Thursday, December 6, 2012

Review: Amber House

Goodreads Summary: "I was sixteen the first time my grandmother died . . ."

Sarah Parsons has never seen Amber House, the grand Maryland estate that's been in her family for three centuries. She's never walked its hedge maze nor found its secret chambers; she's never glimpsed the shades that haunt it, nor hunted for lost diamonds in its walls.

But all of that is about to change. After her grandmother passes away, Sarah and her friend Jackson decide to search for the diamonds--and the house comes alive. She discovers that she can see visions of the house's past, like the eighteenth-century sea captain who hid the jewels, or the glamorous great-grandmother driven mad by grief. She grows closer to both Jackson and a young man named Richard Hathaway, whose family histories are each deeply entwined with her own. But when the visions start to threaten the person she holds most dear, Sarah must do everything she can to get to the bottom of the house's secrets, and stop the course of history before it is cemented forever.
I had requested this one awhile back out of curiosity. It just sounded so creepy and GOOD. Kind of made me think of The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting what with the echoes/visions only in regards to the history of the house. And you guys, history is always made of win for me so I had to check it out. So many awesome things combined! And it was getting lots of incredible reviews from fellow bloggers.

Let's talk guys know characters are SUPER important to me when reading. If the characters don't catch my attention then there usually isn't much hope for me. Characters, to me, just make the novel. And the characters in Amber House were kind of a let down. I felt like I didn't really connect with the cast until the last third or so of the novel. Who had the most in-depth characterization? Who really held my attention? Amber House.

My favorite part of this novel, hands down, were the echoes. I LOVED THESE. Whenever Sarah stumbled into one of these echoes or visions I was immediately engrossed. I wanted to fit all the pieces together. They were just written extremely well. I loved trying to guess what would be a trigger versus what wouldn't lead into a vision. And what they would be of. And they were just awesome. Same with the mystery of it all and the idea of changing the course of history. 

By the last quarter of the novel I had started to get invested, I wanted to find out the weave of the story...what all of the separate story threads were coming together to illustrate. The characters seemed slightly more real to me and the story was fascinating earning it a three out of five stars for its Goodreads rating. I'll probably grab a copy of the sequel, its part of a trilogy, when it hits my library.


  1. I might have picked this one up if it were only standalone. I would have bothered with so-so characters for an intriguing mystery, but I don't see myself getting invested in the story to eventually want to pick up the rest of the series. Thanks for the review.

    1. I totally understand what you mean. Its hard to resign yourself to a lackluster series when there are so many other books out there to read.