Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (May 6, 2008)
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.
If you are thinking about buying House of Dark Shadows, you may want to go ahead and grab Watcher in the Woods because once you reach... "Not the end" you are going to want book two within reach. These books are quick reads, too. Don't say you haven't been warned if you have to wait for the next book, and don't expect a resolution of the King family problems in book two either. I may have to have a word with Bob or the publisher about possibly speeding up this series.
Robert Liparulo respects the YA genre by refusing to dumb down his storytelling mastery. House of Dark Shadows delivers rich characters, intense action and crisp setting along with a strong vocabulary. Adults are going to love these books as much as the teens they're written for.
Centered around a family that has "no secrets," the story starts with foreboding and provides bang after wham after sucker-punch as the reader discovers one secret after another along with the characters. More questions are left than are answered.
Shadows introduces the King family, all named after royalty, as they are moving from city to country...make that backwoods. Not only does Xander, the 15-year-old point-of-view character have to deal with leaving friends and a girlfriend, his dad is now his principal in the smallest school he's ever attended.
Xander's folks then find a house they fall in love with. Lots of room, and full of character, creepy noises, shadows and odd acoustics. What's not to love?
Xander discovers how very strange the house is as the entire family is plunged into the truth of the secrets.
The intensity of the themes may be too much for younger or easily frightened readers.
Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer
In the Fantastic first book in the Dreamhouse Kings books, House of Dark Shadows, by Robert Liparulo, it starts you off by grabbing you in suspense and never loosens its grip. It was just awesome, how the book was written, how the author allows the readers to connect with the characters, and flat out how it occupied my day, I couldn’t stop reading it. I told my friend about this book and he couldn’t wait to get his hands on it.
In some of my past reviews I would say “I highly recommend this book”, but for this book, I can’t say that, I have to say that this book deserves to be read, so read it.
by Reid A. age 12