Sunday, September 09, 2012

Amber House, by Kelly Moore, Tucker Reed, and Larkin Reed

Amber House, the ancestral home of Sarah's mother's family, just off the Chesapeake Bay, is a complete unknown to Sarah.  She's never been there before.  But when her grandmother dies, Sarah and her autistic brother Sam are brought there by their Mom.  It's a grand place, with room after room to explore.  However, it is much more.  Within its walls, Sarah finds that she has an ability to see into the past - echoes of things that have occurred to her family.  As she sees these visions, she learns the complicated story of her ancestors, and uncovers a terrible tragedy that lies in wait in her future.

A strikingly original work that covers horror and fantasy (with a healthy inspiration from the Grimms Brothers), but branches into YA romance and more than a little fancy ball fantasies.  I didn't hold out a lot of hope for the book (it came as an ARC and I wasn't very keen on the premise), but it grew on me as I started reading it.  I enjoyed it.  The plot can meander a bit and some of the twists and turns in the plot seem driven by literary ADHD, but the story is complicated and rich.  By the end, there's plenty of food for thought and I liked that complexity.  So, if you like a storyline that doesn't condescend and can put up with a few mildly scary scenes (mostly involving spiders!), you should give this unassuming novel a try.

[Disclosure:  I received this book for free from the publisher without solicitation, and without any promise of special consideration in my review.]

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