Ghosts of Manor House – Matt Powers #BookReview

Title: Ghosts of Manor House | Author: Matt Powers | Publisher: Powers Publishing | Pub. Date: 09/06/2017 | Pages: 186 | ISBN13: 9781548462741 | Genre: Psychological Horror | Language: English | Triggers: Child death, suicide | Rating: 3 out of 4

Ghosts of Manor House

Edmund and Mary Wilder are very much in love. But the death of their young son, Tommy, has shattered their family. Edmund is determined to bring them back together, drawing on the only bit of strength he has left—his love for Mary and their daughter, Stephanie. But Mary sinks deeper into depression while little Stephanie’s anger grows. Edmund flounders in his attempts to rescue his family from the brink of collapse and doesn’t know where to turn.

Then Mary receives an invitation for the family to become guests at Manor House, a seemingly quaint Bed and Breakfast. This, she assures her husband, is the answer to all their troubles.

Edmund arrives ahead of his family to spend a couple days working on his long-delayed novel. But his growing curiosity about the old house leads Edmund to an encounter that will change him forever. 

What will you sacrifice for love?

An old fashioned psychological thriller with a nod to Stephen King, Manor House will keep you guessing and compel you to turn the page to the very end. 

A mother will sacrifice anything for her children. A husband will risk everything to save his wife. Manor House will take them all.

Ghosts of Manor House Review

I really love the cover of Ghosts of Manor House. It has a beautiful and eerie feeling to it. I also like that  the tree was featured rather than the house as is typical with haunted house stories.

In general I did like Ghosts of Manor House. It kept me interested and, even though the end is a little easy to see coming, I still wanted to get there. The writing is very good. This is an author that I would like to keep an eye on as I think that once he moves away from his influences I think his writing will be very good. The main issue with it was the heavy feeling of familiarity with it. There were quite a few passages that reminded me distinctly of The Shining.

I wasn’t enthused with the choppiness of the chapters. I think overall it fit the story but I don’t know whether or not it was intentional. Another issue I had with it was the second person point of view. It made it very hard to get attached to the characters because it seemed to keep them at a distance.

In Ghosts of Manor House there were also a few parts that seemed far too brief and unexplained. What did the psychic have to do with anything? Who exactly is Lucas? How old were the kids? I kept getting fluctuating ideas of the children because they are just not described in depth at all. Which is kind of important, Particularly with two specific scenes.

I would also like to ask the author if, besides being inspired by the classic haunted house stories, he also derived a bit of inspiration from Silent Hill 2 for Ghosts of Manor House. The story of Edmund and Mary really brought that to mind.

I liked the little vignettes and the bits of history that we’re shown about the events at the house and tree. In fact, I wish Ghosts of Manor House had been a bit longer. I know that with some ghostie stories we’re not given the full story and reasons for the haunting but this seemed a bit unfinished. It’s very brief and I really would have liked to know more about the house and people. With the mystery of Mary the end revelation seemed to be a bit rushed and wrapped up in just a page or two. Especially in regards to the Kranes. Their wrap-up seemed to be a bit of an after-thought. For as much as they are in the story and how much feels hinted about them, their wrap-up with Edmund seems rushed. I did like the ‘Epilogue’ though. I really liked the character of Charlie, Mary’s brother. He seemed very real and his actions were what normal people would do. I was very interested in his part of the story. Although, again, his story seemed wrapped up pretty quickly when I was hoping for more.

Ghosts of Manor House is short and moves along quickly and, really, the greatest feeling of disappointment with it was that it was too short. Which is really a compliment because I wanted more. More of the history of the house, more story with Edmund and Lucas and Charlie.

There were a few technical issues with the layout of the paperback. The grammar and spelling was spot-on, no complaints there. But there was an odd format error that resulted in sentences like this:

Lucas’ tall frame fills the doorway. “How is everything else?”

“What do you mean?” “How are you?”*

The “What do you mean?” is Edmund speaking. The “How are you?” is Lucas speaking. This happens often in the book. two separate speakers are together on the same line with no identifiers. This happens quite often in the book and I’m assuming that it’s a formatting/printing error as the lines would be perfectly clear if separated.

All in all, I am looking forward to reading Mr. Powers’ next book as I do think he has talent, he just needs to move away from his influences a bit more to find his own voice more firmly.

*Quotes used fall within the Fair Use guidelines