Thursday, March 18, 2010

The World House by Guy Adams

NOTE: The World House was a free review copy provided to Luke Reviews by Angry Robot Books.

Between Trevis Powell’s Gran’s Secret, Samuel Butler’s Erewhon, the original anthology Death & Dishonour, and Call to Arms by Mitchel Scanlon, Luke Reviews has seen a bit of a Fantasy reviewing renaissance. When I saw The World House show up in my mailbox, I decided to keep it up. Guy Adams has created a bit of a name for himself with his popular tie-ins, and I was curious to see how his first creator-owned work turned out.

Miles, heavy in debt and on the way to a beating from the man he owes money, disappears from his living room and reappears in a house like no other, where he is immediately attacked by an ostrich, a raccoon, and a tiger. Or is he? And after the shock of his first room, he sets out to try to find a way home, gathering more of a crowd as he goes. Meanwhile, two other groups begin their treks through the house, all searching for a way home. However, the house is far more than just a house, and its darkest secrets begin to unveil themselves as each group falls into deeper and deeper danger.

Adams does a lot well with this one. He uses an above average number of characters, yet never lets them become alike enough to be confused, each with a distinct and important personality. He makes his house sufficiently moody. He plays with setting without forgetting that it is, indeed, a house. And the exploration of the house by the characters is the highlight of the book, with each group finding more bizarre rooms, each with an imaginative set-up that works far better than it would seem it should on first glance.

In the spirit of full disclosure, this one ends on a cliffhanger, setting itself up for a second book (like we saw in Kell’s Legend, another book out from Angry Robot, which has a sequel due out at the end of April). While this can be frustrating, as a sense of closure can be nice, this book does seem to wrap its initial plot up, all while leaving many threads hanging for the second novel, Restoration. And, like with Kell’s Legend, I refuse to miss the sequel.


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