House of Dark Shadows – Robert Liparulo

House of Dark Shadows Robert Liparulo
House of Dark Shadows by Robert Liparulo
Series: Dreamhouse Kings #1
Published by Thomas Nelson on September 28, 2009
Genres: Christian, Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult
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five-stars

Dream house . . . or bad dream?
When the Kings move from L.A. to a secluded small town, fifteen-year-old Xander is beyond disappointed. He and his friends loved to create amateur films . . . but the tiny town of Pinedale is the last place a movie buff and future filmmaker wants to land.

But he, David, and Toria are captivated by the many rooms in the old Victorian fixer-upper they moved into--as well as the heavy woods surrounding the house.

They soon discover there's something odd about the house. Sounds come from the wrong directions. Prints of giant, bare feet appear in the dust. And when David tries to hide in the linen closet, he winds up in locker 119 at his new school.

Then the really weird stuff kicks in: they find a hidden hallway with portals leading off to far-off places--in long-ago times. Xander is starting to wonder if this kind of travel is a teen's dream come true . . . or his worst nightmare.

It sits in the middle of the woods, shrouded in the shadows made by the canopy of trees. It creaks, it groans, it breathes. It sits abandoned, waiting for a family to brighten its halls, to uncover its secrets, to discover its mystery.

 
Xander King isn’t at all thrilled about the big move to a small town. He can’t understand why his dad would have taken a job as the principal of a school in Pinedale. The only thing he knows for sure about his new home is that it is nowhere as cool as his old home in L.A., where he and his friends would make amateur films with the hope of someday making it big.
 
While the Kings are house-shopping, they happen upon an old abandoned Victorian mansion out in the woods. A talk with the real estate agent reveals the rumor that the previous family was killed in a murder-suicide. Lovely. Excellent place to live. But Xander’s dad certainly seemed excited about it.
 
As Xander, his brother David, and sister Toria, go about exploring their new and unique house, the quickly realize that not all is as it seems. Voices come from places they shouldn’t, sounds are all mixed up in the place. Xander finds giant bare footprints. And strangest of all…when David gets in the linen closet, he ends up in locker 119 at the school Mr. King is now principal at.
 
All those weird things are nothing though, compared to when they find a secret hallway that takes them to hidden rooms. And hidden rooms that take them to…well…anywhere. The house is basically a giant time machine, that can throw the traveler into very real and very deadly situations, as Xander finds out when he enters a portal that takes him to the glory days of the Roman Colosseum.
 
Xander is determined to unravel the mystery of the house. But his dad seems to know more than he’s letting on. What does his dad know about the secret rooms? And who is making the giant footprints in the dust? What secrets does this House of Dark Shadows keep? Is this Dream House the Kings’ worst nightmare?
 
Robert Liparulo sets up a creepy and well-written story of a house with a mind of its own. Written for young adults, it is the first installment in the six book Dream House Kings series. But don’t let the YA genre fool you. Adults as well as children will enjoy this enthralling story as the Kings struggle to uncover the mystery of the house – something made all that more important by the climactic cliffhanger ending.
five-stars

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