The Forever House: Tim Waggoner
Reviewed By Brian Bogart
Tim Waggoner (THEY KILL, BLOOD ISLAND) invites us to the perfectly-trimmed lawns of a small, unassuming suburb in Ohio- and wants us to meet the newest neighbours.
Meet the Eldreds.
They are what happens if you take The Addams Family and add a wee bit of Lovecraft- then replace that family’s whimsical sense of humour with an unquenchable thirst for blood and otherworldly powers- move them into a house with a murderous history, and then let the town get to know them. One by one.
Welcome to the neighbourhood. Ignore the rotting smell emanating from the trashcan outside. And if their unnatural movements and mannerisms seem off, well, it’s probably just your imagination. Don’t believe me? Well, the characters in this novel didn’t either- but they have their own matters distracting them. Too little, too late, as they say.
Something was definitely off with the Eldreds. They just had no fucking idea how “off”.
“His face looked normal enough at first, but the longer she looked at it, the more she thought there was something strange about it. None of his features moved. His lips were frozen in a straight line, and his nostrils didn’t widen when he drew in a breath. Strangest of all, his eyes didn’t blink. And they were dry, no moisture at all. They looked almost painted on, like a doll’s eyes. This man is a giant doll, she thought. He stood funny – one of his legs stuck out at an odd angle, and she was surprised he could stand upright at all. He looked like he might fall over any second.”
People can be so preoccupied with their inner struggles and relationships, that sometimes the bloody claws closing in on them can get lost in the shuffle. In this book, being consumed by your own personal hells can actually lead to being literally consumed…
Waggoner spends a good portion of this book fleshing out the denizens of suburbia. To that end, it plays greatly into the supernatural and ghastly parts. And their own personal hells are utilized to produce grisly scenarios. The first half of the novel wipes away the facade of the suburbs, focusing on a varied cast of characters, flawed and ugly in many respects.
Short list: Gambling addictions. Loose morals. Insecurity with a spouse’s bisexuality and troubled marriages. Even, a paedophile. (Yikes, indeed.)
And all that negative energy, just ripe for feeding. And the Eldreds are getting hungrier every page that passes…
We live in a world where we constantly seek our entertainment in a “tailor-made” fashion. There is a beauty in that, in the modern age. With this in mind while reading, it helped many of the scenes resonate more. While the tropes used here are many, its the sum of its parts that make this an enjoyable read.
It’s a strange trip, indeed- but sometimes- it is one we have been on before. The horrors awaiting them behind the closed doors of Eldred’s new home are well-written and varied … but those overblown scenes and descriptions can make the last part of the book land a bit unevenly. Despite this, I can’t say I didn’t enjoy reading late into the night just to see where the Eldreds would take us… and who might survive.
THE FOREVER HOUSE is a dark, imaginative horror read from Tim Waggoner, who plants his tongue firmly in cheek- and occasionally- right through it. Tasty.
Suburbia can be Hell.
Great day for a BBQ….
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 Eldreds . . . or each other?
Brian Bogart is an American author, residing in Northern Ireland. His love of genre fiction started at an early age, consuming every horror and fantasy book available. He has been published in various degrees online and contributed a short fiction piece, “TOCSIN”, to The One Million Project (OMP) Thriller Anthology in an effort to raise money for cancer research and the homeless. He loves to share his enthusiasm for the horror genre with others and help promote other authors.
His latest story, alongside many other authors, can be found in the pages of EPIC FANTASY SHORT STORIES, coming soon from Flame Tree Publishing.
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