House of Furies is a paranormal story set in the 1800's with our main character Louisa Ditton. Louisa finds herself working in a mansion titled Coldthistle House which is owned by a mysterious and intimidating man named Mr. Morningside that is rumored to be the Devil. He and his other employees have certain plans for the guests of the mansion, and Louisa becomes concerned for her new friend, Lee. Lee isn't like the other guests, he's kind and compassionate. Louisa wants to keep him safe but she doesn't know who to trust.
I really love the premise of this story a lot. I think it is such a cool idea and besides the cover it was what initially had me excited to read the book. There were a a handful of things I really liked about this story, but there were a lot that I wasn't a huge fan of.
The first 100 pages are definitely a bit slow. If you are having troubles, I recommend pushing past because once Louisa gets to Coldthistle I feel like the story really picks up. However, there are waves where things happen and they can be exciting, and then it dips down and things get slow again. I found myself skimming during the slower parts because at times it could be both slow and boring, which made it hard to push through sometimes.
The myths, the house, and even most of the characters were fun to read about. I liked that each character had their own distinct personality, and although I would have liked to know more about them, I had a few I liked a lot. My favorite character was Poppy, by far. I really liked her and dog Bartholomew were adorable and really interesting characters. I also was intrigued by Mr. Morningside's character, and I would have liked to have more answers questioned about him. I assume we will get more about the characters in the sequel, but I feel like what we got in this book wasn't enough to be satisfying.
The illustrations and myths connected with them were aesthetically pleasing and even a little spooky. They popped up randomly, so I swear every time I flipped a page and there was an illustration it was spooky enough that I was shocked for a second. They're simple, but effective. They definitely should have set the tone for the story to be this creepy mysterious mansion story, but I think the story failed the illustrations. Any scenes with The Residents were definitely on the right path for spooky but it wasn't enough. I wish the mansion and The Residents had more of a presence in the story. I would have liked to know more about the employees. But instead unfortunately we are stuck with a undeveloped romance.
I didn't like the main character, Louisa, who honestly acted like a child for the majority of the book. Which was uncharacteristic because we are supposed to believe she's been taking care of herself basically her whole life, but instead she is constantly incompetent. I also didn't care about her love interest either. Lee was fine, but he had no real personality which made him a cardboard character. Both of them were bland and in the way of the good parts of the story. Unfortunately, it was too much of them, and not enough of the mansion, the employees, and the time period. I don't even really understand the point of having it set in the 1800's the time period if it isn't a distinct part of the story. I would forget all the time that we were supposed to be set in the past.The time period, premise, characters, and the spooky mansion/supernatural elements should have been so great. Instead of it being this cool spooky book it ended up being a bad supernatural romance.
Overall, the parts I enjoyed of this book I really enjoyed. But the parts I wasn't a fan of I really hated or I was bored. I would give the second book a try, considering I still really love the premise and I can only hope it'll get better. I would want more of The Residents, more of the mansion, more of Poppy, Bartholomew, Mary, Mr. Morningside, and Chijoke.I want to know more about the supernatural aspect of this story. There's no explanation of any sort of overarching plot about the really cool paranormal elements. Also, the myths Louisa reads didn't seem real. They felt just like stories because most of them didn't have any connection to the story.
The writing is really good, the premise is super unique and spooky. I just wish the execution was better.
Thanks for reading!
What book were you really excited about this year and ended up being a disappointment? Do you have supernatural/paranormal spooky book that is worth the read?