Book Reviews, Uncategorized

Book Review: House of Dark Shadows by Robert Liparula

Dream house… or bad dream? When the Kings move from L.A. to a secluded small town, fifteen-year-old Xander is beyond disappointed. He and his friends loved to create amateur films…but the tiny town of Pinedale is the last place a movie buff and future filmmaker wants to land.

But he, David, and Toria are captivated by the many rooms in the old Victorian fixer-upper they moved into–as well as the heavy woods surrounding the house. They soon discover there’s something odd about the house. Sounds come from the wrong directions. Prints of giant, bare feet appear in the dust. And when David tries to hide in the linen closet, he winds up in locker 119 at his new school.

Then the really weird stuff kicks in: they find a hidden hallway with portals leading off to far-off places–in long-ago times. Xander is starting to wonder if this kind of travel is a teen’s dream come true…or his worst nightmare.

Rating: 3*

Recommended For: 12+

Themes: Family relationships, mystery

LGBTQIA+ Content: None

This isn’t my usual type of read as it’s more light thriller than fantasy, but it has fantastical elements so I decided to give it a read.

Xander isn’t pleased when his dad takes a new job and moves them to northern California. However, when his family finds a new house that’s unlike any house Xander and his siblings have seen before. The mystery of the house unfolds under the looming story of the last family who lived in the house – a family in which the father murdered his wife.

There are lots of intersting things about this story and it started out with a lot of promise. However, the pace and storyline fell apart for me towards the end – and then I realised this is the first in a series! As a result, the ending of this book was unsatisfying (had I realised it was a series, I wouldn’t have been as disappointed). I suppose I’ll never find out what happens next as I can’t see me investing the time and money into the rest of the books.

No LGBTQIA+ content to be had. I’d recommend this to readers on the younger end of YA, especially those interested in mystery and light thriller.

2 thoughts on “Book Review: House of Dark Shadows by Robert Liparula”

  1. The use of “dark shadows” in the title made me wonder if this was a reference to the supernatural soap opera “Dark Shadows”. That often had flashbacks to previous eras in history, too.


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