Monday, January 17, 2011

House of Dark Shadows of Dark Shadows, Dreamhouse Kings #1, Robert Liparulo, Thomas Nelson, Fiction, 2008, 286 pages.

Synopsis: 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.

My thoughts: Pros: If I had to sum up this book in one phrase, I would say “duality of adventure and horror.” Liparulo made lots of movie references, which I enjoyed, and I could see many of the scenes playing on a silver screen. He seemed to design that way, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see this in the box office in coming years! The dark, woody surroundings and the run-down state of the house were successful settings for the mood of the book. They reminded me of Ted Dekker’s House, and the hallway was reminiscent of Inkheart and Indian in the Cupboard.

Cons: I feel that there could have been a few more surprises and oddities in and around the house, like the linen closet and locker 119. It wasn’t the best book of this type, and I hope the following books amp up the thrill, but it was still fun to read!

My rating: 3 stars

Upcoming reviews:
  • Dragons of the Valley by Donita K. Paul
  • Nor Iron Bars A Cage by Caprice Hokstad
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  1. Hey Noah! Just wanted to let ou know that you won an award over at my blog! Here is the link -

    You don't have to accept it, but it's there! :-)

    Keep up the good work on your blog - I enjoy reading your posts!

    ~ Katy

  2. Noah,

    I just wanted to let you know that you've won an award over on my blog. You don't have to accept it if you don't want to - but its there for you! :-)

    Keep up the good work here. I enjoy reading your posts!

    ~ Katy

  3. :) You read DHK! :) :) Glad you liked it, and trust me they get odder and odder and cooler.

    Liparulo thought of doing more "odd" stuff. Like the walls closing in, more with sounds and a bunch of other things. He ended up cutting them because he wanted to "move" people into the house, not throw them in and lock the door.

    The King family also had a dog but taking care of the dog through out the story was a pain so it got dropped.

    Also about the movie, it might be a couple years because his adult book Germ (awesome but gross book) is being made into a movie ATM. :) :D

    Liparulo is also a screen-writer so DHK the movie will be written by him when he gets funding (and time) for it.

    Great review!

  4. Love the Dreamhouse Kings! My family read the whole series together. I didn't know some of those things Goldarrow the family had a dog, which it seems they would (they seem like dog people, you know?), but everything came together and we read all six books. Awesome!

  5. This book is sitting on my bookshelf, waiting to be read. Now that I've read your review I'm getting even more anxious to read it, but school comes first. :(


    Good review!

  6. Wow I think I found the place I dropped off the face of the web!

    Jeff yeah I'm a huge Liparulo fan. I just find and read interviews, podcast, his facebook anything I can get my hands on of Liparulo.

    I've read all his books, including a short story in a book title "Thriller", I've emailed him, sent in ideas for the Kings to go to
    (When I said the Titanic after he had already picked it he said he wish he could have added a twist I mentioned.) in short I'm one, if
    not the, biggest Liparulo fan.

    He is a great author!