Twelve strangers wake up in a strange house with no memory of how they got there, and barely any recollection of who they are. They quickly learn that there is no way out, scarcely enough food and water to go around, and eerie music plays constantly in the background of every room. There is nothing to explain their mysterious incarceration except for a few scattered clues, a strange clock with twenty-four numbers and one single hour hand, and a leather-bound sheet of rules that makes their situation all the more fatal.
The House Rules:
Rule one: No escape. You can’t leave, plain and simple. Try to escape and you won’t like what you find on the other side.
Rule two: Make what you have last. Whatever food and water you currently find in the house is all that you will be provided with during your stay. No more will be given to you under any circumstance.
Rule three: When the music stops, someone must die. The music you can all hear in the background will cease between the hour of twenty-three and twenty-four; when this happens someone must die. Failure to comply with this rule will result in everyone’s death.
Rule four: Only one, and only when the music stops! One death, and only one death, must occur in the allotted time between the hour of twenty-three and twenty-four. Again, failure to comply with this rule will result in everyone’s death.
We hope you have a pleasant stay, and don’t forget: Redemption is the key to escape.
Author: Sean Davies
Publisher: Sean Davies
Release Date: 27/02/2016
Series: The Houses of Penance #1
Genre: Psychological Thriller
My Chosen Format: Kindle
My Rating of ‘The House of Twelve’: 3 out of 5
I’ll start out by saying that this novella was a lot of fun. It was a quick, enjoyable read that was pure escapism from the dreariness of the real world. Obviously, considering the subject matter is twelve people stuck inside a house from which there is no means of physical escape, the word ‘escapism’ might be the wrong choice … but I’m sticking with it.
Fun though it may be, without it’s issues it was not. My main issue with this book was that the characters were pretty much names on a page and little else. They were incredibly two-dimensional and other than their basic ‘character class’ that each was assigned (one is a brute, another is a womaniser, alcoholic etc …) there was little of note done to expand upon them. I know that each awoke with amnesia, but even amnesiacs would adapt to a scenario rather than simply accept stuff as readily as these people did and go on about their day as though there wasn’t a great deal going on.
I said there was little done to expand upon them and, to a degree that is the flat-out truth. Most of them are barely touched upon because, obviously, when you have so many characters and so few pages, the extra descriptions of their lives is going to go amiss. Plus, with people dying frequently, why bother, eh? When characters were expanded upon, it only really felt like their ‘character class’ was being fleshed out to show you why they were how they were rather than anything to branch away from the ‘I’m this stereotype so I shall act in the way all people of this stereotype will act’ mentality.
There were other minor things, but nothing too big that made the book any less fun to read. Don’t let the above negativity throw you off, it was very fun.
The concept of this book kind of feels like it would be a good movie or something of the sort. I’m not sure if the author was influenced by horror movies in writing this, but I can feel bits of several films bled into the background. Whether that’s a happy accident or not I can’t say.
Overall, despite giving this a three, I would recommend it to anyone who just wants some fun escapism and isn’t too bothered about depth of character.