Thursday, April 28, 2011

House of Dark Shadows

I have been looking for some good fiction for a few months now. Usually I get a suggestion or two from my various sources and then work them into my reading time. I have been on some awesome reading adventures in the books that I have read the last two or three years. Well, my most recent story kind of fell into my lap by accident. I was at the bookstore perusing the discount shelf and spotted an interesting looking title called House of Dark Shadows by Robert Liparulo. I had never heard of the author or the book, but after a quick run through of the first chapter while I stood there, I knew I would enjoy this. This book is part of a six-part series called "The Dreamhouse Kings" that was published in the period from 2008 to 2010.

House of Dark Shadows is a story about the King family. Ed and Gertrude, along with their three children, Xander (15), David (12), and Toria (9). They move from Pasadena to Pinedale, CA presumably so Ed can take a better job. Yet moving from the busy community of Pasadena to the nowhere, isolated, spot on the map up north doesn't seem to make sense. Yet the King family is a tight-knit group and believe in their patriarch and his love and leadership. After all, this family has bonded around the fact that they don't keep secrets from each other ... or so we think.

Upon arrival in Pinedale, they begin to search for a house to buy. They find a run-down Victorian that had sat unoccupied for more than 30 years. With a bit of work, this place could be the dreamhouse of the King family. However, it doesn't take long to find out that this house harbors some dark and mysterious secrets that are slowly revealed as the story moves along. The children find a hidden hallway with portals that lead to far-off lands in different times. Exploring these portals at first seems like a wonderful adventure, but Xander and David are nearly killed in separate episodes and Mom is kidnapped by some huge ogre. Ultimately we find out that Dad has a long history with this house.

Liparulo's style and pacing were wonderful in this book. I was part of the adventure in exploring the house and its hidden secrets. My mind was flooded with such amazing detail from the author's keystrokes, that it quickened my pace and transported me to this place. I really enjoyed this adventure and now move on to the second book in the series "Watcher in the Woods".