House of Dark Shadows
Author: Robert Liparulo
Publisher: Nelson Thomas, Inc., 296 Pages
Publication September 29, 2009
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.
So I should start by saying I don't like scary stories, and I don't like when bad things happen to nice girls, and this book begins with a scary scene where bad things happen to a MOM! Despite the beginning I continued reading the book because another good friend recommended the entire series and provided me with the books, so why not? In this first book, the author spends a lot of time helping us understand the basic relationships between Xander and his family and describing the new house. Each chapter reveals something new so the plot moves along quickly, but this also meant I was constantly in a state of "suspense" wondering what next. To be frank, this was not the book for me, and I will not be continuing the series. Not only did I not understand why the parents would move into a home they knew was possibly inhabited by someone or something, but I also didn't understand why the boys made the choices that they did. I found myself just wanting to yell "go back to bed". If you enjoy scary plots with obvious twists and turns, or if you are looking for a series that might appeal to young boys then give the series a try, but I would recommend only starting with book one.