The Pale House Devil by Richard Kadrey

Excellent horror novella. Ford and Neuland hunt (and kill) the living and the dead. When an assignment goes bad they head west until the dust settles. Along the way the encounter Tilda, a nice girl with a very strange proposition: kill the pale house devil. This little story rockets along to a tidy ending. Not overly scary but some weird and spooky parts. My only gripe is that it’s a novella. I wanted lots more. Hopefully this is only the first book with these characters. I was given a copy and this is my own opinion-three stars and a perfect October read.

That was my posted review, a bit vague and not too much detail. You know, dear reader, that I have a lot more to say about this book! Let’s get into this :

Overall, I liked the book. The characters, setting, monster are well done and it is an interesting premise. I believe this is my first dead guy/undead guy partnership! The plot is Ford & Neuland take jobs where they take out bad guys. Ford kills the living and Neuland kills the dead-because he is also dead. The setup of the plot and introducing the characters was excellent. The story is they have an assignment that goes wrong so they take off to let things settle down. Tilda finds them and offers a very lucrative and mysterious/weird job, which they accept.

Now the story should get going…but this is why I don’t read many short stories or novellas. It got going and got to the end. Boom, in, out, story told, done, the end. Not enough details. Everything is quick and superficial; I wanted more. Neuland’s backstory was the most ‘fleshed’ out (ha ha see what I did there!) part of the book and it was so quick I almost missed it. The characters and the monster and all the details were just slashed from the book, leaving a quite good novella that left me wanting more.

My first thoughts of this book were that I felt like this was a story idea that an agent said yeah that sounds interesting, write me up something and I’ll get back to you; then it somehow got published instead. This could have and should have been an 800 page juggernaut that would have OWNED the book world for October/Halloween tie-ins. There are clues that it could be the first of a series and I am pinning my hopes that it will continue and get the detailed story treatment these characters deserve.

I give it 3 stars because it is really good just really, really short. And take a bit of advice from your old Auntie Otter: do NOT pay retail for this. $17.99!?!??!! that is quite literally the definition of highway robbery. It is already on pre-order at my libraries so wait for it; you can read for free and support your local library at the same time.

Oh hi there 👋 It’s nice to meet you.

Sign up to receive awesome content in your inbox.

You 'OTTER' leave a comment-c'mon, let it all out and share your thoughts!!