The House that Fell from the Sky by Patrick Delaney
Oblivion Publishing (September 2020)
566 pages; $28.99 hardcover; $17.99 paperback; $2.99 e-book
Reviewed by Dave Simms
This is a great fall book — perfectly placed for those who miss the weird horror of Ray Bradbury and Bentley Little but are aching for something new. Patrick Delaney has arrived with a strong entry into horror that is tough to classify here — is it weird horror, cosmic horror, or something else? Read on. The journey (quite long at 566 pages) is a wild and rewarding one.
What do you do when a house lands in the middle of town, seemingly dropped from the sky? Well, first off, it’s not quite a house. What it truly is defies logic. Several stories tall with unknown rooms within both petrify and intrigue the area. In classic horror novels, the townsfolk would run for cover (save for the clichéd characters in bad movies). True to current unreality that’s taken over our world, everyone treats the unknown entity like a traffic accident that needs to be examined, eschewing any dangers.
Scarlett, Tommy, Jackson, and Hannah meander through life, especially Scarlett, a recent dropout from college at age 29 in search of something to reconnect herself to anything meaningful. She’s the glue that holds the group — and the novel — together in fine fashion here. Every main protagonist is drawn in believably flawed design so that the mixture of the group adds to the intrigue and horror, and elicits true empathy for the characters — something not exactly a given in much of horror today.
Of course, corporate America steps in (a nice touch) and offers up a lottery to determine who gets to be the first visitors/victims to the monstrosity sitting in their city. A cash reward for entering — but exiting could be a bit difficult. A Lovecraftian Hotel California?
When Hannah buys her way in, the others jump in to help save her.
What is the house itself? To protect readers from spoilers, what lurks within is drawn much differently from any generic haunted house. It borrows from the greats and devises something unique.
Delaney has spun a fun tale here that will keep fans of intriguing horror entertained throughout. His storytelling and plot twists sidestep a number of clichés that tend to plague the haunted house subgenre and produces something that will keep everyone on their toes.