Published: October 27 2015
Number of pages: 233
Publisher: Knopf Canada
Genre: paranormal, horror, thriller and suspense, fantasy, occult
Audience: adult fiction
Rating: 4/5 owl hoots
Turn down Slade Alley where it is narrow, dark and easy to miss even when you are looking for it. Find the small black iron door. There is no door handle or lock, but it opens when you push it. Enter the sunlit garden and an old manor house that is far too grand and large for the shabby neighborhood. A stranger greets you by name and invites you to their home. At first you don’t want to leave the house, but later you realize that you cannot. Every nine years a “guest” is summoned to Slade House but why were they chosen and for what reason? Who are the occupants that live in the house and why is it there? The answer lies in the top of the stairs inside an attic…
Have you ever read a story that grabs your attention and sucks you in that suddenly you can’t put the book down, leave the book for a second, or even bookmark the page you left off? It’s as if the book has a life of its own and doesn’t want you to stop until you finish. I rarely find stories like that until I came across Slade House. This is my first book I read by the author, famously known for The Bone Clocks and Cloud Atlas.
The story was horrifying, petrifying, terrifying, and downright scary. It’s a short read that will keep you up all night until you finish because by the time you start the first chapter, you don’t want to take your eyes off the page. The story and the characters immediately grab your attention and pull you in (just like the house to its guests), at some point you want to stop but you can’t put down the book. You have come so far just reading about the house that you have to keep reading to learn more, to see what happens when the next guest is invited. You have so many questions: Why can certain people open the black iron door? How are the guests chosen? What’s in the attic? And most importantly, why are the guests disappearing?! This last question kept gnawing at me in the back of my head which is why I couldn’t put it down! There is something mysterious about the house, but by the time you learn about the twins you realize that it’s not just the house alone…
That pretty much summarizes my experience reading Slade House. One problem I had was trying to make sense of the metaphysical parts of the story as I found it complicated to understand the building complexity inside of the house, and how it worked for the twins. Aside from that, I enjoyed every minute of the story with each chapter told in the guest’s point of view and a creepy backstory of the twins that tied everything together in the end. I loved how the story begins slowly, piece by piece, careful not to give everything away too quickly until it falls into place towards the end, when the pacing is quicker and emotionally intense. There are no predictions and no hints as to what was going to happen next because each guest is different, and their experiences inside the house is different too.
This story was a thrill of ride that ended too quickly and the ending; oh God the ending just screams a sequel! But there is none, and recently I discovered that the story takes place in the same universe as The Bone Clocks, which I haven’t read yet. I feel tempted to read The Bone Clocks, and if you can’t decide which book to start first, I think either one is fine as I was still able to follow the storyline in The Slade House. Perfect reading for Halloween!