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From the Hardcover edition.
Posted December 9, 2011
This is the first John Saul book I've read and I'm certain it won't be the last. Story grabs your interest from page one and doesn't let up.
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Posted September 27, 2009
In Vermont, six months have passed since her mama died from cancer, but fourteen year old Sarah Crane has not had any time to grieve. She is too busy working on the farm while also caring for her grief stricken father Big Ed who uses alcohol to drown his sorrow. Every night he goes to bed drunk and she goes to bed praying to mama to help her.
After hours of drinking at the Fireside Tavern, Ed gets into a brawl with a man who called his late wife a whore. Ed leaves him dead before going home in his truck only to run over Sarah hurting her leg. While he goes to jail, social worker Kate Williams places Sarah in foster care with Mitch and Angie Garvey and their two teenage children Tiffany and Zach. She has almost no one as her new "family" is ice cold and treats her like a slave; while at school Sarah has become a pariah. That is except former mental patient Nick Dunnigan who hears voices and sees visions when he does not use his meds; and her art teacher Bettina Phillips, known in some circles as the witch of Shutters Mansion. The latter mentors Sarah to paint what she feels;: images of the mansion's dark past that matches Nick's visions and releases a power that may prove evil and vengeful.
Though nothing new except modern communication technology has been added to the story line of an outcast teen having paranormal power to enact revenge against those who hurt her yet John Saul provides an entertaining horror tale. The story line is fast-paced from the moment that Ed runs over his daughter and never slows down until the final encounter. Fans will enjoy King's Carrie meets Barrymore's Ever After Cinderella as Mr. Saul writes a suspenseful horror thriller with several past, present, and hints at future twists.
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Posted August 9, 2011
Outstanding book,Saul is a better then King.This story has everything..Dont know why people have to be bullies and down right mean to people..Shara gets the last laugh...
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Posted January 7, 2014
REVIEWED: House of Reckoning
WRITTEN BY: John Saul
PUBLISHED: October, 2009
This book was okay. Not great, not terrible, but pretty standard horror fare. Haunted mental asylum, religious fanaticism, and bullied children with paranormal abilities all included within. I didn’t really care for any of the characters, except the father, who was the only one who seemed to have any real depth of feeling. Everybody else was sooo two-dimensional. I hated the decisions that Sarah Crane constantly made. I suppose that was the author’s intent to create outrage over how she is treated, but it was very heavy-handed, so obvious. Outcast child gets picked on the same way, ridiculed the same way, it just seems so trite. The only times she “talked back” were at the most inopportune moments, yet when she really should have voiced a defense of herself, she doesn’t, such as the dog attack scene. There were very few “surprises,” and most everything was easily guessed from the beginning. Finally, when Batina and the children join forces in the house, is when the book becomes satisfying, and the background of the House explored (even if more questions were raised than answered!). However, all the revenges – though gratifying – seemed somewhat systematic. The epilogue broke voice from the rest of the book, but was funny, and seemed the most “fitting” revenge of all. John Saul’s a talented author, but this book just didn’t seem up to the levels of his competency.
Three and a half out of Five stars
Posted October 22, 2013
This was my first john saul novel and i must say it was absolutely amazing! This is one novel that will leave you on the edge of your seat til the very end and you will not want to cut out the lights when you finish it. I highly recommend this!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 21, 2013
House of Reckoning starts out with fourteen-year-old Sarah Crane, who’s mother died a few months ago, and who gets hit by her Dad’s car when he returns from a night in town, completely wasted. She gets injured badly and will limp for the rest of her life. Her dad gets sent to jail for killing a man earlier that night. Sarah is forced to go live with a foster family, who only accepted the outsiders’ presence for the money it brought them. They’re quick to remind Sarah she has no rights, should do all the chores in the house, etc. The daughter of the family, who has to share a room with Sarah, is less than pleased and starts teasing her at school as well.
Then there’s Nick Dunnigan, a classmate of Sarah’s, who is shunned by most of the high school population as well. Nick hears voices in his mind, countless voices, and all of them tell him to do bad things. Therapy doesn’t help and neither does medicine, although he’d like his Mom to believe it does. But the moment Nick sees Sarah, the voices shut up. He’s surprised by the silence, since they’ve been babbling on for God knows how long, and yearns to find out more about this strange girl who can make the voices go quiet.
Sarah quickly bonds with her arts’ teacher, Bettina. While the entire town thinks Bettina is a witch because she leaves in an old, weathered mansion called Shutters, Sarah finds a kindred spirit in the teacher, who cares for her more than her foster family ever will. But Shutters is a strange place, where the shadowy ghosts of the past live on, haunting the mansion and harming whoever enters with ill-intentions towards its inhabitants…
I liked the idea behind Shutters. It’s not just an “evil” house, the evil is directed toward those who try to harm its inhabitants. I also enjoyed reading about the house’s history, how it used to be a hospital where they took care of the mentally ill, how one sick man turned all those good intentions around and brought forth an ancient evil in doing so. The house itself was so vibrant and entertaining it almost became a character all on its own. Shutters was, by far, my favorite character.
I also liked Sarah. She refused to give up, no matter how many hardships life threw at her, and I can respect that. Nick was okay as well. He was a little less eager to take charge, and was content doing whatever Sarah told him to do. Nevertheless, I liked his personality and thought he was at times quite charming. Bettina was all right as well, even though I wonder why she didn’t just tell the truth earlier. Everybody in town thought she was a witch, while she was probably the sanest person there.
But then there’s the secondary characters, and that’s where the story gets a little meh. Mostly because half what those characters do, doesn’t make sense. It’s over the top, sometimes downright ridiculous and weird. Especially Sarah’s foster family. On top of that, all the father figures kind of act the same way, which doesn’t make a lot of sense either. The secondary characters could use a rewrite, and a lot more personality.
Apart from that, this was a great book. Not that scary, but entertaining enough to keep me reading, and it gave me some goosebumps here and there.
Posted March 5, 2013
Posted January 6, 2013
Posted December 29, 2012
I didnt buy the book but i actually own the book in hardcover and have read its 500 pages several times its a book that will keep you on the egde of your seat with its characters and plot.plus no need to brag but i have the average reading level of a college student and im a human dictionary in my family. I also reckon his other books that i have read. To all of rhose out there: READ THIS BOOK........... OR DIE JK
Posted October 11, 2012
Posted September 21, 2012
Posted May 20, 2014
Posted April 22, 2011
I have always enjoyed horror and supernatural type novels. I usually try to imagine what these would look like on film and many times they get turned into movies or television shows. Here John Saul, who's a very successful writer, makes it so difficult to picture. These characters are cardboard cut out stereotypes who only deviate from that trope when it makes little to no sense. The resolution was pretty close to absurd. I was disappointed in myself that I finished this. I should have read enough half way through. Maybe Saul's other work is better. I'd imagine it'd have to be but I don't think I'll be finding out any time soon.
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Posted February 27, 2011
I Also Recommend:
I have always been a huge fan of John Saul, and "House of Reckoning" is another hit. The tale is creepy, and makes you cringe at the end. Saul offers both horror and suspence in this cripping novel that everyone should pick up.
2 thumbs up and 4 stars for House of Reckoning!
Posted January 12, 2011
Posted May 9, 2010
I Also Recommend:
I have always loved John Saul's books - beginning in college when I borrowed my mother's copy of Brain Child. Then I pilfered all of her John Saul books to read, and I bought each new book as soon as it hit the shelves. Saul's works are dark, always involved supernatural events occurring to children, and his earlier works always closed with the story never really "ending" leaving the reader knowing that whatever haunted the characters will continue on even though the book has ended.
At some point in time, John Saul began writing endings that had closure for the characters. While I still enjoyed reading these books and found them to be just as riveting as his older novels, I longed for Saul to return to writing as he did in the late 1970s.
With "House of Reckoning", John Saul has indeed returned to his roots. This story reminds me of Second Child, Nathaniel and Punish the Sinners. This book is riveting, and there are plot twists that keep you engrossed in the story up to the last page. If you enjoy reading Saul's work, especially his older novels, you will definitely enjoy reading his latest.
AS John Saul has written 36 books in 33 years, he is taking a well-deserved year off from writing. In the interim I will anxiously await his next novel.
Posted February 20, 2010
I always love John Saul books so I was really disappointed in this one. The plot was contrived and silly - the ending ridiculous. I wasn't able to suspend my disbelief through the book and it kept jarring me back to reality. Too many coincidences, too little plausable events even for a supernatural thriller. I had the feeling he was due for a book and cranked it out fast or had someone do it for him. I felt gypped in the end.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 17, 2010
Posted January 16, 2010
I love all his books...Right now I am half way thru the book I will be done with it sometime today...Its a great book...He writes books once you pick it up you cant put it down you dont realize u have read thalf the book and its 3am and you started it at 8pm and you tell yourself you are just going to read for an hour...If you like mystery suspence type books get this one you will love itWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 28, 2009
John Saul has not lost his touch. There are and always will be people who find fault in anyone who is different via injury, opinion or they just happen to be better in certain abilities and that makes them bad, wrong, choose whatever word needed.
If you are poor, you are bad. Lame, bad. Freethinker, bad. Listen to this CD and pray the right of, pardon my paraphrase from Animal Farm, All human are made equal as permitted."
Mr. Saul is still the man when you want a story with sociopaths and bigots House of Reckoning has it all.