The Night House by Jo Nesbø is a grown up Goosebumps, Tales from the Crypt horror story with an 80s- 90s vibe. An unreliable narrator and unimaginable events cause fourteen-year-old Richard Elauved and his friends trouble especially when no one believes him.The Night House
by Jo Nesbø
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n the wake of his parents’ tragic deaths in a house fire, fourteen-year-old Richard Elauved has been sent to live with his aunt and uncle in the remote, insular town of Ballantyne. Richard quickly earns a reputation as an outcast, and when a classmate named Tom goes missing, everyone suspects the new, angry boy is responsible for his disappearance. No one believes him when he says the telephone booth out by the edge of the woods sucked Tom into the receiver like something out of a horror movie. No one, that is, except Karen, a beguiling fellow outsider who encourages Richard to pursue clues the police refuse to investigate. He traces the number that Tom prank-called from the phone booth to an abandoned house in the Mirror Forest. There he catches a glimpse of a terrifying face in the window. And then the voices begin to whisper in his ear . . .
She’s going to burn. The girl you love is going to burn. There’s nothing you can do about it.
When another classmate disappears, Richard must find a way to prove his innocence—and preserve his sanity—as he grapples with the dark magic that is possessing Ballantyne and pursuing his destruction.
Then again, Richard may not be the most reliable narrator of his own story . . .
Richard Elauved lives with his aunt and uncle in the remote town of Ballantyne, after his parents died in a tragic fire. He is a bit of an outcast and bully. He bullies mostly for fear of rejection. When he and Tom are out playing near the river, something horrible happens. Tom gets sucked into a phone when the two make a prank call. No one believes him, but a fellow student named Karen. The adults of the town and police suspect foul play and think Richard had something to do with it. Karen, Richard and another young man research the person on the other end of the prank call. When another friend goes missing after leaving Richard’s house, the town takes action.
The tale that unfolds started off with a bang, dragged a little in the middle but picked up steam at the end. The first part reminded me of the R.L. Stine books my kids read and was told from fourteen-year-old Richard’s perspective. In the second part, it changed to adult Richard’s perspective. Despite the odd happens in the middle of the book, it didn’t really pick up again until the end with plenty of unexpected turns and twists.
Overall, this was a fun, creepy and twisted horror story. Just enough gore combined with plenty of suspense. The last section of the story was twisted, and I kept fully engaged. I closed the book on a book high. Perfect for fans who want a scare but prefer light to middle-grade horror.
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