Book Review: House by Frank E. Peretti and Ted Dekker

© Westbow Press, 2006.

Crossing off yet another one of my challenges for the Pop Sugar Reading Challenge of 2017 is House by Frank E. Peretti and Ted Dekker. I had a hard time deciding whether I wanted to use it as my book by more than one author or book set in a hotel, but ultimately I went with the former – largely because I want to try and get The Shining in this year at some point.

House takes place in the backwoods of Alabama, down a dirt road where only inbreds are really known to reside. When Jack and Stephanie, en route to a marriage counseling session in order to save their failing marriage, take a wrong turn, they quickly find themselves victims of sabotage. Abandoning their care, they walk to the nearest place, an old, rustic inn, where they encounter Randy and Leslie. The four of them soon find themselves caught up in a tale of horror that is best compared to a B-rated horror movie.

I really, really wanted to love this book. It’s no secret that I have a fondness for psychological thrillers and the supernatural, but I was actually hoping for something a bit more on the realistic side of the spectrum. Without going into too much detail, I will admit that the resolution for this story probably could have been reached without adding elements of the paranormal. Of course, House is marketed as a supernatural thriller, so its tendency toward the fantastic is expected, even if it does lean a bit on the side of ridiculous.

This book is yet another title with largely flawed and unlovable characters – the sort that are stereotypical for this genre. It’s very easy to imagine characters like Jack, Stephanie, Randy, and Leslie in a movie like Saw because they are, ultimately, a cookie cutter image of horror movie victims. There simply wasn’t much in the way of originality at all.

One of the reasons I absolutely love haunted house/hotel stories is because I like to see the story that has been woven to explain why the locale plays host to the dead. What information we’re given about the house that our quartet encounter is vague. As a result, upon the conclusion of the story, there’s still a few questions left hanging in the air.

At best, this book was meh. As I stated previously, its tale plays out more like a cheesy horror flick than anything truly thrilling. I listened to the audiobook version, and for that reason alone I almost dropped it. The book is narrated by Kevin King, and as a listener with a voice fetish for lack of better words, I found his voice to be extremely grating. I’m glad the audiobook is over and for those who are sensitive to the way certain narrators sound, I recommend simply picking up the book or checking it out at your local library.

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