House of Crows - Lisa Unger

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ Pros: mixes true crime with supernatural aspects, well written

Cons: Creepy in a gross way initially, kinda scattered, could've been just one novel

I don't remember how I came across this series. I have not read any Lisa Unger before, I had the audiobooks in my catalog for a while before actually committing - I think I assumed they would be really long. They were short though, I read/listened to all 4 in a span of 2 days; typically, I don't like giving too much away from such a short read, but there are 4 of them and I feel like 1 review for the entire series will do it justice without spoiling too much.



The story was all in all a great one; The Merle family, riddled with its own present day problems, moves back into a family home that holds its own secrets and issues of the past. The patriarch of the family, Matthew, is living through his own scandal that sent his family reeling and as soon as he moves them back to Merle house, he is ready to get as far away from as quickly as possible.

A lot of different perspectives are given in this series, which I enjoyed. However, from book 1, All My Darkest Impulses to book 2, Fog Descending, new characters/perspectives were added in and had me very confused for the majority of reading it. This is the main reason I wish it had all been compiled into one novel instead of 4 smaller stories; if I had read it in one, continuous book, I would've known that these people all had a part to play in the same story. Having them presented so abruptly in an entirely new book had me thinking we were getting a whole new story as opposed to just another piece of the puzzle. It started to make more sense as I read on, but still.

The parts I loved so much were the Dark Man that was spoken of, a legend that kids talked about reminiscent of the Slenderman phenomena: he grants your wish, you pay the price. A typical spooky ghost story, but what adds to it is the underlying issues within the family and the friend group that comes back together over time to tackle the parts of their past that refused to rest at Merle house. Claire's story was one that had me the most intrigued; I would have read an entire story from her (and Albert's) perspective.

The part I hated the most - and almost DNF the book because of - happened in the first chapter of the first book. Matthew was talking about his daughter and said, "She was way taller than her mother, and even catching up to Matthew. Jewel was a lithe five foot eight, too gorgeous for her own good and his, with silky black hair that hung like a curtain, always in her eyes, and pouty pink lips. And a body that made him see the wisdom in burkas and nunneries." The ICK came on quick and it came on hard, however, I knew that the author was female... so maybe she wasn't being unintentionally creepy with this character. Maybe, she was being intentionally creepy! I decided to push on in hopes that the ICK would make sense later. Luckily, I wasn't disappointed but WHOA I almost threw the whole series in the recycling bin. Disgusting.


Also, please enjoy my GoodReads review and follow me there if you'd like! I didn't leave a review for the third book, Circling the Drain, for some reason.

All My Darkest Impulses | Fog Descending | Love the Way You Lie


All things considered, I recommend this series. It was fun, spooky and had some twists I did not see coming. You can even borrow it for free with your Prime Membership and reach your reading goal in a flash!


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