Welcome to a new blogpost from quarantine life, hope everybody is safe, sound and self-isolating. So, I got a new Flame Tree Press release to talk about, and it is the new Tim Waggoner novel The Forever House. Thank you, Flame Tree Press, for sending a copy of the book!
I have featured one of Tim Waggoner’s releases before, it can be found HERE.
The Forever House:
In Rockridge, Ohio, a sinister family moves into a sleepy cul de sac. The Eldreds feed on the negative emotions of humans, creating nightmarish realms within their house to entrap their prey. Neighbors are lured into the Eldreds' home and faced with challenges designed to heighten their darkest emotions so their inhuman captors can feed and feed well. If the humans are to have any hope of survival, they'll have to learn to overcome their prejudices and resentments toward one another and work together. But which will prove more deadly in the end, the Eldred . . . or each other?
It is no secret that I am a Tim Waggoner fan, and I go into every book with high expectations, which is unlike me because I usually go into things in life with low expectations, just so I can be positively surprised.
The Forever House is another great example why I have such high opinion of Waggoner’s work, it is simply an enjoyable well-written horror story, filled with disturbing terrors!
We are introduced to the villains early on in this story The Eldred, they are a freaky bunch, they are a (brilliantly named) family consisting of Father Hunger, Weremother, the Low Prince, the Nonesister, the Grandother and their manservant Machine Head. If I ever spawn offspring, I might name them the Low Prince and/or the Nonesister, but that is just me, my wife might disagree.
The Eldred drive around their car (that is not a car, it spawns from the same evils as them) looking for a new hunting ground or stalking ground as they call it, they feed on negative emotion from humans and they are very adept in creating said emotions in their victims. Unfortunately for the inhabitants of a quiet cul-de-sac, the Eldred has chosen their little community as a stalking ground, the Eldred buy and set up in an empty house know as the “house of blood”, it is known as that due to the mother of the previous family that lived there, killed her family and herself in a rather gruesome manner, perfect for the Eldred. They set up shop and start their games in trapping the inhabitants of the cul-de-sac, the other people that live there are: Neal, a high school teacher, Neal’s wife Kandice, whom is a fitness instructor, they have a tiny issue in their marriage that have put some strain on them.
We have Martin, a roadworker with a gambling problem and he’s a A-grade douchebag, his stay at home wife Cora, their five-year old daughter Vivienne.
There is also an elderly woman named Lola and her forty-year old son Spencer, Spencer having an unhealthy obsession with Vivienne.
And the final people are Isaac and Alex, Isaac is an uptight and snobbish professor at the local university and Alex is a student at the same university.
All of them are perfect as prey for the Eldred.
When they all have been trapped by the Eldred in the “house of blood”, they discover that reality has changed within its walls, the attic is a mountain top, the cellar is endlessly large and disproportioned, the back garden is lush and vast and filled with deadly plants, and wherever they go their worst fears come to life. And then the bodies start to drop, who will survive? Well, buy the book and find out!
The human characters in here are well developed, same with the dynamic in-between the various couples and families, it all felt realistic, I must admit I was quite invested in Neal and Kandice’s marital problems. When you have characters that are as well rounded and believable, then when bad things happen, you feel it all the more. There where a few deaths I was a bit heartbroken by! You will even come to like the character Spencer and hope he will overcome the obstacles he’s facing.
The Eldred are gloriously vicious bunch, with their evil ways and horrific appearances, their reality altering power, unlimited cruelty and ceaseless hunger. They are easily on the top of my fictional villains list for this year.
Now, I am reluctant to put it in the genre of cosmic horror, it is more grounded than your average cosmic horror story (average cosmic horror exists) I would more classify it as a dark fantasy/eldritch horror hybrid.
In the end, this is an engaging horror novel that will entertain you from cover to cover, filled with deaths that you will feel with, suspenseful and diabolical atmosphere, some “did not expect that” sex scenes. It is a horror novel that only Tim Waggoner can write!