Title: Word Crush Wednesday: Slade House
Author: David Mitchell
Year Of Publication: 2015
Genre: Fantasy, Horror
Summary: Do you want to go for a ride, ladies and gentlemen? If so, let David Mitchell take you to Slade House. An eerie mansion is tucked away behind the tall brick walls of a discrete alleyway where the only entrance is a tiny 4-foot tall black iron door. In addition to the door’s petite stature, the uncomfortable alleyway one must travel to get to this iron door is too slender for two people to walk through side by side. Oh, I almost forgot. The black iron door only appears every nine years.
Mitchell’s story spans 5 decades, spanning from 1979 to 2015. In every ninth year, someone is lured to Slade House. The house’s inhabitants, Norah and Jonah Grayer, invite/lure their guests to the residence in numerous ways for unsavory aims. These visitors are not entirely aware of what is going on within the house, until it’s already over. The Grayers only invite those who fall under a very specific set of requirements, including the possession of a “rich soul.”
Slade House exists in a time bubble, away from reality in a construct for immortality. The Grayers, the Slade Houses residents, need to “feed” on the souls of their visitors in order for their time bubble construct to have the energy to exist, and therefore allow the Grayers the gift of immortality. Anchorites versus Horologists (characters introduced in David Mitchell’s previous novel, The Bone Clocks).
A mother and her boy, who is doped up on his mother’s valium. A racist and domestically abusive detective looking to score. An insecure student with a crush on a guy in their paranormal society. The sister of a past visitor who is trying to find out the truth. A curious doctor. These are the visitors to Slade House. All enter through its doors, will they all be able to leave?
TL;DR: A house reappears every nine years to consume the souls of those who are lured to it.
Verdict: A truly entertaining read that will keep you wanting more. Rich, detailed characters. Fans of David Mitchell will read it breezily, as it is only about 240 pages. If you’re looking for something different, look no further.