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Publisher's Summary

It's a home invasion from beyond the grave in this novel of unrelenting terror from the Bram Stoker Award-nominated author of Pressure, Dweller, and Wolf Hunt.  

It doesn't seem like the perfect house, but screw it, it's good enough to rent for a year. Unfortunately for Boyd, Adeline, and their two young daughters, it's immediately clear they chose the wrong place.  

The nightmare begins with violent coughs and headaches. Food starts to rot almost as soon as they take it inside. A pet tarantula goes missing. Some family members begin to exhibit creepy behavior.  

Then the ghosts arrive, and all hell breaks loose....

©2018 Jeff Strand (P)2018 Jeff Strand

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    66
  • 4 Stars
    33
  • 3 Stars
    32
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    4

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    79
  • 4 Stars
    31
  • 3 Stars
    16
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    1

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    61
  • 4 Stars
    25
  • 3 Stars
    34
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    10
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    4
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Deliciously dark!

When Boyd gets a promotion, he has to rent a new place closer to work, they find a house they think is perfect for them, but things start turning bad pretty quickly! Food starts spoiling nearly as soon as it's brought into the house, Boyd starts feeling sick, and the rest of the family start acting weird. But it's when the ghosts start turning up that things take a descent into darkness.

The plot of this was good...ish. The first half of the book was intriguing, entertaining and had me hooked, but then things start going weird and that's why it's a 4 star and not a 5 star read. The author builds the tension nicely from the start, and I loved that! It made me eager to see what was going to happen next. I even liked it when the ghosts came and things started ramping up, but then Gina enters and things just go weird. Never the less, the plot was good and I liked it for the most part.

I liked Boyd and his family. They just want a nice place to live, but are thrown into something that shouldn't involve them. The most uncomfortable parts were to do with the daughter. It broke my heart and was tough to read!! One thing I've seen with this author is how he makes such great characters! They are easy to like and I was rooting for them all the way through.

In all, this was a good read. Even with it being so dark, it still had a lot of funny moments which added much needed levity to the overall story.

Joe Hempel is one of the best, especially when he reads Horror. He knows how to bring the atmosphere and tension to life. He has plenty of tones and voices for all the characters and was easy to listen to.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Al
  • British Columbia
  • 07-08-18

More gory than scary

I received a free copy of the audiobook with the option of leaving a review.

Boyd was stuck in a rut when a choice promotion makes it seems like his luck has turned. Off to a new town and renting a decent house for a family used to a small apartment makes it all look like a dream come true. Then weird things start to happen.

I kind of liked this. The setup and premise were interesting, as was the actual ending. I liked the family, they were normal at face value, but there was some deeper stuff hidden away that was pushed to the fore as the story carried on. The initial interaction with the house was good, food rotting, the tarantula going missing and so forth. The fact that only the family suffered was a nice touch.

The narrator did a good job, and the writing was terrific at times, but here's the rub - after a creepy start, it went from potentially scary to a silly splatterfest. I found myself zoning out far too often after the last quarter or so of the novel, having been very engaged for the first 75%. If you don't like gore, either because it makes you barf or makes you bored, you should probably steer clear of this.

I liked most of it, so I'd definitely be interested in checking out another Jeff Strand work though. Give this one 3.5/5.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

You don't want to move into this house...

I had a good time with this book. This was a really nice change of pace which was exactly what I was looking for. I don't read horror all that often but I almost always enjoy it when I do decide to pick one up. This was a really quick read that hooked me right from the start. I am so glad that I decided to pick up something a little different than my usual reading fare.

Boyd and his family are excited to get a fresh start when he gets a promotion. They find what they believe to be a perfect house for their family in their new town and are thrilled to move in. Then some strange things start happening. Food goes bad almost as soon as it comes into the house. There is an incident with the family's pet tarantula. Then things really start to get crazy.

I really liked Boyd and his family right from the start. They really seemed to be excited about the move and they kept a pretty positive attitude about things until events became out of control. I loved the way that Boyd and his wife, Adeline, always put the kids first and did everything in their power to protect them. The kids seemed to handle things better than could be expected and some pretty important scenes in the book revolve around them so they were important players in the story.

I did enjoy the first half of the book a bit more than the second half. I was almost holding my breath trying to figure out what was going on in this house. I knew that something big would happen and I think the anticipation really added to the overall enjoyment for me. After some of the big events started, the excitement level stayed at a very high level until the book came to a conclusion. I did enjoy the action and liked that there were some pretty creepy and gory scenes but the mystery of the story seemed to fade a bit. I did appreciate the epilogue and liked that there were a few surprises saved until the very end of the novel.

This was my first experience listening to Joe Hempel's narration and I kind of feel like I might have been missing out. I thought he did a fantastic job with this book and I am pretty sure that I liked the story even more because I made the decision to listen to the book. He did a great job with all of the voices and was able to add a lot of excitement to the story. I definitely hope to listen to more books by this narrator in the future.

I would recommend this book to horror fans. This was a really interesting take on a haunted house story with plenty of gruesome and scary moments to keep things entertaining. This was my first time reading any of Jeff Strand's work and I look forward to reading more in the future.

I received a review copy of this audiobook from the narrator or author via Audiobook Boom.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Sick House...yep.

I received this audiobook free from the author or narrator, yet I give my honest review here.

I enjoyed this book a lot. I was expecting one thing (typical haunted house) - but the author added some interesting twists that take the reader/listener into new territory. (If you were hoping for spoilers - sorry!) I was a little disappointed, though, because (around half-way through) I thought the book was peaking a little early - but then it went in a whole new direction. Enter Gina. After all - she is largely to blame for the house being what it is. Listen through to the epilogue - that's where one of the big twists comes. To be such a sick and twisted story - there was quite a lot of humor. No, really. What does that say about my sense of humor? I couldn't go all the way to 5 stars with the story because there were a few places where I thought the story got just a touch silly. But all in all, it was very much a good story.

The narrator gave a very good performance. His pacing and rhythm were good. Easy to listen to with no jarring changes in loudness. I thought his voices were by and large very good - especially the witch. There were a few times when I couldn't see a lot of separation between the voices of the two daughters and the mom - but that's tough to do. Same goes for the three ghosts. Nevertheless, he did a great job.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

This House is Sick

Wow, Jeff Strand knows how to creep me out. This story played on two of my phobia’s quite well, kind of wish he pushed it further, kind of glad he didn’t. Have to say this was the first book that I didn’t want to listen to right before I went to bed. Had to watch some TV just to relax from listening. Needless to say once daylight came around I was quick to go back and hear the rest of the story and get some resolution. Have to say I didn’t see the ending coming together the way it did and really was impressed.

I enjoyed the character’s relationships the most. Boyd’s family was your basic family and I liked their interactions with each other. Since Boyd is the main character it is told from his perspective and as a father I appreciated his interaction with his wife and kids as well as his end goal in providing for his family. They seemed like a real family and it made the series of events more traumatic as I fully felt like I was right there with them.

This was quite a different type of haunted house. The “Home invasion from beyond the grave” description is spot on. The blending of the haunted house and history of how the haunting started worked perfectly. Wasn’t sure where things were going initially with some of the back story but when it comes together it really knocks it out of the park. The home invaders are some sick individuals and their piece of this story is really twisted and disturbing. Definitely needed a shower after listening to their tale.

Joe Hempel did a fantastic job with this narration. I blame him for me needing to switch to something lighter before bed. The tension he is able to convey through his narration really kept me on edge. I’m still freaked out about that damn spider.

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Jeff Strand is good. Real good.

Jeff Strand is good. Real good. If you haven't read/listened to him, then you are missing out. Sick house is a good and enjoyable story. Not my favorite of Mr. Strands, but he has set the bar pretty high for himself which may have hurt him here a little bit. A good Strand is still head and shoulders above most.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent Haunting!

This was an excellent book. The story was intriguing, engaging and kept moving. It definitely held my attention. There were some flashback parts but they were done so well that there was no confusion between past and present. I find that sometimes flashbacks, if written in wrong, can cause confusion and take away from the story. Not this one, they were done perfectly. I didn’t think there were any “slow moving” parts either. The story flowed along very well and at a decent pace, making it interesting and easy to listen to. I thought that the narration was done very well too. It was a good horror story that had some unexpected twists and turns but I didn’t think they were bad ones; they added to the story and actually made it better than the standard haunted house book.

I was provided a free copy of this book at my request for honest and unbiased review.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Some good parts

I would say that this book was ok. Not really scary. I swear the narrator kept say conscious instead of conscience! lol So much juvenile back and forth between the characters and toward the end, I almost stopped listening as the resolution took FOREVER.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting but final battle too long

I enjoyed the story overall but the final battle was drawn out too long by the endless descriptions of the torments in hell. Got repetitive & boring, ended up skipping through.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Scary with a sense of humor

Characters have depth, which is lacking in a lot of horror books today. I was left wanting a a little more back-story regarding the cause of the haunting, but the storyline was still good. I like the character development, and ALMOST felt sorry for the bad guys in the story. I'll definitely buy another book from this author.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jeff
  • 10-03-18

I would love to see this as a movie

I love horror and the story line is just perfect for classic shit your pants horror you are reading this but your are not expecting anything so I am not giving anything away just make sure to keep extra underwear with you at all times

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Karen
  • 07-03-18

Sic

One of the best ghost stories I've listened too.

If you love horror/ghost stories this is definately well worth a listen. It had me hooked from start to finish

Will be looking for more books by this author and narrator

I was given this book in exchange for an honest review