Christian fiction’s two grand masters of supernatural thrillers team up for this promising suspense yarn set in the backwoods of Alabama. Two couples end up at a stranded bed & breakfast and find themselves in a game of cat and mouse with a strange madman.
The story starts out intriguing enough – despite the fact that this is a plotline that has been tackled before in various novels and movies. The pacing is quite speedy and we don’t have to wait very long before the main plot kicks in.
Those who have enjoyed Peretti’s Visitation and The Oath and Dekker’s Showdown will find some similar elements (confronting personal sin, the need for a redeemer, coupled with supernatural happenings) that made those books popular. Many who have enjoyed such novels-cum-movies as The Haunting, House (the 1986 movie starring William Kaat), and The Amityville Horror, might find the Christian perspective of this story refreshing.
Even though House starts well, the middle and ending leave much to be desired. Maybe it was the disjointedness of having two authors, or the redundancy of another haunted house storyline, either way, this reader felt something great was missing. The chasing around of the main characters as they try to escape the story’s antagonists gets tedious very quickly. Not to mention, there are plot devices that come straight from the “Christian Supernatural Fiction 101 Handbook.” For example, the bad guys had pentagrams hanging on their walls as if there is no other way in Christian fiction to say “demonic activity straight ahead.” Two seasoned veterans of supernatural fiction should have known better than using such cheesy and hackneyed a device.
Spoiler alert! More importantly, I had a problem with the redemption aspect of the story. In the end, a little girl named Susan dies in place of the two main characters and “resurrects” (it was very reminiscent of the ending in Dekker’s Showdown – in fact it was too reminiscent). The identity of this girl – is she an angel or even Jesus, Himself? – is never quite clear.
I have no problem in a fictional universe, like the Narnia sagas, where a fictional character symbolizes Christ, like Aslan, or even as Dekker has done in his Circle Trilogy. However, I do have a problem, even in a fictional story, when a character in a contemporary reality acts like a Christ figure. This has the potential of blurring the “real” reality of Christ--the fact that there is a Christ who really did die for our sins and rose again from the dead--and confusing it with a fake Christ, like Susan in this story. When the authors distract from the genuine Gospel account, it is in my opinion that they tread in dangerous waters. Read the New Testament book of Jude or Galatians for an understanding of why I might come to such a conviction. – Todd Burgett, Christian Book Previews.com
A mind-bending supernatural thriller from the creators of This Present Darkness and Showdown.
Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker - two of the most acclaimed writers of supernatural thrillers - have joined forces for the first time to craft a story unlike any you've ever read. Enter House - where you'll find yourself thrown into a killer's deadly game in which the only way to win is to lose...and the only way out is in.
The stakes of the game become clear when a tin can is tossed into the house with rules scrawled on it. Rules that only a madman - or worse - could have written. Rules that make no sense yet must be followed.
One game. Seven players. Three rules. Game ends at dawn.