Horror Review: House of Echoes by Brendan Duffy

House of Echoes by Brendan Duffy, Horror Fiction
In this enthralling and atmospheric thriller, one young family’s dream of a better life is about to become a nightmare.

Ben and Caroline Tierney and their two young boys are hoping to start over. Ben has hit a dead end with his new novel, Caroline has lost her banking job, and eight-year-old Charlie is being bullied at his Manhattan school.

When Ben inherits land in the village of Swannhaven, in a remote corner of upstate New York, the Tierneys believe it’s just the break they need, and they leave behind all they know to restore a sprawling estate. But as Ben uncovers Swannhaven’s chilling secrets and Charlie ventures deeper into the surrounding forest, strange things begin to happen. The Tierneys realize that their new home isn’t the fresh start they needed . . . and that the village’s haunting saga is far from over.

House of Echoes is a novel that shows how sometimes the ties that bind us are the only things that can keep us whole.
2 out of 5, here's why:
I received this book from Netgalley with the unspoken promise that I would write a review. So here it is:

So, this here book has been haunting me for over two months and not in a creeptastically good way. It became (if only in my head) the book that would not end and the book I had to finish because I had invested so much of my free time. I swear the word count got larger every time I closed my Kindle App. Moral of this story? If everything in you screams at you to DNF a book just do it because sometimes they really don’t get better. I don’t care what others say. DNFing is NOT a bad thing when you have a tbr pile that will outlive you.

Now don’t get me wrong, this book is not horrible I think it’s just too long. It’s about a family with problems who escapes the big city to live on an isolated, dilapidated inherited estate which they plan to turn into a bed and breakfast. Dumbest idea ever but who am I to judge? The location is remote, the locals kind of weird and there is most definitely something odd going on in the woods. But the pages are so filled with extraneous and uninteresting (to me) detail that it makes for a painfully SLOW reading experience. Believe it or not, I can deal with slow if it leads up to something of interest eventually happening, or if the characters grab me emotionally, but neither really happened here. The family was extremely disconnected from one another so it was hard to feel much of anything for them. There were some vague creepy goings-on, a few flashbacks to a dire historical tale of survival on the land but mostly it just plodded along for the first 2/3rds with house renovations, pressing home décor selections, family disconnect and strife and boring town council (or somesuch) meetings. I found it difficult to keep my eyes open no matter how hard the book tried.

And it must be said that innocent animals are harmed in this story and the couple’s young boy is totally unfazed by it. I still don’t understand that bit and I wish I could unread it because it bothers me more than anything else that happened in the book.

If you’re a fan of slow, atmospheric tales of haunted (or maybe not) houses and you don’t mind many sidesteps into mundanity you will enjoy this book more than I did.

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  1. With your mention of too long and slow I can tell even though it sounds good it's not for me. I am horrible with slow. Great review!

    1. Thanks Stormi. I found it terribly slow and extremely disappointing because it had so much promise and a few great moments. Lots of people seem to really love it so it may just be my peculiar taste.


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