Daily Archives: April 17, 2009

Book Review: House of Dark Shadows & Watcher in the Woods

House of Dark ShadowsWhen the Kings move from L.A. to a secluded small town, fifteen-year-old Xander is beyond disappointed. He and his rinds loved to create amateur films . . . but the tiny town of Pinedale is the last place a move 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 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.

To usher in his new publishing company, Marcher Lord Press, Jeff Gerke held a contest for an impressive selection of prizes — most of them donated. I was one of the lucky ones and won House of Dark Shadows and Watcher in the Woods, Books 1 and 2 of his Dreamhouse Kings series. 

They are written for juvenile audience, so not having read much since I was a young teenager, I didn’t know what to expect.

Watcher in the WoodsI read both books — each just under 300 pages — in less than a week. I read them at night after I put my son to bed. 

It’s been a long time since a story so engripped me, certain nighttime sounds startled me, and I considered leaving a light on. It was fun, actually. What person of any age doesn’t like a good suspense and to be frightened once in a while?

The story continues with Watcher in the Woods. Robert Liparulo deepens and widens the story to include a shady character who knows about the portals and wants them all to himself. He will take any steps necessary to rid the house of the Kings, but the Kings can’t leave under any circumstances. To discover the why, you’ll have to read the books.

From when I received the books in the mail, to finishing them yesterday, the third installment, Gatekeepers, was released. I ordered it yesterday, and can hardly wait to read it.

So whether you’re a teenager or adult that loves suspense and doesn’t mind an occasional (mild) scare, you’ll enjoy this series.

Note: To find out more about each book, click on the graphic.