Sunday 27 November 2016

Book Review - The Mephistophelean House by Benjamin Robert Carrico

I loved the idea for this story, and it's a different take on the Faustian story. It's one of the classic tales of a bargain with hidden dangers, and making it part of the construct of the house worked well. It's told in an immediate and compelling manner, although this isn't even throughout the book.

For certain periods it seems to lose it's way, but that's only for certain parts, it's mostly well written and a solid horror tale. Part of the problem is that the pacing isn't balanced. It starts well, and then dips and rises in an odd fashion. This most notable towards the end.

For me this was the weakest part of the book. The run to the conclusion worked well, with a descent into madness with a dark Alice in Wonderland feel. And then it's over. Without warning it just finishes. The nature of the ending was fine, and made sense in the context of the story. It's handled in such an abrupt manner that it feels hollow.

Which is a shame as it's a decent story, and for the most part well written. A little more development would have elevated it to something much stronger.

The Mephistophelean House is the sort of House you might miss driving by, nondescript, unremarkable, indistinguishable from all the other houses on the block. At the top of the stairs is a grim little room with a curious double hung window, and inside the room is an abnormal closet that leads to a windowless chamber. But when Matthew and Ben find a hole in the flue, upside-down numbers on the wall, and a porcelain angel missing its eyes, they quickly discover the contract they signed has a clause that can never be broken...

Click here to buy The Mephistophelean House from Amazon

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