House by Ted Dekker and Frank Peretti

I wanted to read a really good horror story. Something that would keep me up at night and would make it hard to fall asleep. I’m weird, I know, but I just had a craving for it, the way you get a craving for chocolate. My library recommended this book for me, so I just went with it. I’m all for trying new things. So here is my review:

Two couples find themselves stranded on a highway. With their tires slashed, they have no choice but to look for shelter somewhere close by. They find an inn that looks warm and inviting, and decide to go inside and spend the night. But that is when they seal their own fate. The owners of this inn are strange and refuse to let them leave. To make matters worse, they hear someone prowling outside the house, trying to get in. Then a tin can is tossed into the house with rules scrawled on it, rules that make no sense but must be followed – or else everyone dies. In order to survive, everyone in the house must play the game, and make it through until dawn… before the madman comes in and finishes them all.

I wish I had never given this novel a chance. I don’t even know how I managed to finish it. There was so much wrong with the story that I don’t even know where to start. The characters were terribly developed and played a stereotypical role. There was the hot-headed man, and the rational man, and two women who were meant to act like complete idiots, with no shred of independence. I think what bothered me the most was how the women were depicted in this novel. The authors used one character’s “psyche” and showed that underneath it all “[she] was a whore”. That enraged me to no end. Why does she have to be portrayed in that way? Is that all a woman is meant to be in a horror story? And how dare you use psychology in that way? So, every rational and logical woman who works in the field of psychiatry actually has sexual issues and is a depraved whore on the inside?! Oh, and the other woman is the one who has to take the heat for a failed marriage and a family tragedy? And on top of it, she needs to be completely useless?! To make matters worse, the story kept going around in circles, and there was the sudden introduction of another character, who I actually liked and I wish she had had more to her character. And then this story becomes all about sin and goodness and the battle between darkness and light. And now it is suddenly a Christian story. Now, I had not known that the authors write Christian fiction, and to be quite honest, I don’t necessarily care because I will read anything and everything and have no bias towards it. But seriously?! It just took an already ridiculous story to a whole new level of crazy. And not in a good way. I could go on and on about every single thing that I disliked about this novel, but I don’t want to waste any more time or energy on it. Just … don’t read it. Seriously. Don’t read it.

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