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Excited to start another series by Ambrose Ibsen with Joe Hempel narrating. After feeling cheated out of a story with In Absentia I’m glad to report that the start of this series is a complete story, has an ending that isn’t a huge cliff hanger, and is different than all of Ibsen’s other haunted house stories. The plot is very neat and having a wife who loves to watch home remodeling shows I’m always hoping for a dead body to be found during the demolition. This story is almost a home remolding show and paranormal investigative show hybrid. Really great idea and executed perfectly.
There really is only one character throughout this story, while a handful of other people pop in for a visit, this is mainly about Kevin. Kevin is a likeable character but I can’t say that I cared for him as much as I have some of Ibsen’s other characters. I appreciated why he was doing what he was doing and where he came from but another part of me was just thinking yeah dude life is hard, keep renovating that house. The character I actually liked the most was Mr Weiss. I liked his story and really liked how he handled everything.
Wasn’t really expecting the ending at all. Can’t say it was a twist, it was just not what I would have expected and I really enjoyed that. The haunts were good, not over the top but definitely different. I really enjoyed some of the descriptions. Can’t remember the exact wording but the description of a mouth opening like a marine predator sucking in food really brought a detailed image to my mind and it creeped me out quite a bit. Excited to see where the second one takes us.
As always Hempel does a great job and hope he continues to be the voice of Ibsen’s stories.
I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Even when the book summary sounds right up your street, it's always gamble when it's an author you've not read before. When that's also a book you've committed to invest 9 hours in, in return for a review, that's a whole heap of gamble and pressure.
So I've just finished this book, feeling pretty honoured if I'm honest, to have been given the opportunity to read/listen to a brilliant story, narrated perfectly. This is a book I'd very happily have used one of my precious credits on and will recommend to my family/friends who enjoy this genre.
The story is focused on one main character who has bought a house for peanuts in order to do it up whilst videoing himself. He's posting his updates on the internet - with his aim being to get a TV contract once he's completed the renovation. There are supporting characters but they aren't around much, so by the nature of this, it's mostly him alone in this pretty scary house. I like this as it feels really intimate, like you're there with him.
There's been loads of stories revolving around supernatural goings on in houses that new families etc, move into but this one feels really current, both in the way it's written and the fact that the main character is a vlogger, with lots of subscribers! so suddenly making the supernatural events even more scary, because it's relatable context.
Our protagonist finds a body in the house and this is when things really take an eventful turn for him. I will not give any spoilers here as that would ruin it for others. I've not heard this sort of twist in a supernatural thriller before and really enjoyed the journey and ending.
The writing style is so accessible, it, just flows and it's easy to just get swept along (I listened to this over two days). It, keeps you on your toes too, boy there's some scary bits in here. And the end, gosh, I had to listen to it twice to really get the impact. I need to listen to something nice and cheery now I think!
Finally, just a note regarding the narration. As any seasoned audiobook listener knows, a narrator can make or break a book and thankfully on this occasion the narrator is excellent., so really adds to the listening experience.
I'm hopeful that this being called book 1 means there will be more in the same vein even it not a cotinuation of this story. If there's more, hopefully with the same narrator, I'll definitely be in.
*Note, I received a copy of this book at no cost in return for a fair and honest review.
I do not know the author or the narrator - my gushing is just because I really loved this book!