House of Furies
Published by HarperTeen May 30th, 2017
This gothic-horror themed story opens with a quote from R. Buckminster Fuller and Christopher Marlowe’s The Tragical History of Doctor Faust, respectfully.
Based in the United Kingdom in the early 1800s, Louisa Ditton is relieved when offered a position at Coldthistle House—until, that is, she learns of the darkness hiding on the upper levels of the mansion. Not to mention the horrifying outcome every guest faces. After she escapes from the house at last, Louisa is faced with a decision: save herself and run far-far away, or return to Coldthistle House and save the one person she is able to call ‘friend’.
It would not have been much of a story if she fled for her life, now would it?
Upon reading the opening of the book, I was skeptical—as always. Allow me to put it this way: before this book, I had started and stopped a number of other novels that all left me sorely disappointed. The story was predictable, the characters were one dimensional or it was (I thought) poorly written.
I am a highly opinionated reader, true, but I also believe there is always room for improvement. Even in my own writing! And I know for a fact that I would LOVE for someone to provide me with criticism with which I can improve my work. But as a Kristen Bell’s therapist says, “Honesty without tact is cruelty.”
Going back to the point of this blog, however, after reading the first few pages of House of Furies, I was suddenly there; I was watching the scenes play out before me. The writing was excellent, I could empathize with Louisa and I was hooked! Finally! A book that grabbed my attention! The scenic descriptions were spot-on (especially the gore-y ones) and the story line certainly kept my mind wandering even when I wasn’t reading. It is a book I would recommend to anyone who enjoys this gothic-horror theme, otherwise, it might not be for the faint of heart.
One thing I do wish to mention is Louisa’s friendship. She made one friend and she was desperately trying to protect him from the evil within Coldthistle House. Perhaps this is merely my feminine intuition (for which does NOT always prove accurate), but I was under the impression Roux eventually intended something more with this relationship. It is the first book of the series, so we shall find out when the next book is published, of course. But still, they had little chance of getting to know one another and already Louisa was willing to risk her own life for him. In all fairness, I know her past bore some effect on her decision. Also, with a fast-paced story as this, it makes it all the more challenging for a writer to flourish a deep, deep, deep connection—a self-sacrificial connection—between two characters.
All in all, Madeleine Roux did a wonderful job knitting this thrilling story together, plot-twists and all. As for reading House of Furies 2, you can count me in.