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Elderwood Manor Hardcover – January 1, 2014
The Amazon Book Review
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Things fall apart—Bruce Davenport knows this all too well. On the heels of his wife's death, laid-off and penniless with an eviction notice on the door, the only thing left for him and his four-year-old son Cody is Bruce's childhood home, secluded deep within Ozark forests, haunted by the ghosts of his past. After he receives a strange phone call from his dying mother, who has lived alone in the house for the past 15 years, Bruce reluctantly returns to the estate with his son. But they soon find that something else dwells in the home, in the earth, in the woods. Unseen things are out for vengeance and blood. If they can survive the night, they may just find out what truly lies within the walls of…Elderwood Manor.
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I found myself doing this a few times during my reading of Elderwood Manor.
Christopher Fulbright and his wife and co-author Angeline Hawkes have crafted a mighty fine, emotionally engaging haunted house story with this one. There's a few slight spins on the genre tropes, drawing on pagan rituals, black magic, and human sacrifice. While there's a few ghosts, the evil haunting Elderwood Manor is a thicker stew, one that has seeped right into the earth itself and lives, quite literally, in the roots of the estate.
The atmosphere is rich, and the authors set the stage nicely between the snowy, ice-laden backdrop and the empty manor, which feels disused and dusty.
Where they really shine, though, is in the slow unraveling of the history surrounding Elderwood. Bruce Davenport and his four-year-old son, Cody, share a deep connection with the family estate, one that's rooted through the legacy of generations prior. That history is ripe with tragedy and shame, and creates some startling illusions upon the present-day as Bruce tries to find safety and shelter for his son.
Elderwood Manor is a brisk read, short but well-written and immediately engaging. As expected, it is another fine addition to the DarkFuse line of novellas.
Elderwood Manor has a disturbing history, built in the late 1800’s by a self-proclaimed master of the Occult who it was rumoured enacted dark rites, blood sacrifices and dabbled with satanic forces.
The tension starts to build almost the moment they step into the Manor and when they are forced to spend the night there, you just know it’s not going to end well. The atmosphere created within the Manor is creepy, poor lighting, things at play in the shadows, the usual banging and doors slamming. As the story’s pace increases Bruce has to face the horrors awakened in the Manor and pray that the cursed place will release him and his son.
An enjoyable haunted house romp that seemed to be over way too soon, perfect for a suspense thriller but this wonderfully menacing atmosphere needed to be savoured and built on little by little not rushed.
A 3.5 Rating
The book opens in kind of a classic horror setting: a desperate man driving down a dark road to his family manor, a place he promised himself he would never return to, but extenuating circumstances have forced his hand (in this case, he needs money and his mother has called him home on her death bed). When Bruce and his son Cody get to the grand manor, the house and the grounds are pretty ramshackle and empty – except for something evil lurking in the shadows. The story follows your typical Must Survive Until Morning course with a rather original backstory to the origin of The Evil, imaginative ghastly creatures, and some great scares along the way.
Elderwood Manor is a great haunted house/dark family secrets/evil-has-tainted-this-place story. There are no slow points. From a graceful, foreboding opening, the tension is ratcheted up at just the right points and the suspense is kept at the perfect pitch. This book kept me on my toes, wide-eyed and fingers-crossed almost from beginning to end.
I loved the descriptive language used in this novella – the writers do a fabulous job of pulling you in and bringing the story to life, both a blessing and a curse when it comes to horror. There’s some blood and gore here as well as some pretty disturbing imagery. These parts are brief and far between, but if you’re sensitive to that you may have to skim some parts.
I really enjoyed this novella and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to paranormal horror book lovers, especially those readers who love books centered around a haunted house with a horrifying history.
*I received an ARC of this book to review. You can find this review and others like it at BookAndCoffeeAddict.com, along with recommendations for a fantastic cup of coffee.
The authors build upon the tension and atmosphere they created early in the story. When I hear cracks and groans in my house, I will surely think of this book. The pace was a little off in some parts of the story, but overall, it had me on the edge of my seat.
I recommend this book to anyone who likes a good story about a haunted house. I also recommend this book to fans of horror and suspense.
Most recent customer reviews
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