Reviews of Dark Fiction


3.5/5 stars!

A HOUSE AT THE BOTTOM OF A LAKE is a great story, but it’s not a horror story.

These two teens awkwardly make their first date for a canoe ride. Both are nervous and shaky, but end up having a great time, especially after they decided to squeeze themselves through a narrow tunnel into a connected but smaller lake. As they paddle around, they can see the roof of a house from above. Each takes a turn diving down to take a closer look and they were right. It is a house. Under a lake. Of course they make plans to return and explore it more thoroughly and that’s where I’ll leave off. What will they find inside of the house? You’ll have to read this novella to find out!

A HOUSE AT THE BOTTOM OF A LAKE could be described as magical realism, and as that, it was fine. It’s not horror, though, which is what I was expecting. As I proceeded with the story, a lot of things didn’t really make sense. Can you become scuba divers in only a few days or weeks? Can you even fit, never mind run, an air compressor, with two people and diving gear in one canoe? Can two 17 year old teens spent nights sleeping on a raft together without their parents freaking out? I tried to put all of this out of my mind as the characters did. “Don’t ask why. Don’t ask how.” It worked about as well for me as it did for them-meaning not that well!

Don’t get me wrong, this was a nice little tale about two teenagers finding love, (and sex too), but it didn’t make a lot of sense at times. Being by Josh Malerman, it was still good, but not great.

*Thanks to the publisher and to NetGalley for the e-ARC I was given, in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!*

A House At The Bottom of A Lake Book Cover A House At The Bottom of A Lake
Josh Malerman
Magical Realism
Del Rey Books

From the New York Times bestselling author of Bird Box and Malorie comes a haunting tale of love and horror, as the date of a lifetime becomes a maddening exploration of the depths of the heart.

The story begins: young lovers, anxious to connect, agree to a first date., thinking outside of the box.

At seventeen years old, James and Amelia can feel the rest of their lives beginning. They have got this summer and this summer alone to experience the extraordinary.

But they didn’t expect to find it in a house at the bottom of a lake.

It house is cold and dark, but it’s also their own.

Yet how to explain the furnishings? The upkeep? The icy sense of something living there still?

And the suction sounds?

Caution be damned, until being carefree becomes dangerous. For the teens must decide: swim deeper into the house—all the while falling deeper in love--or return to the surface, to safety, to sanity?

Whatever they do, they will never be able to turn their backs on what they discovered together. And what they learned:

Just because a house is empty, doesn’t mean nobody’s home.

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