or how about this?

Vines and weeds strangled the decomposing structure, dragging it into the earth, returning its elements back to nature.

Just superb! Great verb choice, sparse yet perfect adjectives, and a sense of movement throughout the entire passage that built dramatic tension.

Another thing I really liked about this work was the depiction of interpersonal relationships. The dynamic between mother and child was touching and true to life, and I could really empathize in the frustration between the mother and her ex - especially in scenes about parenting (not that I have children.)

Finally, I originally thought that the ending would be fairly easy to guess. I mean, it was pretty clear where the work was going, right? So I was pleasantly surprised by a twist ending that was both creepy and chilling!

All in all, I'd have to give this 4.2 stars. Great descriptions, a decent plot, in need of some more editing.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Nicole Gruebel on Nov. 02, 2011 :
This story is like a rollercoaster, just as any good horror-story should be like.
It starts nice and slow, so that you almost miss the first glimpse of what lurks in the shadows or in the trees or in a creepy hut.
Then you think you are safe, only to stop reading for a moment when you realize your are not safe at all.
And once the ball gets rolling, it certainly keeps you on your toes!
I won't spoil the ending, but 5 stars should be proof enough that I found it brilliant.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Sean McGuire on Oct. 29, 2011 :
I feel it should take a little longer for an atheist main character to buy into ghosts.

With that said, this is a taut and thrilling ghost story. It takes a lot to scare me, and J.C. Martin did it. I dare you to read it yourself.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Simon Wilson on Oct. 28, 2011 :
It probably wasn't the best idea to read this story right before going to bed. I seriously underestimated JC Martin's ability to give me the heeby jeebys. A great theme for a story with a twisted ending. The writer prays upon the readers sense of intrest then assaults your primal instincts with shocking revelations and turns of events.

As a fan of the horror genre I found this to be a great read.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Carol Chew on Oct. 18, 2011 :
As the story progressed, I felt a lump in my throat with a compelling need to finish reading it. Learnt something new and interesting. Keep the books coming, JC Martin!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Tony Benson on Oct. 12, 2011 :
This is a gripping, scary story. I couldn't stop reading. The writing is exquisite, and the storytelling is inventive. If you are a fan of horror stories, this is a must read.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Kia Kaha Press on Oct. 04, 2011 :
'The Doll' is a skillful exercise in the macabre that grabs you by the short hairs of the neck and doesn't let go. JC Martin blends fact and fiction here to produce one heck of a read that is reminiscent of the best of Poe and Barker. It's atmospheric, disturbing and hypnotic, and the heat and sweat of Isla de la Munecas will stick to you long after you turn the last page.

A great debut from an outstanding author. This is dark suspense at its best! Primal and acidic!
(reviewed the day of purchase)

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