Two posts in a row! Aren’t you lucky ducks? Well, as I promised, today I’m going to be reviewing E.K. Seaver’s debut novella, The House That Didn’t End. If you’re interested in learning a bit more about the author herself, or the background behind this story, you can jump over to yesterday‘s interview
For now, onto the review!
*Please Note: I received a free ARC copy of this book from the author. I was not obligated to write a positive review and all opinions are my own*
Nothing, not even the creepy house in the woods, can dissuade Ly O’Dare from finishing this scavenger hunt. Where else can a broke seventeen-year-old get enough money to finance her art endeavors and start a business?
Even being snowed in with a sarcastic stranger isn’t too bad, and as long as he is helping her find the hidden staircase, she’ll tolerate his quips. Jackson Evergreen’s quest was something he had been preparing for his entire life. And now he’s finally at the end of it, so close to saving the world when he gets snowed in with a bubbly blonde named Ly. The house is more dangerous than either of them prepared for, though, and Jackson’s suddenly thrust into a situation he didn’t intend to get in and is falling for a girl he only just met.
One thing they know for sure, however, in this house, nothing is what it seems.
To find an E. K. Seaver, you must set a trap. The best option is to lure her in using chocolate, blankets, and a typewriter, but if none of those are on hand, spare books and Broadway music can be easily substituted.
She prefers to be wild and free, though. Whether it includes adventuring through the Rocky Mountains or curled up at a local bookshop, she uses her freedom to produce art. From books to scarves to paintings, Ms. Seaver strives to honor her King in every aspect of her creative works. She desires her stories to hold a meaning beyond the tale and attempts to follow in the footsteps of storytellers who came before her. You can find her and her wild adventures at ekseaver.wordpress.com or on Instagram @ekseaver.author.
My number one priority in books is the characters. If the characters are good, I’m hooked. If they aren’t, I’m out. The House That Didn’t End boasts only a small cast (three characters in all) but they’re all fascinating, deep characters that have a lot of life about them. Let’s go through them in order of appearance and learn a bit more about them.
First up is Ly O’Dare, our protagonist. She’s a smart, spunky girl with a lot of life (and fight) in her. She wants to win the town scavenger hunt so, in her words, she doesn’t have to “get a real job” and instead can start an art business. She needs the prize money to start this business and she’s not going to let anything, even Scottish mythology come to life right in front of her, stop her from achieving her goal. I liked Ly quite a lot, she was so much fun and her banter with the other characters was spot on.
Next up we have Jackson. Ly stumbles upon him in the abandoned, and supposedly haunted, titular house. Even though it’s kind of suspicious that a teenage boy is hanging out there by himself, Ly pushes away her misgivings and immediately recruits him to her cause. Jackson is snarky, wears glasses and definitely has a hidden agenda, but what is exactly, we don’t know till later in the book.
Finally, we have Hecate. Hecate is our villainess, and what a chilling (albeit definitely fun) villain she is. She has evil Arthurian legend woman vibes about her, kind of similar to Morgana and I loved every scene with her in it. She’s the owner (or inhabitant) of this mysterious house and she’s also definitely up to something. The question is, what?
Next to characters, plot is most important, in my humble opinion. And this book really delivered. For one thing, it had Scottish mythology, and I adore Scottish mythology. It had fae, gwyllions (which I’ve never seen in a book before!) riddles, a haunted house (one of my favourite tropes), and half-breeds. It had an evil enchantress, and a naive human girl swept up into the middle of it all. 10/10 recommend.
The plot is pretty simple, since this is only a small novella, but it would make the perfect jumping off point for a novel, or even a series (nudge, nudge, wink, wink). And the ending was A+. Please tell me there’s a sequel coming because I don’t think I can cope with the ending!
The setting here was so good. The House That Never Ends is set entirely in the titular house, which as its name suggests, is a magical house with a maze like quality to it. It’s rumoured to be haunted, and there’s definitely some sketchy things going on it. It’s dark, mysterious and fun, because haunted and/or magical houses are one of my absolute favourite tropes.
Also, even though we don’t get to see it, the Glade sounds so cool and magical. And I would like to go there, please and thank you.
Overall, I really enjoyed this little novella! It’s only small, so I was able to read it in one Sunday afternoon, which I really appreciate, being an extremely busy working woman and all that. I wish authors would write more small books so I could feel like a kid reading a novel in one sitting again, so 10/10 for that.
The characters were so charming and engaging, the plot was fast-paced and never let up for a second. And the house was creepy, and I loved Hecate even though she was kind of bad.
Would I recommend? Definitely! And I can’t wait to see what sort of stuff E.K. Seaver comes out with in the future!
The House That Didn’t End can be purchased at the links below:
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/House-That-Didnt-End/dp/1737462303/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=the+house+that+didn%27t+end&qid=1625841913&s=books&sr=1-1Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58401645-the-house-that-didn-t-endBarnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-house-that-didnt-end-e-k-seaver/1139809494
Thank you for joining me today! Have I convinced you to read this book yet? Go on, I even put the links there for you! Do you like creepy haunted houses, or do you prefer more light and airy settings?