Slade House by David Mitchell

Published: 2015

Genre: paranormal horror-ish (not scary, or I wouldn’t have read it, but still some horror elements)

Length: 238 pages

Font: Monotype Bell (haven’t found a font name in a while)

Setting: 1979-2015, London

Interest: I saw it in the new book section of the library. The cover and facing page illustration caught my eye. I recognized the author from Cloud Atlas and decided to give this book a try. (It also helped it was so short.)

Summary: We start in the head of Nathan, a young boy who probably has autism. His mother has been invited to Lady Grayer’s house to perform on the piano for some upper class people and perhaps get some money for her playing. Things are odd when they get to the house (through a very small, grey door in Slade Alley). Turns out, they were lured to the location so the twins, Norah and Jonah, can eat Nathan’s soul. As we step into the head of their new victims every nine years, we learn more about the twins and their set up. They wanted to live forever, so they created an orisen that has to be powered by a fresh soul of an Engifted every nine years. Every nine years, they have to lure a new Engifted to their orisen, and in between they can take mental possession of any body in the world. We watch them take a police officer, a college student in a Paranormal Society, and her sister (a journalist). Each time, the ghost of the previous victim becomes more powerful, trying to get the victim to leave the orisen. The final victim turns the tables. A tape of a faux interview, where Jonah spelled out all their history to the journalist just to talk, fell through the cracks and a Horologist found it. She decided to stop their preying on souls and destroys the orisen.

Final thoughts: An interesting enough book. I like how the information about Norah and Jonah was parceled out in chapters. The first chapter starts out normal enough, and ends with Nathan’s soul getting eaten with no other details. You just realize there’s more to the story than you thought. When the second story is centered in the same location, you know what’s coming. All the stories are intertwined, and you can see the previous victim trying to influence the outcome of the current stalking. Each time, the previous victim gains a bit more power and a bit more information to give to the next victim. And, of course, the twins are brought down by their hubris. They thought they were better than everyone else, but for every evil genius, there’s someone on the side of good trying to put down the evil.

Title comes from: The original location of the twins’ house and the name of the alley the orisen opens into.

Reading challenges fulfilled: An S in my Title Reading the Alphabet Challenge, and #28 in my Maybe 100 This Year Challenge

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

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