Hi everyone, Happy Sunday! I hope you are all having a fantastic weekend, I’ve definitely been enjoying this lovely sunshine and 60 degree weather we’ve been having. I took my lounge chair outside and read in the sun for a few hours today. I’ve completed 3 books so far this weekend, so I’m excited to bring my review for one of them to you!
I had been dying for a spooky read, and House of Shadows by Darcy Coates definitely quenched my thirst. This is the truest form of Gothic Horror but without all the stuffy dry bits in it. I was on the edge of my seat, devouring each page until I got to the end. Just like hour the evil spirit devoured people in the book. LOL! I’m so excited to share this book and my review with you, so without further ado let’s get to it.
House of Shadows by Darcy Coates
Published by Poisoned Pen Press
Publication date May 05, 2020
Sophie’s world is shattered when disaster bankrupts her family. She’s still reeling from the news when she’s offered an unexpected solution: Mr Argenton, a wealthy stranger, asks for her hand in marriage. Marrying Mr Argenton will restore her family’s fortunes and save them from scandal, but condemns Sophie to a life in Northwood, a vast and unnaturally dark mansion situated hours from civilisation. Sophie struggles to adjust to her new position as mistress over the desolate house. Mr Argenton’s relatives are cold, and Mr Argenton himself is keeping secrets. Even worse, the house is more than it seems.
Mr Argenton’s young cousin, Elise, draws terrifying images. Doors slam. Inhuman figures slink through the forest surrounding the house. A piano plays in the middle of the night. Blood drips from the ceilings. Sophie is inevitably pulled towards the terrifying truth: Northwood’s ancient halls are haunted by the family’s long-dead ancestors. The malevolent spirits—produced by grisly deaths—resent her intrusion into their home.
Trapped in Northwood and desperate for an escape, Sophie’s fate is further complicated as she finds herself irrevocably drawn to the tall, dark-eyed man she married. She suspects her feelings are returned, but Mr Argenton is hiding the truth about the house—and his secrets are so dangerous that they might just be unforgivable.
Also By Darcy Coates:
The Haunting of Ashburn House
The Haunting of Blackwood House
The House Next Door
Voices in the Snow
My Review –
There is something to be said about the technique of writing a gothic horror novel. It is an art form within itself, devoid of the slasher/gore scenes that people normally associate with the general Horror genre. Gothic Horror brings a more subtle wave of terror, that draft of cold air or the exhalation that you might have just heard, but you aren’t sure because you might be imagining it. I am a firm lover of all things horror, but reading a well written Gothic Horror is one of my favorites. It leaves my skin crawling and has me jumping in my seat as the character thinks they heard, saw, felt something that isn’t real. Darcy Coates does an amazing job and truly embodies gothic horror in her writing!
The characters were strongly written, with development and personality. I grew to absolutely loathe Aunt Rose, and found myself growing fond of Joseph with Sophie as the story progressed. I love the idea of a family curse spanning the generations of a very old, wealthy family. This plot line just never gets old for me, as there are so many directions you can take it. The house and land took on a character of it’s own, and that is proof of some genius writing skill. Not many readers will take too much notice of the setting if the characters are strong enough, but Darcy writes the house to be it’s own character and it just sets your mind to wondering, and wandering. Which, I will strongly advise that you don’t wander blindly through the halls of this house.
I highly recommend House of Shadows to anyone who loves Gothic Horror, and who has read The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell or The House in the Dark of the Woods by Laird Hunt. It’s a scary story, but not one that will leave you too terrified to go to sleep. I would encourage those who don’t normally read horror because you scare easily to give this a try if you’re willing!
I’d love to hear your thoughts if you’ve read this book, or any others by Darcy Coates. As always, if you have recommendations for me based on the books I mention or review, please share them with me in a comment! I hope you enjoyed my review for The House of Shadows by Darcy Coates, and stay tuned for more reviews to come as I have a summer full of them.
Positive Vibes and Happy Reading!