Review: Malice House by Megan Shepherd

Of all the things aspiring artist Haven Marbury expected to find while clearing out her late father’s remote seaside house, Bedtime Stories for Monsters was not on the list. This secret handwritten manuscript is disturbingly different from his Pulitzer-winning works: its interweaving short stories crawl with horrific monsters and enigmatic humans that exist somewhere between this world and the next. The stories unsettle but also entice Haven, practically compelling her to illustrate them while she stays in the house that her father warned her was haunted. Clearly just dementia whispering in his ear . . . right?

Reeling from a failed marriage, Haven hopes an illustrated Bedtime Stories can be the lucrative posthumous father-daughter collaboration she desperately needs to jump-start her art career. However, everyone in the nearby vacation town wants a piece of the manuscript: her father’s obsessive literary salon members, the Ink Drinkers; her mysterious yet charming neighbor, who has a tendency toward three a.m. bonfires; a young barista with a literary forgery business; and of course, whoever keeps trying to break into her house. But when a monstrous creature appears under Haven’s bed right as grisly deaths are reported in the nearby woods, she must race to uncover dark, otherworldly family secrets―completely rewriting everything she ever knew about herself in the process.

Malice House by Megan Shepherd. Narrated by Katie Schorr. Published by Hyperion Avenue, October 2022. Audiobook run time of 12 hours and 59 minutes.

*Trigger Warning: Briefly mentioned dog murders

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Malice House when I picked this one up to read. Haunted house? Ghosts? Hmm whatever it is, it sounds like a fun time (well for the reader, not so much for the main characters)! I was looking forward to finding out what this story was all about.

I was surprised at the unique family curse concept. Malice is just filled to the brim with twisty twists! So many unexpected turns throughout. I mean, seriously, so many great reveals. Not at all easy to predict! 😮 Awesome!

The characters are so fun. You never fully know who to even trust! You love them but you just aren’t too sure what they are hiding… Is anyone honest in this book?? Def keeps you on your toes the whole time.

There are also some really epic monsters in this story! I just wish we could see more of some of them. 🙂 You get a taste of their stories at the start of each chapter. So interesting and creepy!! But you don’t get to see all of them fully. Some it felt like we hardly saw at all. BOOOOOO! Is it wrong to love these monsters?? ❤ ❤ ❤

My only small complaint is that some of the middle of the book felt to drag on a little bit. Not exactly like it was too long, but more like the main character was on a hamster wheel and not getting anywhere. It felt like it took forever to get to the last 3 hours, but holy hell did Malice House hop back on track fast in those last 2 hours of the book!! That big confrontation towards the end…. DAAAAAMMMMMMMMMN. :O

I really enjoyed the narrators performance. Her voice was just so soothing. A really nice fit for the main characters, especially Haven. The narrator does a great job at keeping all the characters sounding so different. I loved the emotion she put in to her performance. It really matched the characters personalities so well.

Malice House is such a fun surprise! What a unique concept. 😮 Wonderful monster story. Nice and creeeeeepy! 😀 Good or bad, I kinda love everyone in this book. The middle runs in circles a big, slowing the story down a little…. but man the final confrontation MORE than makes up for any slowness in the middle. What a fun time!!

Definitely recommend this book for such a unique, fun time. Pretty interested to check out other books from this author 🙂 Wow, what an ending! Is this the start of a series??


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