Book Review; House Of Hunger- Alexis Henderson

Page Count 304

Publication date October 2022

Publisher Transworld

GoodReads link

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Synopsis

**********

-Marion Shaw has been raised in the slums, where want and deprivation is all she knows. Despite longing to leave the city and its miseries, she has no real hope of escape until the day she spots a peculiar listing in the newspaper, seeking a bloodmaid.

Though she knows little about the far north–where wealthy nobles live in luxury and drink the blood of those in their service–Marion applies to the position. In a matter of days, she finds herself the newest bloodmaid at the notorious House of Hunger. There, Marion is swept into a world of dark debauchery–and at the center of it all is her.

Countess Lisavet, who presides over this hedonistic court, is loved and feared in equal measure. She takes a special interest in Marion. Lisavet is magnetic, and Marion is eager to please her new mistress. But when her fellow bloodmaids begin to go missing in the night, Marion is thrust into a vicious game of cat and mouse. She’ll need to learn the rules of her new home–and fast–or its halls will soon become her grave

**********

Review

After loving Henderson’s debut novel The Year Of The Witching, so much so it made my top ten of 2020 list, I was eager to see what would come next. The title and cover for The House Of Hunger looked perfect and I was beyond excited to finally get a Netgalley approval to review an ARC.

Whilst the writing and setting are beautifully done, I have to admit I was massively disappointed with this novel. Nothing happened! Where is the plot?

At the very beginning Marion finds an old tooth and the word WRETCHED scratched into the bed in her new home. Excellent set up, I thought, where will this lead? Although it will eventually become clear much later, it’s fleetingly referred to once or twice and is mostly overtaken by the suffocating adoration all characters have of Lisavet, Lady of The House of Hunger. I also found some other interesting threads trailed away as the story progressed, forgotten subplots that could’ve greatly improved the reading experience.

The final few chapters of the novel suddenly pick up pace and are definitely worth reading but it was a long slow slog to get there. Not entirely unenjoyable as the character development is well done and Marion is mostly likeable as a main character but certainly not what I had expected after Henderson’s previous novel.

I should admit here that I’m not a big fan of romance and The House Of Hunger is very much sapphic gothic romance (if you can call the unhealthy obsession of bloodmaids such), more so than horror, which I fear is where my disinterest began. I believe this novel will appeal to a LOT of other readers but sadly I am not one of them.

I still very much look forward to the next Henderson release but will pay closer attention to the synopsis and perhaps read a few reviews and purchase after publication instead. I urge you to pick up The Year Of The Witching if like me you want more spooks than sex.

Features & Functions:

Author: Roxanne Michelle

Dramatic, curly-haired wannabe writer from a nowhere town in Somerset. Stop-starter of all projects great and small. Here to talk books, film, mental health and lifestyle.

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