Curse of the Dead-Eyed Doll

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 19 Aug 2019

Member Reviews

I really enjoyed this take on what happens to Alejandro Padilla on his class trip when he meets Robert the doll and doesn't follow the rules. I have a love of myths and legends and was already familiar with the legend of Robert the doll so when I saw this book I had to read it. The things that happen to Al after his encounter with the haunted doll are terrifying. Will he be able to make thing right with Robert? You're going to have to read it and find out for yourself.
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Part of the Haunted in America series, Curse of the Dead-Eyed Dolls visits one of MY favorite haunted stories, Robert the Doll. Middle schooler Al takes a trip to a museum in Key West. Despite warnings, he takes a photo of Robert the Doll, without asking for permission from the doll. Things start to go wrong and Al wonders if he is cursed.

This is a great book for a middle school reader with an interest in horror and history. Robert the Doll is real and I love him. I hope that his story continues to delight weirdo kids like me forever. 

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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Insert grimace emoji here. I really loved the Authors “Trapped in Room 217″ book. It was well written and it had that spooky element to it. This book just really missed the mark for me; it felt predictable and just didn’t have any creep factor to it what-so-ever. There was no suspense, never any mystery, you knew exactly what was going to happen the minute someone in the book said “don’t piss off the doll”.
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I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I wanted to read this book because the title reminded me of a John Bellairs book and then i found out it was based on the Robert doll! 

So thanks, Jolly Fish Press, because it was an absolute delight!

Al for some reason taunts a doll in a museum and starts to see spooky things. Nothing too nefarious, thought, because this is a middle grade book.

The atmosphere is wonderfully creepy as Al wonders if he's really being haunted or losing his mind.

I really liked the illustrations. I feel they added a lot to the atmosphere of the story.
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I can see this book being read on a cold fall night around a campfire! I think it's a perfect middle grade story! I'm usually a fan of middle-grade but this book is a little young for me! I do have cousins that will enjoy this book so I will reccommend  this to anybody who has kids around Halloween time. The illustrations add a nice flair to the story as well!
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This was a great, quick, and entertaining read for fans of haunted dolls or scary stuff in general. The eerie illustrations also really added the extra creepiness to the story. The one flaw I found was the "I don't believe in haunted dolls" trope but I didn't hate it. The story was fast paced and one could finish it up in a day or two. The ending was satisfying and tidy and I really enjoyed the book. Rating: 4 stars
Recommendation: ages 10 and up
FTC DISCLAIMER: I received this book in exchange for an honest review
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I don’t normally read middle grade fiction, but when a book is marketed as both middle grade and horror, I give it a read. I’m happy to say that Curse of the Dead-Eyed Doll is a great example of both genres.

Now you might be thinking “How scary can middle grade horror be?” and from an adult perspective, you’re quite right! To an adult, middle grade horror isn’t going to be scary. But to a child in the middle grade reading level, it could be quite scary.

I actually found the book to be quite creepy. Were the things in it believable? Probably not. At least not if you’re someone who watches a lot of shows like A Haunting, Haunted Hospitals, or Paranormal 911. But not everything needs to be realistic to be scary. If it did, we wouldn’t have horror films, now would we?

I found the story to be well-written for the age group it is intended for. There aren’t big words middle grade readers won’t understand. The book also isn’t scary enough to cause nightmares unless your child is particularly sensitive.

The only issue I had was Al’s dad just isn’t a believable parental figure. He just doesn’t strike me as a real parent. Some of the things he does just don’t add up. You’ll see what I mean if you read the book before letting your child read it.

I think this is a great introduction to the world of horror for middle grade readers. It isn’t so scary as to cause a nightmare but it isn’t bland either. It’s a perfect mix of middle grade and horror.
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Curse of the Dead-Eyed Doll
(Haunted States of America-Book 5)
by Thomas Kingsley Troupe
Illustrations by Maggie Ivy
due 9-1-2019
Jolly Fish Press
Ages 8-12
#netgalley.      #CurseOfTheDeadEyedDoll

I enjoyed this horror story, the fifth book in the Haunted States if America series. In this series each book focuses on the ghost tales, or eerie legends from  different state.
The illustrations by Maggie Ivy were fantastic and added much to the creepy element of the story.
Mrs. Crowley plans a trip for her 8th grade history class to a civil war museum, Fort East Martello Museum, in Key West Florida. Featured in the museum is an exhibit of a doll. The class is warned that pictures of Robert, the doll are ok but to ask permission first, and do not act disrespectful towards the doll. Alejandro Padilla ignores the warning, and making a smartass comment, takes a picture.
Soon after, things start happening to him....his gym locker will not open.....he sees faces in odd places.....his meatballs turn to beetles....and on it goes......
How will Al get by?
What will happen to Al?
His fate is once again in his own hands.
Thanks to net gallery and Jolly Fish Press for sending this e-book ARC for review.
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The perfect scary story for upper elementary and middle school kids. Who doesn’t get creeped about by creepy dolls? When the doll starts haunting Al because he was rude to Robert, the suspense begins to build. The fact that it’s based off a real doll? Even creepier! Just remember...always ask permission to take pictures.
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This spooky tale is geared to middle grade readers. It's a bit creepy, but not overly so. There is a bit of supernatural stalking by an angry doll....but nothing that would be too freaky for elementary age kids. I enjoyed the story. I'm always up for a good creepy story, even one written for kids. I like the fact that the story is based on an actual real doll with a real creepy legend behind it. Robert exists. His real story is told in this book. I want to read the rest of the books in this series now! I will have to request my local library purchase them, as I believe local kids would love to read this series as well!
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In this spine tingling *but not too scary for kids* tale, 13 year old Al is having a run of bad luck and suffering some spooky consequences after a school trip to the museum where he disrespected a cursed doll. At first he assumes it's mere coincidence, but as things begin to escalate and his friends start to blame the curse, Al can't help but wonder if Robert the doll is out to get him. Is the fear all in his mind or is the curse for real?
 The fact that there really is a Robert doll added to the creepiness of the story and it was a plus for me that there is an underlying theme for kids that it never hurts to be polite.
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A great story for older children about the so called cursed doll Robert who is housed at the East Martello museum in Florida. According to the tales Robert was a companion doll to a boy  call Robert Eugene Otto who used to blame Robert for anything that went wrong and when he got older he gave him his own room and let him stare out the window. After his death The doll was sold along with Gene Otto's house and the new owners put him in the attic but they said they heard him running around up there so they donated him to the museum and he has been there ever since. According to the locals the doll has caused job losses, divorce, car accidents and broken bones for people who disrespect Robert,  

The dead eyed doll is the the second story about the haunted states of America series by Thomas Kinglsey Troupe and  is about a boy Alejandro Padilla who goes on a school trip to the museum and doesn't believe in the myth of Robert and asking his permission to take his photo, Alejandro  even goes one step further by insulting his looks. What happens next is a series of misfortunes that befall Alejandro. The question is, is it the curse or just coincidence?  read the book and make up your own mind.
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First things first: I didn't realize until just now that this is a Middle Grade horror story. I'll admit that this fact has kind of skewed my thoughts on this book. 

That being said, I did enjoy the book a bit. Nothing spectacular or ground breaking, but enjoyable enough once I realized that it wasn't meant for someone who has read adult horror novels. I think that if I were to read this as a kid, it would have spooked me, and it certainly would have scared me knowing that the doll is real. 

The art in the book added a decent little spook-factor, and I think budding fans of horror would enjoy this novel.
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This is a simple ghost story - what if you insulted a doll that has been known to curse people?  The trials and tribulations of Al are just strange enough to wonder if the curse is real.
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I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

When I requested this E-ARC on Netgalley, I expected it to contain whimsical magic elements like the cover suggests. Instead, the story isn't very magic-y or fantasy-ish as I expected it to be. 

Judging from what I do know, this book contains a great mix of horror elements and educational life lessons that I like to see in middle-grade novels. The story follows Al--or Alejandro--who goes to his local museum that is hosting an exhibit of a creepy looking doll called Robert. While inside the museum, the tour guide explains that whenever someone wants to take a picture of Robert, one has to ask for his permission or he won't be pleased. Besides not asking Robert for permission to take his photo, Al also calls him 'creepy looking', which Robert doesn't seem to appreciate at all. From then on, Al is experiencing a ton of bad luck and eventually also believes to see him around him, at his school, in his room. 

As many other reviewers have pointed out, this book brings with it the life lesson of consent. Al does not ask Robert for his permission to take his photo and it shows how much trouble Al gets into after taking this photo without permission. He later realizes that his actions were indeed wrong and he apologizes for his mistakes. 

Still, this book was really flat, the characters of Al, his father, his brother, his best friend Selma, were all relatively flat and boring. The writing style too was both very repetitive and over-explanatory as it described day-to-day chores in full detail which it really shouldn't have to do, not even in a middle-grade novel. Even though my kindle only said it had 47 pages, it took me a couple of days to finish because I kept getting distracted because of the lack of action throughout this book.

All in all, I expected more.
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Curse of the Dead-Eyed Doll by Thomas Kingsley Troupe is a middle grade horror read. This book is a part of the Haunted States of America series which is a fictional collection of stories based on real life ghost stories and mysterious hauntings around the United States.

Middle grader Alejandro Padilla isn’t the superstitious type so when his class is set to  go on a field trip to a museum in Key West, Florida he isn’t worried about the stories he’s heard. The museum is said to be the home of Robert the Doll, a sailor doll that is supposed to be cursed and if one does not ask for permission to take his photo the curse will move onto that person. Of course Alejandro breaks the  rule and soon things begin to happen around him.

I love the way Thomas Kingsley Troupe has taken real stories from around the country and worked them into these books making this series not only entertaining horror but educational too. The horror in the book seemed to be right on point for the grade level, scary story worthy but not too overly done. Even being an older reader myself I’d be interested in reading more to learn about different ghost stories around the U.S.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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I am so happy I found this book and I'm even happier that it is part of a series and now I can devour them!  This was an easy read and I managed to finish it well within a day.  This is such a great book and I love the concept that this series is devoted to real life haunted artifacts and legends around which the author makes a fictional tale of someone coming into contact with the artifact/legend. 

Curse of the Dead-Eyed Doll is focused on Robert the Doll who currently resides in  East Martello Museum, Key West, Florida.  This doll in real life was a beloved friend of Robert Eugene Otto who never parted with it even after he was married, insisting the doll had its own room with a view he could look out on.  The doll remained with Robert Eugene Otto throughout his life and especially when he was a child 'strange things' happened and they were blamed on the doll.  The doll was eventually donated to the museum by the next owner of the house and the museum soon realised that visitors not asking permission before taking his photo became cursed.  This story is set when Robert the Doll is residing in the museum and during a high school trip to the museum, one of the students doesn't ask Robert the Doll for permission before taking his picture and insults him.  This tale moves at a good pace and increases the scares very well, especially as its punctuated with great illustrations just in case your imagination isn't up to scratch.  I also love how hard the main character attempts to remain rational, he almost turned it into an art form.  This book is a lesson in always asking permission!  
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher Jolly Fish Press & Flux for an advanced electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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There’s not much in this world that frightens me more than dolls. You’ll never find me in the same room as one. Seriously, I’ll kick it until it is somewhere I am not. So, when Curse of the Dead-Eyed Doll popped up on my review list I had to face the very real possibility of changing my email address, my Twitter account, and any other forms of communication that’d allow Mike to tell me I owe him a review. But, I’m a professional, so I poured a ring of salt around my bed, added a few lights to my room, got a flamethrower, and dug in. I survived with only a few nightmares to tell you that this young adult novel from Thomas Kingsley Troupe is a delightful gateway horror story. Troupe balanced the line of being just creepy enough to keep the reader on edge while not totally scaring a kid for life.
I’m not as well-versed in YA novels as I used to be, I don’t know the trends or what is popular with the YA audience. However, I do know a good plot when I see one, and Troupe sets us up with a tight story that moves along at a good clip. He quickly introduces us to what the conflict is and then let’s it play out. We have a one hundred year old creepy doll(Robert the Doll) in a museum, known to be a bit of a mischief maker that will curse anyone that doesn’t ask for permission to take its picture. Add into this mix our main character, Alejandro Padilla(AL), who isn’t buying this curse nonsense, so of course, he takes a picture of the doll in a sailor suit while insulting it. As you can imagine, the rest of the book follows Al as he deals with a string of bad luck. Is it Robert or is it just a coincidence, you decide.
Troupe based this on a real doll. Ugh. You can find him in the Fort East Martello Museum in Key West, Florida if you are so inclined. Troupe took these very real legends and weaved them into Al’s lesson of believing museum tour guides. Reading this fact at the end of the book did put a little chill in my bones, but at the same time fascinated me. People believe in the curse and blame Robert for their bad luck. In Troupe’s book he has the cursed write letters to the doll apologizing for their mistake. Now, I don’t know if that is based on reality, but if it is, I feel like I need to see this. I mean, can you seriously see yourself writing a letter to a doll? 
Troupe does admit to ramping up the effects of the curse, I’m guessing to help cement the fact that dolls are super creepy and should not be trusted. As Al’s luck begins to sink into the bad category we can believe that is simply his guilt. How else would an old doll locked away in a museum know how to break a combination lock or hack a computer? But, as his luck starts to reach critical levels we have to wonder if maybe there is a bit of truth to the doll being alive. Robert hangs out in Al’s front yard, trashes his house, even calls down the lightning during a big football game. This might be directed towards the YA crowd, but there’s no way you are going to sleep when you hear about the doll sitting at the edge of Al’s bed or hear is gross little feet in the hall outside of Al’s room. 
The only hard thing I had a hard time buying was the message of the book. I think it was that you should always listen to museum curators. If Al had simply followed the rules and asked permission he wouldn’t of had to deal with the curse. But, this is a bit of a weird message to send to middle school students. Maybe there isn’t a message and the book is just here to be scary. Yet, it reads as a warning about the dangers of not listening to your elders. Al is clearly dealing with his self-conscious and the fallout of his actions. There isn’t really any other conflict or thing Al is struggling with that might explain why this is all happening to him. The book works on a horror level, but if this was going for a cautionary tale I think it fell a bit flat.
I am always looking for gateway horror stories to share with the younger generation. I had Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, Goosebumps, and Stephen King(I jumped head first into horror pretty early). Troupe’s story about a freaky doll fits right into that category. While I am not the audience for a YA novel, I had a lot of fun with Curse of the Dead-Eyed Doll and found a new reason to be terrified of those devil toys. If you are looking for a way to scare your kids, you wouldn’t do wrong handing them this.
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I love that this story is based on a legend. It also definitely gives the creepy vibe. I just wish there was more development in the conclusion. The ending was unsatisfactory and there were a few events that could have been developed more.

Will creep out the intended audience!
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I requested Curse of the Dead-Eyed Doll on NetGalley because I’m currently writing a middle grade horror story and I haven’t read much middle grade in the past couple years. Last year, when I listened to the audio book of Doll Bones, I remembered why I read books in the age category even though I was an adult. 

I had been hoping Curse of the Dead-Eyed Doll would be as magical, spooky, and enthralling as Doll Bones was. Unfortunately, it didn’t come close. 

The concept, a haunted doll that cursed people who were rude or didn’t ask permission to take its picture, was great. There was plenty of suspense and tension. After taking a picture without permission and insulting the doll, bad and scary things kept happening to Al, and they kept gradually  getting worse. 

The problem was that Al was very flat as a character. Maybe some kids reading this book would be okay with that. Others would get bored. When I was in elementary school, I was a very reluctant reader. Eventually, it was finding books with fascinating characters that made me fall in love with reading. As a kid, a book like Doll Bones might have held my attention because of the well developed characters. This book would have bored me very quickly. 

I did like the lesson it taught about consent. I know that word often has sexual connotations, but consent is important with other things too. It’s important in all aspects life whether it is taking pictures, kissing, borrowing things, or playing. It today’s society and political climate, it is especially important for boys to learn about consent. 

A book where a boy takes a picture without consent, is punished for it, realizes he was wrong, and apologizes is valuable, even if the character was dull and didn’t grow in any other way. 

I didn’t like Curse of the Dead-Eyed Doll enough to order it for my cousins’ kids, but I appreciate the suspense and the lesson it taught.
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