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Kevin Taylor is an Internet-famous handyman on a mission: Find a house and renovate it in 30 days. By flipping a derelict house in a month's time and chronicling the entire thing on video for his online subscribers, he seeks to impress a handful of network TV producers and become a star.
The problems that plague this property will require more than elbow grease to fix, however.
Shadows throughout the home are distorted, and an enigmatic trespasser keeps showing up in his footage. Worse still are the hideous voices that issue from otherwise empty rooms in the dead of night.
Amid mounting dangers, Kevin is forced to meet the house's shadowed past head-on - a past, he begins to suspect, he wants nothing to do with. Armed only with the hearsay of locals and the frightening clues he's uncovered within the home, he attempts to find out what led to the house's abandonment while juggling his strenuous renovation projects.
What he uncovers is horrible beyond imagination. All signs seem to be pointing to one thing:
Something in the house is awakening.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Tatiana on 06-20-18
Ghostly Home Improvement
The Ambrose Ibsen books Joe Hempel narrates are always by far the best. This one is right up there at the top. It's about an old, abandoned house a young man decides to rennovate on camera in a set of tutorials for his web channel. The house, of course, turns out to be haunted. The tale is genuinely scary, and the supernatural presence is very dark. There is absolutely no fault with the writing or narration, but I must warn that it isn't for the faint of heart. It isn't greusome, but some people will find it disturbing. Then again, if you scare easily, you really shouldn't be reading Ibsen.
The story isn't the standard haunted house fare, which is refreshing. I loved the video tutorial aspect, and hearing all the details of running a web channel gave a unique slant to the storyline that was surprisingly interesting. It reminded me somewhat of The Eaton by John Addis, except with Hempel narrating (so better). Joe Hempel is one of the reasons I listen to books instead of reading the print versions. He is absolutely one of my favorite narrators, and always adds something to the story.
Personally I wasn't fond of the ending (no spoilers though), but that's the way it goes I guess. If things had happened a bit differently in the last third of the book, I would have given everything five stars. Even so, it is definitely a winner.
I received this book for free at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
9 of 17 people found this review helpful
By Spooky Mike on 05-09-18
DIY: Haunted Home Edition
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.
8 of 16 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Victoria Elizabeth on 05-07-18
Loved this book!
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!