The House by Bentley Little

(No Series)

Five strangers are about to discover that they share a dark bond. A haunted childhood. A shocking secret. A memory of the houses they lived in--each one eerily identical to the next. From the remote foothills of the west to the green lawns of sunny suburbia, they are returning--to the past, to the unspeakable events they long to the house. And their journeys are about to converge, in one terrifying challenge to confront their nightmares--or be trapped inside them forever...

The plot is pretty complex. Five people who seemingly have nothing in common have strange visions/memories/what nots. They are all compelled to go to a house from their youth that has been haunting them. Once in that house it becomes...well, one house and traps them there. Together they try to band together to fight an evil source that means obvious harm. But throughout all this they try and fight off their addiction to this source -- which offers the most evil of temptations. The plot is confusing at times and something you really need to focus on to fully grasp. Little toys with your mind but in a good way. However, if you put the book down for too long before picking up again, the murkiness that clouds your mind may be more frustrating than enjoyable. It begins with one of the most creepy prologues ever. I can't see how anyone could not keep reading after finishing it. For a plot rating, I give this one a solid thumbs up. Unique as hell, powerful, and unforgettable.

The Atmosphere, oh the atmosphere!! Very creepy, dark, sexual, and forbidden. The pages are almost visually covered in grime and nastiness.

The little girl was freaky as all hell and did what she was supposed to. She even made ME feel dirty at times, not just the characters! Daniel was one of my favorites of the five. With a family and a deep compassion, I really enjoyed reading about his trials and history -- I cared about him more than I did for some of the others. Laurie, a career woman with one of the most interesting and tragic pasts, pushed the story forward. I really got a shock out of what she found going home in the first chapter. Norton was a bit more boring than some of the others but he did some interesting things towards the end. Stormy was also likeable and I enjoyed his scenes. Mark was a nice guy but some of his scenes were a little too drawn out. Every one of them had a demented and tragic past that helped shape the first half of the book. The second half shows the actions of them as adults and how they turned out.

The pace hurts The House just a little bit. At times it's a bit too slow and grows slightly frustrating. Also, hopping constantly from five characters can be a bit tough at times. Many authors employ this method, and there's a certain art to doing it well enough not to frustrate the reader. Overall Bentley succeeds but there are some rough patches where briars in shifting sticks out.

The style is demented and dark. Confusion is all around and everything is just a bit nasty. Bentley doesn't hold back in delivering the shocks, the sex, or the blood.

The House is violent, gritty, but also psychologically tormenting. It's not something you sit down and forget about. Many scenes stick out in your head and every few chapters I found something that made my eyes widen. Bentley really has nerve and many times I had trouble believing he actually "went there".

The end result was me being a very satisfied reader aching for more, but not until after that shower I needed to scrub the dirty feeling away.

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