House of Thirteen by Andy Lockwood
Once again, I have been thrilled to read the imagination of Andy Lockwood!
House of Thirteen is the first of a series, written around the curious circumstances of an old house run by the Delaney family... an even curiouser group of women who know more about life than you might think.
Once again, Andy has given us characters that are vibrant and a bit unsettling. From energy we can't truly perceive to the literal incarnation of the words... some will become fast, loving friends; and others pull us from the couch, force us to lock the doors, and flip on an extra lamp. Throwing another log on the fire might be a good plan, too.
This book is filled with lead magnets... story that envelops you and includes you, while dangling bait just out of reach. Each new chapter is akin to a meal where the dessert is a surprise, you'll want to have the holes filled, but you're satiated with the palate cleansing end. Slowly, you sip your wine, savoring the anticipation of the next course.
Andy does something especially wonderful with this book. His hero, Ren, isn't a typical hero. I read her as an "unrequited hero"; one who is pulled into the role not because of an overwhelming sense of duty or ego... but because of a strong onus of altruism. This, to me, is the best manifestation of a hero character, and especially unusual in a paranormal/horror novel. Not much in this book is as it seems - except for that which is - and even that, you shouldn't take for granted. Andy's dexterity in storytelling draws you in, eases the tension, then pulls you in tighter for the scary hug you didn't know you needed. His "word-smithery" is ideal for the genre. The emotional yo-yo you become is the best kind of reading adventure. When you open this book, you will leave your real world behind... and you'll be glad for the experience.
Huzzah Andy! Thank you for introducing me to intelligent horror stories.
Watch the interview I had with The Lockwood Literary Team (Andy and wife Bailey) on Indie Reads TV!
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