Source: NetGalley – Many thanks to the publisher!
TL;DR: Diet House of Leaves – Not for me
Plot: The first quarter was great but it slowly devolved in the House of Leaves of it all and I was out
Characters: I did like the characters! I really enjoyed the insight into their thoughts thanks to the format of the story (mixed media)
Setting: The setting is pretty well realized and added what little spookiness there was
Spooks: The initial ‘scare’ was funny and the rest was honestly a little eyerolly
Episode Thirteen is what I’ll call ‘Diet House of Leaves’. The story is told in a mixed media format as the ‘definitive account’ of what happened to the paranormal investigation show Fade to Black on their last and most tragic investigation. The crew goes to investigate a haunted institution, where in the 70s a group of researchers attempted to spark paranormal abilities in regular people. Everyone involved in that but one person went missing and was never heard or seen from again. And as we read on in Episode Thirteen we begin to wonder if a similar fate might not befall our investigators.
I actually super enjoyed the first quarter of this book, and got chills from just the ambience and setting Craig DiLouie was making. Then we get our first spooky event early, too early and I was immediately worried. From there the story goes on to explore what that reveal did to our characters and how they slowly get lost in the Foundation house, literally.
The format on this leant itself well to this idea, especially since we got diary entries from everyone all the way until the end. This is where the strongest part of this book was, was the characters. I loved some and hated others – as I think I was meant to. But that was the strongest part for me sadly, and the book ended up lacking the umph I want in a spooky book and honestly the themes he explores are ones I do not enjoy (which was a big reason I hated House of Leaves).
If you enjoyed House of Leaves and like watching characters devolve down into possible madness, and getting lost in a building that is more than it seems – this is going to be one you want to pickup. Otherwise it’s a miss for me.
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