The Manse by Lisa W. Cantrell

(The Manse, #1)

Happy Halloween!
Each Halloween, the Manse becomes a House of Horrors. Vampires, werewolves, ghouls and ghosts - not to mention Frankenstein's monster - stalk the premises. Bats and spiders drop upon the unwary. At every turn a new fright awaits - all in fun, of course.

Happy Halloween
But the Manse's history of horror is ancient and terrible - more awful than the innocent Trick-or-Treaters can imagine. For twelve years it has been biding its time, feeding on the fear its unsuspecting visitors so willingly offered...

Happy Halloween
Until tonight. Tomight is the Thirteenth Annual House of Horrors.
It will be the last.
Tonight, at the Witching Hour, all Hell will break loose.

Happy Halloween

Meh, the book had great cover art but I'm not sure why it was chosen as an award winner. It's a typical haunted house story but without much backstory explained - little plausibility on how the house itself comes alive when it does. It's an 80's horror fun romp but I had little fun in it for some reason - could it be because I'm too jaded by now?

Characterization is lackluster. There's some trademark characters like Pearl, who is the ominious housekeeper who warns about the house, and then there's the toss-away people who run the house for the halloween event. A random love story is involved, although it'd be as good without. There's a twist for the homeowner, that I did like, but other than that little stood out.

My main gripe was this book was dull - it didn't flow together well enough and with enough ooomph purpose to keep me enthralled. I didn't care much about characters, some of the cheesy scenes didn't work, and I found myself confused rather than glued to a lot of the action scenes.

There's little else to say about this one - it has a cool cover, that Halloween vibe, but it doesn't make the cut as a horror novel that stands above the others.