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Item - Horror House

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Series: Choose Your Own Adventure (1979-1998) — no. 140
Author: Packard, Edward
Illustrators: Dodge, Bill (cover)
Wing, Ron (interior)
Date: 1993
Number of Endings: 8
User Summary: Your aunt and cousins have just bought a new house, but there have been some strange things happening there... you decide to investigate.
Countersound's Thoughts:

I bought this book when it first came out, and re-read it recently. Overall, not a bad read, as with many other books later in the series there were fewer endings so as to manage to get more storyline in. Although you never reach what I felt would be a satisfying conclusion (the mystery man who is causing all the mayhem never actually trusts you enough to stay willingly), one ending does allow you to see into his past and how he came to be the reason the house seems to be called Horror House. I did enjoy the reason for the hidden rooms underneath the house, and would say this is one of Edward Packard's better works.

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stonemason's Thoughts:

I liked this book -- it's entertaining and suspenseful. It has good plot consistency too -- however, only one of the endings really reveals the whole story. All of the other endings hint at a solution, but aren't nearly as satisfying. I also didn't like the fact that there aren't enough endings (only 8). But there are interesting characters in here, including one (Aunt Lily) who later appears in War with the Mutant Spider Ants.

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yunakitty's Thoughts:

Some parts of this book are surprisingly dark. (possible spoiler) When being held captive by a man who is most likely mentally ill, and is currently pondering killing you for his own safety, you try to reason with him. You ask "What would you like more than anything in the world?" "For you not to exist!" he roars.

That is DARK.

Still, this is a very good book. I agree that there are very few endings; however, less endings means more story. Packard manages to weave the story into itself so that less endings are necessary. The downside of this is that it often doesn't matter what choice you made; you're still headed for the same ending, but you get a few extra pages of dialogue in one choice. But, I didn't like that he wasted two of the eight endings with extremely similar "Your aunt sells her house and you didn't figure out squat" finales. Really, only one of the choices should have led to that, but the other should have looped back into the story. One choice is to encourage her to stick it out, and the other is to say she should sell. But she sells in both! Oh well.

Very interesting, fleshed out characters make this an engaging read. The cover is a little puzzling, however. Yes, that does sort of happen in the book, but it's a very minor thing and not that big of a fire. I guess a lot of the other supernatural occurrences in the story are intangible (hearing noises and feeling vibrations), so they had to go with the fireball incident.

More reviews by yunakitty

Special Thanks:Thanks to stonemason for the plot summary.
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