I've read several different supernatural stories over the years, and quite a few since I have began doing these reviews. The thing that I find the most amazing is the ability of people to bring new, and interesting characters and stories amid the droves that have been put out. The House by Emma Faragher is another one of these stories that has taken something out of mythology and altered it in a great new way.
The story opens on a young shifter Trixibell 'Trix' Sinclair cruising a bar with a fellow shifter for a night of normalcy. One of the major differences that sets this story apart early on is the fact that the shifters only have the ability to transform into one particular animal. The range of these animals varies from a cat, a lioness even a great eagle larger than a man. One thing Faragher does well is show each individuals personality comes out in his/her animal.
As Stripes and Trix call it an evening they're forced into a confrontation with 5 vampyres, and quickly its revealed that this encounter is anything but normal. While vampyres display most of the characteristics of their mythological counterparts, in this story they're created, and bound to, witches. Due to an agreement between the races the witches and shifters live with a relative sense of peace.
The confrontation is brought to a head after the timid Stripes bolts, leaving Trix to fend for herself; though not for long. After a mental call is sent out a barrage of crossbow bolts begin taking the vampyres one by one until there are none left. Its then that Trix's fears really seem to come out when she realizes the man that saves her is none other than an infamous hunter that specializes in killing her kind.
As the story progresses you begin to learn more and more of the dynamic, and fragile, relationship between the races. More importantly you learn just what makes Trix even more special when compared to her peers, her grandfather is none other than the most powerful witch in the world.
The story continues to present an even more sinister force that seems to be driving the "treaty" between the races to a breaking point and you find yourself engrossed in figuring out what, or who, is behind everything. Even Trix's own lineage is called into question as everything comes to a head.
Its somewhat apparent that this is Faragher's first true novel in that the writing could use a little polish here and there. Its also apparent, even early on in the novel, that she is a gifted story teller and the story is full of positives:
- Each character, even the ancillary ones, is his or her own person. Each one has an individual personality and expresses it throughout.
- The story feels different and new. Though the species may not be necessarily new, they're presented in a very new way and have several differences that make them different from their mythological cousins.
- Though the writing could use a little trimming, the story flows very well. Each chapter begins seamlessly and it becomes something hard to put down.
- As I mentioned earlier the writing could use just a little more polish. In a, very, few instances there are repetitive ideas and some extra words, but I do have to stress that the few bumps do nothing to affect the flow of the story and are in no way distractions.
Overall I'm going to give The House a 7/10:
7/10 for readability- The story contains several bits that new authors, ones that haven't quite mastered self editing, miss. Be that as it may the bulk of the story does not have these. Even the few areas they show up are not story affecting, nor do they affect the flow in any way.
7/10 for story- The story is fresh and flows very well from chapter to chapter. The characters, while being creatures that are part of the main stream supernatural, all are done in a very new and different way.
8/10 for characters- The characters you're introduced throughout all have their own unique personalities that you can identify by the way they speak. The biggest plus is the way the shifters animals come out in their personalities.
7/10 for creativity- The x-factor for this story, in my opinion, is the shear creativity behind it. Faragher created a story that is filled with fresh and new feeling ideas, creatures and characters.
I'd like to thank new author Emma Faragher for allowing me to read and review The House. I really enjoyed reading it and I really look forward to reading the second installment when it comes out.
If you would like to check out The House for yourself simply click here.