Slade House by David Mitchell (Book Review)

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Slade House by David Mitchell is a tale that happens to be an extension of the his brilliant novel, the Bone Clocks. In the world of the Bone Clocks the Horologists and the Anchorites wage a war over immortality. The Horologists are reborn again and again while retaining their memories and skills while the Anchorites must feed on the souls of others to maintain their immortality. The Slade House is the tale of a brother and sister duo who must feed every nine years to keep themselves alive, from the souls of those they capture in the Slade House.

Norah and Jonah Grayer are the inhabitants of the Slade House. A home that can only be accessed through a small doorway down the dark and dismal Slade alley. They entice their victims with the promise of granting them what seems to be missing from their lives. Companionship, love, respect. Whatever will get them to walk through the dark alley, come through the tiny door and venture into Slade House. Once there, the duo feed on the souls of their victims who in turn begin to haunt the house and try to warn the new victims that arrive.

Slade House spans five decades as the brother and sister need to feed and tells the story of each encounter.

And that is where it fails. It tells little to nothing of the the nine years between the feedings. Nothing of the lives the Grayers’ live or of the victims and how they come to this place. It sets up each encounter briefly and then on to the entrapment and feeding. Its interesting the first few times but after that it simply becomes repetitive. And with repetition comes boredom.

Slade House is not a horror story. There is very little that goes bump in the night here. After the first soul feeding you pretty much know what is coming next. The Grayers’ are not vampires either, no matter what other bloggers are marketers may say. They do not frighten the reader at all. They spend much too much of their time bickering.

Fans of the Bone Clocks may find this short novel more enjoyable than those who have not read the Bone Clocks. But overall, it is too little punch for the money so to speak. It is well written but offers little to the universe that Mitchell created with the Bone Clocks.

By this review you might start to believe that I didn’t enjoy Slade House. I did. But it would have been better served as a short story and not drawn out into a novel.

Good but definitely not as good as everyone else is saying


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