Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 30th March 2017
REVIEWED BY NEV
A copy of The House was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the author Brian Barr, in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is self-published.
This is my third foray into the world of Brian Barr in as many months. This latest little adventure has been all about the short stories or novellas or novelettes. Whichever you want to call them.
The House is book two in a trilogy, The Head being the opener. Now, I wasn’t too impressed with The Head. Well, that isn’t strictly true. I just found it a bit odd in places and wasn’t convinced, even though it had the most killer ending. I was therefore a bit wary about The House in case it was of the same vein.
This is what I thought.
Daniel is retired from his business of being one the greatest ever busters of cults, and saviours of peoples very souls. When he gets a call from a desperate young woman, pleading for his help, he feels obligated to assist.
Alexis doesn’t know about the secrets that Daniel is keeping from her. Daniel is equally unaware of the secret life that Alexis has.
When you combine all of the secrets, surely nothing good can come from this?
Daniel and Alexis are our two main characters in this one. Daniel used to be the man to go to if you needed help with rescuing someone from the clutches of a cult. Since his retirement, through ill health, his team have kept that reputation going. He longs for the old days but he has no chance of getting them back. Alexis is a very troubled girl. Wrapped up in a cult that her family can find no way out of, she comes to Daniel in desperation to see if he can help.
They both hold secrets of immense proportions. Neither of them are prepared to give those secrets up. Until the very end.
The plot is as it is described above. Alexis wants help in getting freed from the cult, and Daniel is the man to help her. If only it were that simple.
The House in question is the same house that was used in The Head so if you have read that one, you will know the evils that lie within. To give you any more about the plot, or indeed the story, would only give you huge spoilers which I am obviously not prepared to do.
So, was The House as odd and unconvincing as The Head?
Nope. It certainly wasn’t.
The more I read Brian Barr, the more I am convinced of his writing ability. There are so many different horror influences in this story that, I quite frankly, don’t know where to begin.
It is eerily surreal in parts making it almost Barkerish. It is what I would call wholesome horror in parts which would put you in mind of King. It has olde worlde creature elements that would make you think of Lovecraft. It has freakish psychedelic moments that would put you in mind of someone who is severely off their head on dope writing horror.
This all may sound a bit weird but when you put all of these pieces together, it really works! It’s wonderful.
Reading this was a bit like sampling a new style of cooking for the first time. You look at it and you are a bit scared because it looks awful in parts but tasty in others, and you just don’t know if you will like the textures. When you start eating it, you are curious but wary. Then the flavours start to explode in your mouth, and you can’t stop yourself from eating more and more of it until, you are finally finished and those flavours stay exploding in your mouth, long after you are done. Then when you reflect on what you have just eaten, you can’t wait to go back for more.
By using this analogy, I think what I am trying to say is, I loved this book. I don’t think it will be to everyone’s taste but you have to sample the goods to see if you would like them or not. I would highly recommend that you take the taste test. I reckon it might just surprise you.
To summarise: Buy The Head, if you haven’t already, and follow it up with this one. This trilogy is maturing with age. I can’t wait for the third course.
★★★★★ great trilogy
★★★★★ great horror.
If you would like to help support Confessions of a Reviewer, then please consider using the links below to buy The House or any other books from Brian. This not only supports us but also lets us know how many people actually like to buy books after reading our reviews.
“Her name is Alexis. She’s a punk girl with shabby green-dyed hair. She wears a pink collar around her neck.
Alexis talks about growing up in Lexington, SC. She belongs to some strange cult, in which her family members are the only devotees: her mother, her father, and her brother.
She hates them all.
Whenever she brings up the house they share, I see her contempt. She wants to get away from it.
I want to help her, whether I’m retired or not. I’ve helped others escape from cults in the past. Why can’t I do the same now?
The house. I can’t get it out of my mind. The horrors she told me about it. So many details, and yet so much mystery.
I must see the house for myself. That is the only way that I can save her.”
– Daniel Paine, Cult Specialist, and Deprogrammer
The House is the sequel to The Head from Brian Barr, and the second book of the 3 H’s trilogy.
CONFESSIONS REVIEWS BRIAN BARR
My name is Brian Barr. I am a published fiction author. Along with novels and short stories, I’ve also written comic books, including the Empress series with Chuck Amadori. I am NOT the author of God’s Plan for Us, written by some other Brian Barr.
My debut novel, Carolina Daemonic Book I: Confederate Shadows, is out now. My second novel will be Psychological Revenge: The First Super Inc. Novel.
Carolina Daemonic is a dystopian alternative timeline urban fantasy-horror with LGBT, steampunk, and occult elements.
Psychological Revenge is a fun, campy superhero novel with zany villains and lots of action.
Be on the lookout for my stories and thank you for visiting my page.
I am also a proud member of the South Carolina Writer’s Workshop.
And for more about Brian, visit his site or find him on social media: