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The House by the Cemetery (Fiction Without Frontiers)

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Rumor has it that the abandoned house by the cemetery is haunted by the ghost of a witch. But rumors won’t stop carpenter Mike Kostner from rehabbing the place as a haunted house attraction. Soon he’ll learn that fresh wood and nails can’t keep decades of rumors down. There are noises in the walls, and fresh blood on the floor: secrets that would be better not to discover. Rumor has it that the abandoned house by the cemetery is haunted by the ghost of a witch. But rumors won’t stop carpenter Mike Kostner from rehabbing the place as a haunted house attraction. Soon he’ll learn that fresh wood and nails can’t keep decades of rumors down. There are noises in the walls, and fresh blood on the floor: secrets that would be better not to discover. And behind the rumors is a real ghost who will do whatever it takes to ensure the house reopens. She needs people to fill her house on Halloween. There’s a dark, horrible ritual to fulfill. Because while the witch may have been dead... she doesn’t intend to stay that way. FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launching in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.


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Rumor has it that the abandoned house by the cemetery is haunted by the ghost of a witch. But rumors won’t stop carpenter Mike Kostner from rehabbing the place as a haunted house attraction. Soon he’ll learn that fresh wood and nails can’t keep decades of rumors down. There are noises in the walls, and fresh blood on the floor: secrets that would be better not to discover. Rumor has it that the abandoned house by the cemetery is haunted by the ghost of a witch. But rumors won’t stop carpenter Mike Kostner from rehabbing the place as a haunted house attraction. Soon he’ll learn that fresh wood and nails can’t keep decades of rumors down. There are noises in the walls, and fresh blood on the floor: secrets that would be better not to discover. And behind the rumors is a real ghost who will do whatever it takes to ensure the house reopens. She needs people to fill her house on Halloween. There’s a dark, horrible ritual to fulfill. Because while the witch may have been dead... she doesn’t intend to stay that way. FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launching in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.

30 review for The House by the Cemetery (Fiction Without Frontiers)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Luvtoread

    This book is a very good read for the Halloween Season. The story begins in a town called Bachelor's Grove where there is an old cemetery deep into the woods with an old abandoned house immediately next to it. There are rumors of deaths happening in the house and also stories of a witch who once lived and died there and has resulted in subsequent hauntings and sightings, if you're prone to believing these stories. After a few decades of deterioration and emptiness, the house is purchased with h This book is a very good read for the Halloween Season. The story begins in a town called Bachelor's Grove where there is an old cemetery deep into the woods with an old abandoned house immediately next to it. There are rumors of deaths happening in the house and also stories of a witch who once lived and died there and has resulted in subsequent hauntings and sightings, if you're prone to believing these stories. After a few decades of deterioration and emptiness, the house is purchased with hopes of becoming a great Halloween haunted house attraction involving some of the best horror set designers and makeup artists that have worked on many of the best horror sets in the industry. Hopefully the month of October will be a real money maker and become a true Halloween legend for all the hard working cast and every team member who signed up for this ground breaking project. I enjoyed this book very much and the writing is very descriptive, so for me it is a visual experience while reading. The prologue had me immediately captive, unable to to leave this book unread. The story started nice and easy with a sense of eeriness and foreboding in the background. There are several main characters and many others who have smaller roles in the book. I enjoyed the complex cast with their personalities being so different and not knowing how the story would revolve around them or the jobs they were given throughout the story. I loved the fact that this was about a haunted house attraction and not a typical ghost story, so the story keeps drawing you in to find out what is going to happen next. The book is well-written, although for me there were a few inconsistencies yet they did not interfere with the storyline. Warning! The second half of the book can be quite gruesome and disturbing for some readers. This is a true horror-fest so "Reader Beware" ! I do recommend this book and have given it a rating of 4 Scary Halloween 🌟🌟🌟🌟 stars!! I want to thank Flame Press and Netgally for allowing me to read this book free of charge for my honest and unbiased opinion.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Marie

    This was a creepy and page turning book! Legend has it that the house and cemetery located in Bachelor's Grove was the site of where a witch had died and now the property is now haunted by her. Satan worshippers had performed rituals in the house through the years which make the property and house very active. Mike Kostner and his friends decide that what place could be better to use for a Halloween house than the witch house. Mike wants the house to be the best Halloween house ever to scare the This was a creepy and page turning book! Legend has it that the house and cemetery located in Bachelor's Grove was the site of where a witch had died and now the property is now haunted by her. Satan worshippers had performed rituals in the house through the years which make the property and house very active. Mike Kostner and his friends decide that what place could be better to use for a Halloween house than the witch house. Mike wants the house to be the best Halloween house ever to scare the residents of the town. Mike and his friends start fixing up the house by buying all kinds of Halloween props along with setting up trap doors for moving around the place. As the friends work on the house, they endure all kinds of strange things including knocking, footsteps, tools disappearing, and cold drafts. They don't really think much of it as they continue to work toward their goal of getting the house completed before Halloween. When everything is completed and the scary night has arrived, Mike and his friends find out the true meaning of "haunted" as the ghost of the witch brings the "hellish" might down on everyone that enters her domain and the gore starts to fly as she makes her presence known. This book was a very creepy ride that turned into an extreme blood fest past the halfway mark of the book. I couldn't seem to turn the pages fast enough as the book took off into the bloody unknown and I stayed up late into the night wanting to finish it. This book is not for the faint of heart as there is extreme gore through the last half of the book and if you can't handle it, then don't read it, but for you horror fans that love your gore, then by all means pick up this book. Giving this book five stars for one heck of a scary, gory ride.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Char

    3.5/5 stars! Bachelor's Grove is a small town featuring a house backing onto a cemetery. There have always been rumors about the house-something about a witch and a haunting. Rumors have no impact on Perry, though. He's an entrepreneur that wants to open a Halloween haunted house there. Great idea, right? Yeah...no. All kinds of things go wrong as you may have guessed and lots of gory shenanigans ensue. Will the haunted house business be a success? You'll have to read this to find out! I requested 3.5/5 stars! Bachelor's Grove is a small town featuring a house backing onto a cemetery. There have always been rumors about the house-something about a witch and a haunting. Rumors have no impact on Perry, though. He's an entrepreneur that wants to open a Halloween haunted house there. Great idea, right? Yeah...no. All kinds of things go wrong as you may have guessed and lots of gory shenanigans ensue. Will the haunted house business be a success? You'll have to read this to find out! I requested this ARC from Flame Tree Press because I loved the cover and also because I've been wanting to read more of John Everson's work. Ever since I read his book SIREN several years back, I've been meaning to get back to him, and with this book I finally got that opportunity. While I respect his writing, in general, I think he really shines when it comes to the bloody action-plenty of which is too be found towards the end of this story. I just thought it took a bit too long to get there. We are introduced to many characters, maybe too many, and while I did like or care for some of them, I don't think they required the amount of attention they received. Also, it took a long time for us to get to where the story really lived. I would have preferred less of the extraneous characters and more about the main characters and perhaps more about the history of the house. It's hard to add anything else without spoilers, however I will reinforce the fact that the denouement was bloody brilliant and I had a ball reading that portion. Overall, THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY was fun in that bloody B-movie way many of us horror lovers enjoy- and if anyone ever does make a film based upon this tale, I would love to see their rendition of the basement at the end of Halloween night! Recommended! *Thank you to Flame Tree Press for the paperback ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

  4. 5 out of 5

    Laurie

    This is another book I read with a group of book buddies. I recommend reading all books with a buddy. It makes the experience so entertaining! This book is about The House by the Cemetery, if you were wondering. The house is actually abandoned and rumored to be extremely haunted. An entrepreneur with more money than brains, apparently, decides it will be the perfect location to create a Halloween spook house. Yep, nothing could go wrong with that idea, right? “This place is rotting, stinking and This is another book I read with a group of book buddies. I recommend reading all books with a buddy. It makes the experience so entertaining! This book is about The House by the Cemetery, if you were wondering. The house is actually abandoned and rumored to be extremely haunted. An entrepreneur with more money than brains, apparently, decides it will be the perfect location to create a Halloween spook house. Yep, nothing could go wrong with that idea, right? “This place is rotting, stinking and creepy. It should be left alone to trot into the earth and disappear.” The story follows a group of makeup artists/designers and a carpenter named Mike as they prepare the house for opening night. Mike spends long hours all alone making the decrepit old house safe for thrill-goers. One day a young, attractive lady named Katie and her not so attractive friend (we know this because it’s mentioned every time she makes an appearance) start lurking around the house. Katie decides she and her friend want to help assist Mike with his work. He’s a sucker for any female attention and agrees to let them pal around and “assist” even though I think OSHA might’ve had some issues with that scenario. But OSHA will be the least of this guy’s worries once strange and terrible things begin happening in and around the house . . . That’s the setup and as you can probably imagine nothing goes to plan. There are secret rooms, bones in the freaking walls, relationship dramas, kinky sexy times on a bed of nails, and something sinister at play behind the scenes. Everything culminates in a spectacular bloodbath that will thrill any gorehound. I LOVED the B-movie-ish bits of this book and the horror film references but I didn’t really love some of the extraneous character scenes. There were a bit too many exchanges that felt like padding and only served to make me dislike a few of the characters rather than feel any sort of compassion for them. But I read an ARC provided by Flame Tree Press so maybe your copy will be different? I also thought Mike was a complete fool. His blindness to reality was something to behold. He was both amusing and annoying in his sex-blindness. I wish there had been less of Mike and more time spent on the character building of a few of the other side-characters. I’d give this story a 3 ½. It was a decently creepy, atmospheric story until probably the last third when it took a predictable turn for the bloody. I liked the bloody, don’t get me wrong, but I could see where it was heading and my need to read began to wane. I know I’ve probably read too many books and seen too many movies like this for my own good but it is what it is. I think THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY is a decent choice for the Halloween spooky season if you’re in the mood for some creepy thrills, some foolish characters and a sea of blood.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Daviau

    This is pure in your face horror and I absolutely loved it! Everson does not shy away from guts and gore and terror and it is FANTASTIC. I felt like I was watching an old school horror flick while reading this book, I could just picture certain scenes in my head. My only minor complaint with this story and why it gets four stars rather than five is the characters. I’m big on characters when I’m reading and I just absolutely hated everyone in this book and while I can appreciate a character you l This is pure in your face horror and I absolutely loved it! Everson does not shy away from guts and gore and terror and it is FANTASTIC. I felt like I was watching an old school horror flick while reading this book, I could just picture certain scenes in my head. My only minor complaint with this story and why it gets four stars rather than five is the characters. I’m big on characters when I’m reading and I just absolutely hated everyone in this book and while I can appreciate a character you love to hate, this cast was just too much for me. The brilliant story more than makes up for that though, it truly is bloody amazing. There were so many twists I didn’t see coming, it was chock full of moments to make my spine tingle and the ending was just INSANE and left me in total awe because I did NOT see that coming!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Gianfranco Mancini

    There was a reason the police had put chains up across the forest preserve fencing to protect what remained of this place. It was somewhat hidden. And largely abandoned. A sad place. And thus...ripe for abuse. Mike had heard that Satan worshippers had been run out of here on more than one occasion. There were all sorts of stories about black masses and witchcraft. A three-acts Halloween tale about an haunted house attraction, built inside an old dilapitated one besides an abandoned graveyard, where a w There was a reason the police had put chains up across the forest preserve fencing to protect what remained of this place. It was somewhat hidden. And largely abandoned. A sad place. And thus...ripe for abuse. Mike had heard that Satan worshippers had been run out of here on more than one occasion. There were all sorts of stories about black masses and witchcraft. A three-acts Halloween tale about an haunted house attraction, built inside an old dilapitated one besides an abandoned graveyard, where a witch was killed years ago... what could go wrong? Emery emerged from the closet then, wearing a black cowl and holding a long, curved butcher knife. From somewhere in the house, someone yelled, "It's showtime. Let's get bloody!" Katie nodded, and whispered, "Oh, we will." The setting was far better than main storyline and characters for me, and this is not first book I've read with two guys named after italian Masters of Horror Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci as a tribute, but I just loved how author just went full-throttle in (litterally!) Texas Chainsaw Massacre mode in third and final gore-fest act after previous creepy slow-burn ones. Lucio wasn't that much more outgoing than he was, but he had more disgusting makeup. That trumped a 'quiet killer' every time. "Not tonight," Argento whispered. He walked to the back of the room and reached behind the set tapestry to turn up the Goblin soundtrack to Suspiria two more notches. Music helped set the mood. And that Fulci-style "happy ending" and its sick epilogue rised my vote to full four stars. She jumped, aiming for the darkest part of the stack of bodies. Her landing was soft, though something bit at her left calf. Above her, she heard the chainsaw connect with the floor where she had been standing a second before. Then the machine whine faded away, as Leatherface pulled it back and returned to his position at the front of the room to wait for new guests to enter the house. Jeanie was safe for a moment. A funny well written Halloween season read, filled with horror movies references, a pinch of sex, and full buckets of blood and gore. Lots of gore.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

    THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY, by John Everson reminded me of a B-movie towards the ending. In the town of Bachelor's Grove, there's an abandoned cemetery near a house with a reputation for being haunted by a witch that once lived there. So what's a town to do with such a place? Turn it into a Halloween Haunted Attraction that people PAY to get into, of course! It was somewhat hidden. And largely abandoned. A sad place. And thus...ripe for abuse . . . " Our lead male character is Mike, who--agains THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY, by John Everson reminded me of a B-movie towards the ending. In the town of Bachelor's Grove, there's an abandoned cemetery near a house with a reputation for being haunted by a witch that once lived there. So what's a town to do with such a place? Turn it into a Halloween Haunted Attraction that people PAY to get into, of course! It was somewhat hidden. And largely abandoned. A sad place. And thus...ripe for abuse . . . " Our lead male character is Mike, who--against his own weak protests at the beginning--has the job of renovating the old house so that it will be structurally sound come time for the Halloween festivities. There's another set of characters that will be doing the props, makeup, etc. (Actually, a LOT of "extra characters" that I felt we really didn't "need" to learn so much about in the story). ". . . I'm not afraid of ghosts, but I don't want to be working around a bunch of dead bodies. . . " Enter a strangely attractive woman named Katie, and her tag-along friend, that seem to want nothing more than to help Mike out....in more ways than one. At this point, I don't want to say anything more that might spoil events for others. My personal opinion was that the first two-thirds or so of the book were either of scenes longer than they needed to be to get the point across (I really don't need to read the details of bracing a cellar ceiling, in depth), and exasperation at the absolute "cluelessness" of some of the characters. Regardless, we go on in this vein, and meet many more characters. In some instances, I felt that the "page time" of most of these individuals really wasn't necessary, and just ended up feeling like too much filler in a book where it was very easy to discern where the ending was headed. ". . . Human beings, those are the monsters that you've gotta fear . . . " Overall, the first two-thirds felt tedious to me at times, but the ending made up for it with plenty of stomach churning gore, and horror to satisfy any fan of the genre. While it was predictable where this story was destined to go, the final third was a LOT of fun, and would have made a great "B-movie". I think that if Everson had spent less time on characters that we really didn't need to know about in such depth, and had added some more horrific touches during the entire journey, this would have been a more satisfying read all throughout. I would definitely pick up another read by this author in the future, though--once he got to the real horror, there was no going back.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Warren Fournier

    Perhaps I'm just getting old. I seem to have crossed some threshold regarding art, and I can't go back. You see, there is a timeless quality to truly great stories. Books make me happy when they transcend time, being able to be enjoyed by readers of most any age or culture. Sometimes art can very much be a product of it's time, or be marketed for a very discreet modern audience, and thus the work becomes a time capsule containing a snapshot of a period in history. When that happens in literature Perhaps I'm just getting old. I seem to have crossed some threshold regarding art, and I can't go back. You see, there is a timeless quality to truly great stories. Books make me happy when they transcend time, being able to be enjoyed by readers of most any age or culture. Sometimes art can very much be a product of it's time, or be marketed for a very discreet modern audience, and thus the work becomes a time capsule containing a snapshot of a period in history. When that happens in literature, a book may be a bestseller of it's day, or at least enjoy modest popularity because of it's accessibility to that current target audience, but become quickly forgotten by subsequent generations. Sometimes a book like this can be very entertaining to a person, possibly even mean the world to that person, but later loses it's once overwhelming appeal. The same goes for all art, does it not? Take music for example. My daughter is embarrassed that she ever listened to Miley Cyrus, let alone played her music nonstop and had a poster of the popstar in her bedroom. And certainly I myself remember hooting like a howler monkey when the DJ would start cranking the familiar tunes of some popular ballad at the dance club, screaming "brown-eyed girl!" with my equally enraptured friends and dancing in a manic frenzy with strange women like the song was some mating cry, only to now hurriedly skip over that same tune when Alexa unexpectedly throws it in a mix. And certainly we all remember movies that made us cry or hide behind the couch as kids, only to watch them today with a curious lack of enthusiasm if not a little shame. Well, that about sums up my feelings for "The House by the Cemetery." For us horror fans, this is certainly a treat, pushing all the right buttons and checking the right boxes regarding everything we love about the art-form of making our spines tingle with that oh-so delicious pleasure of being spooked. It evokes the anticipation of waiting in that impossibly long queue for that new haunted house attraction that you heard made visitors faint on it's opening week. Or the fellowship of slumber parties with like-minded friends staying up all night watching a "Nightmare on Elm Street" marathon. This book will make people like us want to get online and buy every T-shirt we can find that is emblazoned with poster art from our favorite classic horror flick. If you want to get in the mood for Halloween, this book will be your gateway drug for the year. And it's got enough gratuitous sex and gore to compete with our most guilty horror entertainment pleasures. But somehow I was left with an empty feeling after reading this book. Blue-balled, as it was. Because beyond the sensational violence and T&A, as well as the plethora of horror iconography and nostalgia, I felt like the old guy hanging out at the frat bar. And the cheap Bud Lite really does taste like piss. First, a brief synopsis. A dilapidated house in the Chicago suburbs is renovated by the county as a Halloween haunted house attraction. It's the perfect location, for the property has a sordid history of murder and witchcraft, and is nestled right on the edge of an historic cemetery. But little do the Halloween revelers know, real witches are also looking forward to the grand opening, hoping to prey upon the gathering of big crowds. It is up to a psychic and her friend to figure out who are the real spooks haunting the house by the cemetery. So far, so good. But for almost a quarter of the book, we are treated primarily to the mundane. We watch a contractor moving lumber around, nailing up boards, and drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon. A makeup artist flirts with her boyfriend and takes him to a meeting of horror enthusiasts full of folks wearing black T-shirts. I struggled staying awake during some of these parts. Be that as it may, the prose still does a good job evoking a strong spooky atmosphere and Halloween vibe even where the novel is slow to get things moving. Then things seem to get decidedly more immature as the stakes are supposed to be getting higher. We have a threesome sex scene that, though admittedly kind of hot, kicks off a rather unbelievable relationship and a silly series of events. We have lots of drawn out descriptions of the actual attraction and all it's special effects, like in the Tobe Hooper dining room or the Dario Argento hall. Countless references to horror films, from classics to the more esoteric, fill the pages in the hopes of providing satisfactory winks and nods to the Easter-egg-hunting connoisseur. It's all supposed to be thrilling. And it is. Until it gets tiresome. Like being the only sober person at a keg party, you start to get bored of all the shenanigans, try as you might to get in the groove. But you start to see things for what they are. And it's childish. You want to go home, but your ride is busy shagging some gangster wannabe upstairs. And that's the problem with this book. It's great in a lot of ways, but I couldn't get fully lost in it's fun. Here are just some of it's problems. First, it didn't really surprise me with anything unique--almost everything in this novel is a meme. Since "Scream," I've grown weary of self-aware horror stories that are just pure fan service. Second, the writing. I've read high school term papers with more sophistication. The attempts at humor were amateur at best, and cringe at their worst. And the author tended to overuse catchphrases like "... But it was too late." Third, the characters. I didn't care about any of them. All of the cast were cliches. Two of them, Lenny and Bong, are black and Korean respectively. I only mention this because the author felt compelled to mention it umpteen times. Bong accuses people of thinking Asians "all look same," and Lenny frets about black characters always being the first to die in horror movies. Jesus, can anyone in the last half decade write a non-white character without constantly calling attention to their ethnicity or making a racism joke? Can people just be people? We certainly seem to be heading backwards despite getting more woke, and it's getting as old as I am. The worst offense was the plot itself. Remember the movie "Halloween Resurrection"? In addition to the comical Kung Fu of Busta Rhymes and the unceremonious dispatching of Jamie Lee Curtis in the first few minutes, the whole idea was unpleasantly goofy. "House by the Cemetery" has a very similar premise and is even more silly. Every day for a whole month, one patron of a haunted house attraction is abducted, put under a spell, and some of their blood is used in a magic ritual. This requires someone who has visited the haunted house, usually with a whole crew of friends, to always disappear during the attraction. The author tries to say that the victims are under a spell so they don't remember where they were abducted or where they were injured, thus no attention is brought to the haunted house. But the victims are all young people with families and a hell of a lot of friends. You mean the cops couldn't put two and two together after a whole month of people disappearing from the attraction and then showing up hours later with a giant wound in their side? The ending of the book is a tremendous splatter fest that will please the gore hounds, but was so outrageous that it buggered belief. First of all, it didn't make sense compared to the tone of the rest of the novel. Secondly, it consisted of people getting seriously injured on haunted house props. Who the hell would build a public attraction with a room full of very real, very sharp, and very lethal metal spikes, for example? Best not to think about this book too much, seeing as there wasn't that much thought put into the writing. This Halloween party promised to be a blast, but no one showed up that I liked and overall I felt I just didn't belong. If I were 20 years-old again, and if I could ever bring myself to think that girls with blue hair wearing puppy ears and making ahegao faces was somehow sexy, maybe I'd get a kick out of this book. But I still think in another twenty years I'd be like, "Why did I dig this so much?" It's not that this book doesn't have some merit as a purveyor of fun and smut. But it just goes to show that once you've gotten used to your drinks at a quiet pub that makes the tastiest and iciest Gibson cocktails, you get annoyed the next time you get dragged to some dive where the girls dancing on the pool table keeps spilling sock water on you, where patrons are getting loaded on shots of something that looks like Pepto Bismol, and where you can't hear yourself talk over Eminem on the jukebox. I do not intend to steer my friends in the horror community away from this book if they haven't yet read it. It's a great Halloween read! But I am giving fair warning that you might have similar feelings as I've described. If so, do not worry. It doesn't mean you have become a Halloween Grinch. Sometimes you just outgrow stuff. And that's just fine.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    This would have been absolutely perfect for a Halloween read. I'm...as you can see a month behind. Oh well. I still enjoyed it. The author delivers the perfect ghostly treat for fans of gore-splashed '70s and '80s horror. The interesting aspect of this is the main character, Mike, isn't exactly hero material. He was hired to repair an old haunted house next to a cemetery in time to open in October. Mike is distracted by a pair of strange visitors. The setting is inspired by the actual Bachelor's This would have been absolutely perfect for a Halloween read. I'm...as you can see a month behind. Oh well. I still enjoyed it. The author delivers the perfect ghostly treat for fans of gore-splashed '70s and '80s horror. The interesting aspect of this is the main character, Mike, isn't exactly hero material. He was hired to repair an old haunted house next to a cemetery in time to open in October. Mike is distracted by a pair of strange visitors. The setting is inspired by the actual Bachelor's Grove Cemetery in Midlothian, Illinois...a place rumored to be haunted. In Everson's hands, the haunted site transforms into a bloodbath of epic proportions in the final act. Another solid effort by the always reliable Everson. If you like horror...check out some of his other books.

  10. 4 out of 5

    destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]

    I love haunted house stories, and I love haunted house attractions, so when I realized this was going to be a book about an actual haunted house being turned into an attraction, I was immediately sold. As someone who enjoys frequenting haunted house attractions every October, I’d be lying if I said I haven’t entertained the thought a few times—what if this house was really haunted? What if some of these people aren’t actors? “Fuckin’ A,” Mike whispered to himself. “This is not a good house.” I love haunted house stories, and I love haunted house attractions, so when I realized this was going to be a book about an actual haunted house being turned into an attraction, I was immediately sold. As someone who enjoys frequenting haunted house attractions every October, I’d be lying if I said I haven’t entertained the thought a few times—what if this house was really haunted? What if some of these people aren’t actors? “Fuckin’ A,” Mike whispered to himself. “This is not a good house.” Unfortunately, The House by the Cemetery failed to live up to almost all of my expectations. This was my first time reading anything by John Everson, and I can’t say that I’ll be rushing to try any of his other works in the future. First, the writing style and I did not mesh at all. There is a consistent over-usage of ellipses that was extremely off-putting, and the general sentence structure in much of the narrative felt disjointed and unnatural. Beyond the writing, while the book switches perspectives often, the primary main character is Mike, the handyman who’s been hired to make the old abandoned shack usable enough for a season as a haunted house. He starts off the book with a good head on his shoulders—he’s heard the stories and he’s incredibly reluctant to step foot in the place, much less desecrate it by ripping out walls and replacing floors. He’s interesting enough for the first little bit, but then he meets Katie—a girl who, for the record, he establishes very early on is likely way too young for him—and he becomes so sex-crazed and lust-blinded that I couldn’t stand it. She constantly says and does strange things, but this grown man who should know better ignores them all because he’s so desperate to get in her pants. You see the “twist” with her character coming a million miles away, yet Mike somehow doesn’t predict it—and even when it’s revealed, his reaction is unlikely, to say the least. The final issue I’ll mention is that this book needs a team of sensitivity readers desperately. For one, the incessant fat-shaming literally reaches eye-roll worthy levels at times because it’s so over the top. On top of that, there’s an entire discussion regarding horror’s treatment of women and people of color which could have been something great, but instead turned into a vaguely preachy “people need to stop victimizing themselves” session. Honestly, though, if you follow my horror reviews, you already know that I rate the genre lightly at times—problematic content is not enough for me to immediately trash the entire story most of the time, so it’s not like this would have been a positive review without those things. While they absolutely didn’t help my enjoyment of the story, at the end of the day, I just found this to be a mediocre haunted house story with a lot of unlikable characters and an anti-climactic plot I couldn’t bring myself to care about. I tried really hard to finish it, but ultimately caved and wrote the story just past the halfway point. All quotes come from an advance copy and may not match the final release. Thank you so much to Flame Tree Press for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Richard K. Wilson

    Wow!! This will make me think twice about how i feel going into a Halloween Haunted Atrraction! This book was CREEPY and the gore was through the Basement Roof!! Check out my video book review here on my Youtube Channel; AreYouIntoHorror https://youtu.be/RM0RDN6Wv5Q So, with this being the very first book i have read or listened to by John Everson, it has got me hooked on wanting to read more by him! The story is based on a actual, and really haunted cemetery in Bachelor's Grove, Midlothian Illino Wow!! This will make me think twice about how i feel going into a Halloween Haunted Atrraction! This book was CREEPY and the gore was through the Basement Roof!! Check out my video book review here on my Youtube Channel; AreYouIntoHorror https://youtu.be/RM0RDN6Wv5Q So, with this being the very first book i have read or listened to by John Everson, it has got me hooked on wanting to read more by him! The story is based on a actual, and really haunted cemetery in Bachelor's Grove, Midlothian Illinois. Let me tell you, the title is actually the title of a very famous Italian Horror director Lucio Fulci's movies' 'The House By The Cemetery', and this book was ten times grosser and more scary than that movie could have ever been! 50 years ago, the 'House' in the title and the book was the sight of where a supposed witch was tortured and murdered and it is now rumored to be haunted by her spirit, and constantly inhabited by Devil worshipers who do their black magic and sacrifices in there. Mike Kostner is a down and out on his luck construction worker and he is hired to go in and get this house to be ready for transforming into what is hoping to be the 'Best of the Best Haunted Attractions in America, with Frights never seen before!!' Mike hears the local legends and lore around the house and does not believe them at all. After a couple of days work, he is suddenly and out of nowhere greeted by two young woman that appear from nowhere and scare the hell out of him. Katie and her friend Emery, tell him they are just excited to see this turned into the haunt and tell him they cannot wait to go thru it. Katie asks Mike if she can help with the work, and tell him that her father did the same type of work and it always fascinated her. She tells him that 'many many people were killed and dismembered in this house and cemetery, you do know that, right?' He says no, he did not believe in all that mumbo jumbo. As he starts to hear and see things, and his tools start disappearing, Mike starts to wonder if there is something really going on with the house by the cemetery. A group of make up artists, scare actors from all over are hired and brought in to design and set up the house for the month of October, and they do this so amazingly and devoted to all the Fulci and Argento films, there is a 'Demons' room, a 'Suspiria' room, and so on, and they do this so well that it is just creepy reading about the prep of the house. There is also a Texas Chainsaw Massacre room complete with the 'dining scene', as well as Friday the 13th, Scream, The Exorcist rooms also. From the first sighting that Mike has early one morning of a long grey haired and scary looking lady walking among the tomb stones, he starts believing in the witch, as she suddenly disappears in a haze right in front of him. What ensues in this book, takes the reader to the most gory, intense, and scary trip thru a haunted house, that even I would never want to experience. Remember when you first saw the movie 'He Knows Your Alone' (Tom Hanks very first film!) and you just never forget 'The Wedding Killer' hiding out in the haunted house ride at the carnival, and you remember saying....."oh! HELL no!' get out of that ride?. I do and this is my biggest fear. The book has the most disgusting scenes of horror, scares, and gore in the second half of the book that you think the body count is never going to end! Is Katie somehow tied to all this, is there real ghosts and demons killing all the guests and workers in the house or is it all in Mikes and the owner of the houses minds? You will never forget this book and let me tell you, you will never go into another haunted house attraction or ride and not think of 'The House by The Cemetery!" I recommend this so much, I cannot wait for him to write another book about Bachelor Grove!!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kenneth McKinley

    The House by the Cemetery is meant for horror fans. You know who we are. We're the ones that go to the midnight showings of classic Carpenter, Craven or even Argento or Fulci flicks. We have the wal-to-wall collections of horror Blu Rays. Halloween is our national holiday. And we go to haunted houses, no matter how crappy of an attraction they are. That's us and that's who Everson wrote The House by the Cemetery for. We get it. We understand the industry and HOUSE has everything that we love abo The House by the Cemetery is meant for horror fans. You know who we are. We're the ones that go to the midnight showings of classic Carpenter, Craven or even Argento or Fulci flicks. We have the wal-to-wall collections of horror Blu Rays. Halloween is our national holiday. And we go to haunted houses, no matter how crappy of an attraction they are. That's us and that's who Everson wrote The House by the Cemetery for. We get it. We understand the industry and HOUSE has everything that we love about it. A dilapitated house sits vacant by an abandoned cemetery. Outside of thrill seekers, it's been dormant for many years. But the rumors are passed down from generation to generation. This place was used for a cult killing by a group of witches back in the 1960s. Stories of ghosts hitchhiking nearby, strange happenings and haunted tales permeate the local legends for years. The house is a royal pain in the ass for the county. Law enforcement has to chase off ghost hunters and thrill seekers every year. So when a local entrepreneur comes calling and offers to turn the property into a haunted house attraction, the county jumps at the chance to alleviate this headache and score some bucks in the process. Mike, a down-and-out handyman, is hired to renovate the place so that they can turn it into the tourist attraction that it was envisioned to be. Wouldn't you know it, Mike learns that every rumor has a grain of truth somewhere and you can't keep a good witch down. While HOUSE has a fantastic setting that is just screaming for a horror story to be written about it, the characters are the glue that hold this story together. Mike is a likable guy that you can easily relate to. Katie is that mysterious, flirtatious girl you've seen work her charm on numerous lonely guys, over and over. The cast and crew, putting together and running the attraction, all have personalities that we know like the back of our hands. It all feels comfortable and familiar. This is how Everson is able to pull this story all together. Sure, there are some parts where you kind of roll your eyes, maybe a character should ask a few more questions, but they're not deal breakers. HOUSE is easily the best thing Everson has written. The guy has talent and you can see it in his past catalog. Hell, you don't get a Bram Stoker Award for being a hack. But, for me, HOUSE is the story where he put it all together. Atmosphere, character development, dialogue, interesting storyline, an homage to the genre that I know and love, and suspension of disbelief. Some writers age like a fine wine. Here's to hoping for an extended run of this particular vintage very soon. It's intoxicating. 4 1/2 Secret Rooms out of 5 You can also follow my reviews at the following links: https://intothemacabre.com http://intothemacabre.booklikes.com https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5...

  13. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    This is a tough review to write. Overall, I did enjoy The House by the Cemetery. It was cheesy B-horror movie fun, and I was entertained throughout most of the book. It was fairly predictable, but it's a comfortable haunted house / slasher-esque novel. This book did some confusing things with its diverse characters. I really can't tell if this was an attempt at creating diverse characters, or if the point was to consistently point out how different they are. The minority characters could barely This is a tough review to write. Overall, I did enjoy The House by the Cemetery. It was cheesy B-horror movie fun, and I was entertained throughout most of the book. It was fairly predictable, but it's a comfortable haunted house / slasher-esque novel. This book did some confusing things with its diverse characters. I really can't tell if this was an attempt at creating diverse characters, or if the point was to consistently point out how different they are. The minority characters could barely enter a room without their race being commented on, and it is really drilled into the readers' heads that one of the characters is fat. It felt very unnecessary, and if this was an attempt to create diverse characters, I think a sensitivity reader should probably be hired next time. If this wasn't the point, then it was just off-putting & unnecessary. There was a bit more relationship drama than I usually prefer in my horror novels. There were several eye roll-worthy moments, but I think that was just the B-horror movie aspect. I would have enjoyed the book more with less of these storylines, though. There are a ton of characters in The House by the Cemetery, and it takes a bit to get used to everyone. They aren't hard to keep track of; it just kind of feels like you don't really need to learn everyone's names. I think I would really enjoy this as a movie. The gore toward the end was a lot of fun, and everything did wrap up pretty well. I preferred the last portion of the book with the crazy blood & guts, and I wish there would have been more sprinkled throughout the story. The House by the Cemetery is an enjoyable story, but it could have been more refined.

  14. 5 out of 5

    John

    Story - 4.2 Stars Narration - 4.0 Stars This was entertaining! A nice, steady buildup with some gore interspersed, climaxing in a gore-fest extravaganza! My favorite character turned out to be a ghost, so that shows how much I know. But I loved the happy ending! ;) Bloody fun, not bloody excruciating! Recommended

  15. 5 out of 5

    Bob/Sally

    As a huge fan of John Everson, there were few Flame Tree Press titles that I was more excited about than The House by the Cemetery. An abandoned house by an abandoned cemetery. Stories of Satanic sacrifices and ritual murders. A decades-old haunting by a real witch. Hidden rooms, secret doors, unexplained blood, and coffins in the basement floor. Is there a better place to build a haunted house attraction for Halloween, much less a better setting with which to build a story? Unfortunately, as exc As a huge fan of John Everson, there were few Flame Tree Press titles that I was more excited about than The House by the Cemetery. An abandoned house by an abandoned cemetery. Stories of Satanic sacrifices and ritual murders. A decades-old haunting by a real witch. Hidden rooms, secret doors, unexplained blood, and coffins in the basement floor. Is there a better place to build a haunted house attraction for Halloween, much less a better setting with which to build a story? Unfortunately, as excited as I was, I have to be honest, I was disappointed in this. For one, it's too long. This feels like a great short story, or even a solid novella, stretched out and padded into a full-length novel. It takes far too long to get going, and when it does, it's largely formulaic. There were no surprises, no shocks, just the confirmation of plot twists I suspected from the opening chapters. It doesn't help that the characters are horror cliché foolish, prone to poor decisions, and blind to what's going on around them. Now, with all that said, there was some great atmosphere to the opening 50 pages . . . some creepy, unsettling scenes that I just wish the book could have sustained. Similarly, the final 50 pages are over-the-top bloody fun, chaotic horror that really takes advantage of the haunted, haunted house setting. The prologue is one of the best scenes in the book, followed closely by the epilogue, which means it begins strong and ends strong. It's just a shame that there are so many prolonged soft spots in between. The House by the Cemetery is just fine for a bit of B-grade Halloween horror, but don't judge Everson by its flaws - he's a much better writer than we see here. https://beauty-in-ruins.blogspot.com/...

  16. 5 out of 5

    Robin Bonne

    The character introduction scene dialogue was written in a way that was confusing. I had difficulty telling which one was buying the house, and which one had the ex wife. After rereading it three times, I finally figured out Perry is buying the house, and Mike has the ex wife. Perry still talks to Mike’s ex wife. Chapter two introduced me to more problems, such as these sentences- “Plus, Sunday had run wrong...lonely.” “But step by step he approached the old house...that sound receded.” I’m left c The character introduction scene dialogue was written in a way that was confusing. I had difficulty telling which one was buying the house, and which one had the ex wife. After rereading it three times, I finally figured out Perry is buying the house, and Mike has the ex wife. Perry still talks to Mike’s ex wife. Chapter two introduced me to more problems, such as these sentences- “Plus, Sunday had run wrong...lonely.” “But step by step he approached the old house...that sound receded.” I’m left confused. As I am reading a galley copy, the sentences may have changed in the final release. As I progressed upon the page, missing commas, and strange punctuation jumped out at me from the page, hindering my enjoyment. I tried to enjoy this, as the truly haunted, haunted house premise is one that I find genuinely interesting. I am sad that technicalities prevented me from finishing this one. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free copy of this ebook in exchange for an unbiased review.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Karl

    This Is an advanced reading copy uncorrected proof of the book and is signed by John Everson.

  18. 5 out of 5

    tyoung2058

    Love a good ghost/witch story.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Irene

    When Mike is offered a job shoring up a ramshackle old house to make it safe enough to walk through so that it can be turned into a Halloween attraction, he is not overly excited by the idea. For the last 50 years or so, rumors have circulated that this house is haunted. Not having worked steady for quite a while and in need of money he reluctantly agrees. There are strange happenings as soon as he starts working but for some reason a befuddled Mike doesn't quit his job. It kind of bothered me w When Mike is offered a job shoring up a ramshackle old house to make it safe enough to walk through so that it can be turned into a Halloween attraction, he is not overly excited by the idea. For the last 50 years or so, rumors have circulated that this house is haunted. Not having worked steady for quite a while and in need of money he reluctantly agrees. There are strange happenings as soon as he starts working but for some reason a befuddled Mike doesn't quit his job. It kind of bothered me when Mike was not the least bit suspicious when a couple of random girls showed up to hang out at the house with him, and that he didn't seem to find it odd that he could be talking to them one minute and turn around and they were gone. It was just a bit too obvious and predictable for me. Towards the last half of the book there is lots of blood and gore for those of you who like the gross out factor but I just didn't find it to be as frightening as I had hoped. I received an advance copy for review.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Frank Errington

    Review copy John Everson writes some of the darkest horror imaginable, sprinkles it with a healthy dose of sex, and yet it's easy to believe every word he puts to paper. His latest story, The House by the Cemetery is the quintessential October release. The tale of a purportedly haunted house by a cemetery being refurbished as a Halloween attraction. John wastes no time by giving us a small taste of things to come, right in the Prologue... "Someone had slit the woman's throat. The murder weapon lay Review copy John Everson writes some of the darkest horror imaginable, sprinkles it with a healthy dose of sex, and yet it's easy to believe every word he puts to paper. His latest story, The House by the Cemetery is the quintessential October release. The tale of a purportedly haunted house by a cemetery being refurbished as a Halloween attraction. John wastes no time by giving us a small taste of things to come, right in the Prologue... "Someone had slit the woman's throat. The murder weapon lay nearby on the floor., the knife's silver blade coated in dark read. A spray of blood bled down the wall beside her in visual opposition to the light that bled up the wall. If was a study in opposites...the only constant was the color." The House by the Cemetery is filled with fully fleshed out characters. There's the flawed carpenter hired to refurbish the house just enough to make it safe for hundreds of people to pass through every night leading up to Halloween. The paranormal investigator out to protect the spirits in the house and by extension, the patrons paying to be frightened. The team of room designers, effects artists, and actors doing their best to scare the nightly visitors. And then there's the witch of Bremen Coven. Everson's love for his craft is evident throughout. I've found myself reading a number of haunted house stories this year. For me, it's the trope that never gets old an this is a particularly effective story. More fun than any haunted attraction I've ever been to. Just in time for my favorite holiday. If you only read one Halloween story this year, be sure to make this the one. As a footnote to any movie producers who might see this. The House by the Cemetery would make one helluva film. Recommended. The House by the Cemetery is published by Flame Tree Press and is available in every format imaginable. From the author's bio - John Everson is the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of 10 novels of horror and the macabre, including Redemption, the conclusion to his demonic Curburide Chronicles trilogy. He also is the author of four collections of short horror fiction, including his latest, Sacrificing Virgins. John shares a deep purple den in Naperville, Illinois with a cockatoo and cockatiel, a disparate collection of fake skulls, twisted skeletal fairies, Alan Clark illustrations, and a large stuffed Eeyore.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Chandra Claypool (WhereTheReaderGrows)

    OH hey - here's a dilapidated house by the cemetery with rumors of sacrifice and witches - let's make it into a haunted house attraction - surely nothing will go wrong, right?! This is one of those books that reminds me of those horror movies where we have the usual Benetton ad variety group of people, the somewhat cheesy dialogue and you just KNOW things are going to go wrong and get bloody. There's the usual racial stereotypes - (hi Bong!) and that typical insulting back and forth that goes al OH hey - here's a dilapidated house by the cemetery with rumors of sacrifice and witches - let's make it into a haunted house attraction - surely nothing will go wrong, right?! This is one of those books that reminds me of those horror movies where we have the usual Benetton ad variety group of people, the somewhat cheesy dialogue and you just KNOW things are going to go wrong and get bloody. There's the usual racial stereotypes - (hi Bong!) and that typical insulting back and forth that goes along with the characters in these types of situations. Mike was an interesting character - so gullible, easy to brain wash and really thinks with the wrong head. Really, it's like every horror movie that I've watched and have been highly entertained by! My favorite part of the book was the final scenes within the haunted house attraction. All the bloody goodness. I could've done without the "romance" angle with one of the characters - it didn't really add or take away from anything in the book... just felt a little unnecessary. While there's a diverse group of characters riddled throughout and pointed out, it didn't really feel out of place or any different than what you get from a B-type horror flick, which is why it didn't bother me.. we see this all the time and seemed a typical part of this type of read/watch. What it comes down to is this - I was entertained and while I have a love for haunted attractions, I might stay away from a few this season after reading this book. Entertaining and gory, this is a great read for the Halloween season. Thank you to Flame Tree Press for this copy.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Catriona Lovett

    Sick, Scary Fun This is not a book for the squeamish. But, if you're a real horror fan, this is the perfect read, especially for the weeks leading up to Halloween. You'll never feel safe in a Haunted House attraction again. I loved all the references to the more obscure horror movies. I now know what films to look for to fill in the gaps in my horror movie education! The movie references also seemed to play a part in how easily I could visualize the action. The author vividly brought the differen Sick, Scary Fun This is not a book for the squeamish. But, if you're a real horror fan, this is the perfect read, especially for the weeks leading up to Halloween. You'll never feel safe in a Haunted House attraction again. I loved all the references to the more obscure horror movies. I now know what films to look for to fill in the gaps in my horror movie education! The movie references also seemed to play a part in how easily I could visualize the action. The author vividly brought the different characters to life. None of them were very deep people, but I felt empathy enough to care about them and each played a pivotal role in moving the story to its conclusion. The House by the Cemetery could easily make a creepy, gory, bloody addition to the world's repertoire of horror films. In the meantime those of us with active imaginations have the book!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Latasha

    this was a wild and kinda fun book. Mike is something though!

  24. 4 out of 5

    WendyB

    Not sure if the word enjoy would be the correct one for a book that ended with that much of a bloodfest... but I did like it. :)

  25. 4 out of 5

    Leviathan Libraries

    House by the Cemetery’ was a fun read that tried its hardest to be the embodiment of a bad-good B- movie in book form. It almost succeeded wildly. The only problem was I felt like it just tried a little bit too hard at times. Also, there was the issue with diversity being approached in a manner that felt a bit wrong. I don’t know why the author chose to approach it in the manner that he did, but it always felt a bit ham-fisted. There’s only so many times you can refer to one character as “fat” b House by the Cemetery’ was a fun read that tried its hardest to be the embodiment of a bad-good B- movie in book form. It almost succeeded wildly. The only problem was I felt like it just tried a little bit too hard at times. Also, there was the issue with diversity being approached in a manner that felt a bit wrong. I don’t know why the author chose to approach it in the manner that he did, but it always felt a bit ham-fisted. There’s only so many times you can refer to one character as “fat” before readers start rolling their eyes. (That’s just one example.) There were a few more issues, but they were easy enough to look past in enjoyment of the story. I liked the concept of rehabbing a haunted house to be a Haunted House. That was neat. As was the multiple opportunities that this book gives to make good/bad puns. In fact, I’m pretty sure there’s one element included only so reviewers (specifically ones like me) can say “He really got nailed” with a semi-straight face. Of corpse, maybe there was a different reason, but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. This was my first time reading John Everson. I’m not quite sure how I’ve never come across him before, given that this type of book is exactly the sort I would gleefully pick up on my own. And, overall, I did enjoy ‘The House by the Cemetery’. It was easy to read, had tons of one-liners that made snicker, and had me wanting to binge on classic horror movies. This is not a book that will surprise you at all, but it will give you a few hours of mindless enjoyment. Sometimes that’s all you need, right? Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review consideration.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Karolyn

    This was a fantastic horror book. I don't read many nowadays but this was great. An old house, meant to be haunted, what better place to set up a haunted house for Halloween? The writing was good and the characters worked great together, the horror theme worked throughout the book for me along with a nice vivid imagination! Loved it This was a fantastic horror book. I don't read many nowadays but this was great. An old house, meant to be haunted, what better place to set up a haunted house for Halloween? The writing was good and the characters worked great together, the horror theme worked throughout the book for me along with a nice vivid imagination! Loved it

  27. 5 out of 5

    Red Lace Reviews

    The house by the cemetery has always had a ghostly reputation, ever since something terrible took place on its grounds decades earlier. Embracing the rumours and the fascination that comes with it, a group of horror lovers take over and transform each and every room into a Halloween paradise. Mike Kostner finds himself neck-deep in the new and popular attraction, but whilst it may have started as just another job to pay the bills, it soon turns into a struggle of love and death. (WARNING: This re The house by the cemetery has always had a ghostly reputation, ever since something terrible took place on its grounds decades earlier. Embracing the rumours and the fascination that comes with it, a group of horror lovers take over and transform each and every room into a Halloween paradise. Mike Kostner finds himself neck-deep in the new and popular attraction, but whilst it may have started as just another job to pay the bills, it soon turns into a struggle of love and death. (WARNING: This review contains MAJOR spoilers.) I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I thank Flame Tree Press for giving me the opportunity. This was my second Everson visit, as earlier in the year I read and reviewed his spider-themed Violet Eyes. The experience of this book was largely similar to the previous, in that I enjoyed some aspects and yet didn't care for others. One thing both titles had in common was the introduction of a sizeable amount of characters, and I often found it a jarring ordeal in trying to remember everyone and where exactly they fit in. In particular, the group of designers that worked on the house muddled my mind; I found myself getting frequently mixed up with their names and that, in turn, led to some frustration. I however understood their importance in terms of references, as the plot itself took advantage of mentioning various classics of on-screen horror. Most notably, the Italian director Dario Argento was appreciated in more ways than one, and the usual contenders such as The Exorcist and Hellraiser also had their moments in the spotlight. Anything else these numerous personalities offered were simply redundant, apart from their predicted deaths, and so I honestly felt that there were far too many pieces on the board. My interest primarily lay with Mike and his very bizarre relationship that blossomed over the space of several weeks. At first, Mike appeared to be the respectable sort, and a very decent protagonist, but as time progressed, his sense of character dwindled pathetically until I felt the story was trying to force suspension of disbelief. I couldn't quite wrap my head around his self-destructive obsession with the woman in question - was it purely to do with sex? It occurred to me then, that perhaps his mind was being influenced, or even charmed by way of supernatural forces. There was no direct confirmations of it, but it was a better explanation than simple idiocy. His reactions, or lack thereof when it came to certain revelations, were either a very poor depiction of character, or a clever portrayal of bewitchment. Either way, it wasn't made clear, which leads me to believe the overall intention was to evoke speculation. Of course, the blood-soaked carnage came into play, yet it was later than expected. Most of the early chapters actually consisted of unnecessary details revolving around the restoration of the house. I skimmed over multiple portions that delved too deeply into carpentry, and at one time or another I stopped altogether. Filler definitely serves its purpose, but it can be deathly stale. That said, toward the end is where events took a turn for the better; a mountain (or bridge as it were) of gore took the forefront, and some scenes were extremely well written and memorable. Indeed the tone took on a B-movie quality, but that was the opposite of a bad thing. The element that most intrigued me was the history surrounding Bachelor's Grove, and the coven of witches that were mentioned multiple times throughout. It offered a tremendous amount of potential that I feel was wasted, especially when the beginning was so slow and could have benefited from some flashbacks. Disappointment was in abundance in that regard - Katie and Emery's past really appealed, I would have been thrilled to discover more. In conclusion: Everson's murderous brutality really stood out, however it felt like a long journey to finally reach the peak. Unfortunately, the padding left me disinterested and I scanned over some earlier scenes that dragged on. Despite my complaints, I do still recommend this one. Notable Scene: Jeanie now realised that there was a difference between the screams that they'd elicited in patrons from an unexpected scare versus those in a true deadly situation. The cries of true horror sounded different. It wasn't something she could have explained, but you could hear it. © Red Lace 2018 Wordpress ~ Booklikes ~ Twitter

  28. 4 out of 5

    Keith Chawgo

    Everson’s new novel is a well deserved treat for all horror fans. Taking a premise that deals with making a haunted house attraction in an actual haunted house and mixing it with horror films extraordinaire would be a hard pill to swallow. In the capable hands of Everson, we are rewarded with an excellent novel that doesn’t shy away from true horror with a depth of emotion thrown in to make a well rounded fully realised story. The story starts out with a legend of a house that is home of a witch Everson’s new novel is a well deserved treat for all horror fans. Taking a premise that deals with making a haunted house attraction in an actual haunted house and mixing it with horror films extraordinaire would be a hard pill to swallow. In the capable hands of Everson, we are rewarded with an excellent novel that doesn’t shy away from true horror with a depth of emotion thrown in to make a well rounded fully realised story. The story starts out with a legend of a house that is home of a witch who died. From this starting point, we are given full fledged rounded characters that are fully realised. We have a pair of paranormal investigators giving the prophesy of doom and a group of people who love horror and actually live it in their fandom lives. This is where Everson masterfully crafts a story that makes you care for all the characters involved. The only downfall to this expedition is the character of Mike and his weakness . I found him weak and pathetic though he works very well in this world. To contradict this point, he is well written but I found him frustrating but he does work and the story would suffer without him in it as you need this balancing point. The only other sour critique I can really give is that the female names are a bit too similar to each other and it was kind of difficult to get them straight in my mind. These are very minor critiques in the overall play of the novel. The setting and legend are very well described and handled and Everson proves he is a worthy winner of the Bram Stoker Award. He doesn’t write in pretentious prose but writes deep and interesting characters in a fantastic setting giving the novel something to relate to and care about. He shows off by the way of showing his love of horror films which is cleverly woven within the narrative. This is a very richly written book that never lulls nor does it ever fail to satisfy the reader. In recent years, horror has always had its ups and downs especially in the horror market where we have a lot of imitations to the King throne with a lot of failed attempts. Due to self publishing saturating a market with a lot of questionable debut, it is important that true lovers of the genre find Everson’s work as they will realised that horror bypasses the millennium humdrums of King and Hill and that there is some excellent talent out there ready to take over the throne. House by the Cementary is an important piece of work for the modern horror fan. He has taken the normal tropes of the genre and added and spiced them up to fit a world that is jaded within the horror community. He is excelled in every way possible with a good read that is solid contender to the world of horror. This is must for all dark fiction readers. Overall, this is a winner of a book and a fantastic ode to the genre fans with rich characters, fantastic plotting and an accessible writing style that yearns the reader to want more. This is one of those books that I will be recommending to all our listeners on our podcast and will definitely be edging our subscribers to read in our next newsletter. This is love letter to the world of horror told in an original thought provoking story. This is one of the must reads of 2018. Highly recommended.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Yolanda Sfetsos

    Well, it's time to review my last Flame Tree Press ARC. This is one of the horror titles I was looking forward to reading because I love the cover, and I'm a sucker for a haunted house story. 😁 When Mike's friend asks him to help make the abandoned house by the cemetery safe enough to have crowds of people go through it's doors and many levels on Halloween, he's not sold on the idea. Turning a place that is rumoured to be haunted by a witch into a haunted house attraction during October doesn't ap Well, it's time to review my last Flame Tree Press ARC. This is one of the horror titles I was looking forward to reading because I love the cover, and I'm a sucker for a haunted house story. 😁 When Mike's friend asks him to help make the abandoned house by the cemetery safe enough to have crowds of people go through it's doors and many levels on Halloween, he's not sold on the idea. Turning a place that is rumoured to be haunted by a witch into a haunted house attraction during October doesn't appeal to him, but it appeals to the group of people who are going to decorate and run the place. But then Mike meets the attractive Katie. She's eager to help and keeps him company while he works. So he's determined to keep coming back to finish the job. No matter what... So. Okay. Like I said before, I was excited about this book. It started out well, I was totally into it and really enjoyed the first two parts. I especially loved the way Part One ended because it was so cool. It confirmed something I'd suspected, and to have it revealed in such a shocking way was great. My main problem with this story turned out to be Mike. While I liked him quite a bit while he was working on the house, I had a lot of trouble with how he deals with a certain revelation. It just didn't seem right. Didn't fit the way his character was unfolding. Makes him seem like a bit of a moron who finds out something absolutely ghastly, but doesn't care. As long as the sex is good, he goes along with anything and everything. Yeah, that really bugged me. Although I got the feeling he was lonely and heartbroken, I never got the impression that he was stupid. He was level-headed, so I had a hard time accepting his whatever attitude about all the gross stuff he sees and does just because he wanted to be with Katie. I mean, I know love/lust can make people blind but this was a bit much. The story is told in multiple POVs, which was a great way of giving the book a fun angle. I got a real kick out of all the horror movie references, and how creative the crew was in setting up the different scenes inside the house. BUT, there were too many POVs thrown into the last part. Some turned out to be too random, while others just weren't deep enough. The balance in the first two parts was thrown off during the last act. And that's when the story lost me. Also, there was another pesky thing that bugged me. A character mentions "an Australian movie about killer sheep". The movie Lon is talking about is called Black Sheep, and is actually a movie made in New Zealand, not Australia. I know it's a tiny thing--more of a pet peeve--but I'm a stickler for horror movie references. The House by the Cemetery is an entertaining and different take on the haunted house trope. It's got quite a few disturbing revelations, a nice setup, some crafty horror references, and leads the reader into quite the gorefest. But for me, the last act lets it down. I love a good splatterfest as much as the next horror freak, but this one was too flimsy. In the end, I didn't feel bad for the victims, didn't care who lived or died, and eventually lost interest in the villain's quest. Plus the ending was pretty meh, IMO. It's a shame because I was sure I would love this.

  30. 5 out of 5

    mel toland

    Love this creepy novel! Everson never disappoints!

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