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House of Dark Shadows (Dreamhouse Kings #1)

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3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  4,901 ratings  ·  632 reviews
Dream house . . . or bad dream?

When the Kings move from L.A. to a secluded small town, fifteen-year-old Xander is beyond disappointed. He and his friends loved to create amateur films . . . but the tiny town of Pinedale is the last place a movie buff and future filmmaker wants to land.

But he, David, and Toria are captivated by the many rooms in the old Victorian fixer-uppe
...more
Hardcover, 295 pages
Published May 6th 2008 by Thomas Nelson Publishers
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jena Marston
Hi everyone, I am doing a book review on House of Dark Shadows, by Robert Liparulo. I signed up with Thomas Nelson publishing to get free books in exchange for a book review on my blog and Amazon.

I have to admit, at first I was worried that this book would have too many religious things in it, which for me is a turn off when I am reading a fictional book, but it didn’t. That said, House of Dark Shadows amazed me! I had a really hard time putting it down.

It follows a family, the King family, who
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Aaron Vincent
Also posted here.

I bought this from Fullybooked thinking that the first two books of the Dreamhouse Kings series combined in one volume and sold for the price of one book is a sweet deal. I was wrong. After reading the first book, House of Dark Shadows, I realized that it should really be sold that way because House of Dark Shadows is nothing but just a 280+ pages long prologue.

Xander King is a fifteen-year old boy who swallowed the whole movie listing is an aspirant movie director. Together wit
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Jackie
When I downloaded the book, I had the wrong impression of it. I thought it was a just horror story. I hate horror movies, but I love horror novels. I thought I’d give it a go since haven’t read one in ages. But, I was wrong about House of Dark Shadows; it’s far from being just a horror story. It’s quite the page turner filled with time travel, adventure, spookiness, and suspense— the kind of suspense that made me subconsciously start reading faster.

When Xander and David found themselves traveli
...more
Mitchel Broussard
What a nice surprise this turned out to be! It's tailor made for anyone who loves old scary houses, secret passage ways, and all the creepy descriptions of things that go bump in the night.

Starting off shooting right out of the gates, the prologue is truly the most gripping andhaunting 5 pages i think i might have ever read. It made me sad, scared, and really wary for every main character from there on out.

Otherwise, it is your usual first-in-a-series-novel origin story. There's the characters'
...more
Seawood
Oct 16, 2011 Seawood rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: creative writing classes as an example of "how not to write teen fiction"
I gave up at 40% and deleted it off my Kindle. Just unbearable rubbish - a good idea absolutely squandered by a terrible writer. Completely unbelievable teenagers, parents who are nothing more than pathetic deus ex machina to give the kids a reason to be in the creepy house. No sense of style whatsoever, no reason to go on. No edge, no dilemmas, no coming-of-age/finding yourself interest. Even the meant-to-be-scary prologue was hard going. Written as though the writer was wishing it was a screen ...more
Book
I heard great things about this book, but for me, it was just "eh." I honestly skimmed through the middle of it. It's probably good for 7th/8th graders, but to be honest, I've read much better geared to that age group.

It just didn't "wow" me. The characters didn't make me love them. I wasn't even really interested in them. Will I read the rest of the series? Not any time soon.

Oh- and one thing that bugged me wicked bad is on pg. 55.

Here it is taken right from the book:

But Xander liked the old Ed
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C.
Genius blend of genuine creepiness with hilarity!
I can't believe no one mentioned the hilarious descriptions of the brother's- Xander and David's fear and nervousness,as they set about exploring this huge house,and investigating noises,such as David being stuck to Xander like a "wet leaf"!

There are actually several tense moments in this story,with an atmosphere of creepiness,interspersed with laugh-out-loud funny incidents such as the one mentioned above,that do not detract from the suspense at
...more
Jessica Saylor

Alright, wow. This book was totally awesome. This book takes a lot of my favorite things, and jumbles it all into one. There is a lot of mystery, suspense, background information, and action. The only thing I felt that it was missing, was a bit of romance. (You guys know what a big romance buff I am. I could spot true love in my sock drawer if I had to.)

Let's start off with the prologue. It rocked my socks off. I was immediately drawn in, and I even made my boyfriend read it just to see what he
...more
Becky

I knew just from reading the premise of this one that I would find much to love in House Of Dark Shadows. (Though the same could be true of reading the premise of 100 Cupboards by N.D. Wilson.) In this case, however, I was proven correct. I only have one bad thing to say about House of Dark Shadows---and that is that it is the first of a series. And the ending...well...it leaves you wanting more. But even that bad news has a silver lining, the sequel Watcher in the Woods is already available. Do
...more
Qt
I enjoyed this intriguing and creepy book. I wasn't overly fond of our hero Xander, but I did like the mystery of the house and the eerie setting, and I loved all the movie references!
Caitlin
I gave this rating a three star review, rather than a two star- based on the fact that this is a book for very young teens. I tried to see it through their eyes, being that this book was written for them- not me.

House of Dark shadows is about a boy names Xander who moves to a new state with his family. Upon arriving, they purchase an old, scary house. Xander and his brother have reservations about it from the beginning. Immediately, they start hearing scary sounds and discovering signs that the
...more
Kleiner
We all know the story. An urban family relocates to a rural town. The teenage protagonist is too cool for Hicksville. They move into a dark, secluded Victorian house that has been empty for decades and was last occupied by a family that disappeared under mysterious circumstances. They see and hear strange things, as the house seems to be alive.

Well, this is just the beginning for the King family in House of Dark Shadows. Liparulo builds a fast-paced adventure on this age-old premise. His writin
...more
Sesana
Is it just me, or does it seem like Robert Liparulo had read House of Leaves very shortly before writing House of Dark Shadows? I kept getting reminded of House of Leaves throughout. Not necessarily a bad thing, of course. There's a lot of great inspiration you could take from House of Leaves. Sadly, this one just doesn't quite seem to measure up, to me.

The first thing that bothered me was how unrealistic the reactions of pretty much everybody were. The whole reason that the King family are at t
...more
April
A very good and well written book. A bit different than I had anticipated....I had been expecting more of a creepy and scary read, however this had bits of that along with adventure. To be honest it reminded me a bit of The Magic Tree House series, only more "grown up". Perhaps The Magic Tree House Series if it had been written by R.L. Stine.... All in all a very interesting and intriguing read and I am anxious to begin the second in the series titled "Watcher in the Woods". I also have to menti ...more
Cαiтℓуn ~Time to start living~
WOW. This book really was just... Wow. It was great. It was a lot of fun. The characters were so awesome and life-like. It made me feel like I was a part of the family. It was pretty intense too, especially at certain parts. I love the brothership between Xander and David. It was so cute. You could tell that the big secret at the end was from the beginning, or at least I guessed it, but it was still a tense moment when the secret is officially revealed. Overall a great book. I regret waiting so ...more
E. Chainey (Bookowski)
Hoş gizemli bir gençlik romanı. Pek anlatmayayım gizemi bozulmasın ama özellikle başlarda ne oluyor yahu diyorsunuz sonra sonra olaylar aydınlanıyor:)
Paula
When 15 year old Xander, 12 year old David and 9 year old Toria are moved to Pinedale from California, they are not thrilled. Their Dad has taken a job as principal in the school in the small town and it is a move up for him. They drive around looking for homes and find one in the woods away from everywhere. It is quite large and Dad thinks it will be great for all of them. Xander and David are having second thoughts about the house. It has strange noises and voices appear to be coming from a di ...more
Dyjuana Davis
This book has not only a tremondus storyline, but a fantastic mysterious feel. I would definetly recommend this book to anyone looking for a good Mystery. It all starts with a nice family. Mom, dad, little sister, and two big brothers.Not the best family but one who managed.Suprisingly not everything is going to well.The Kings are moving from L.A to a secluded small town. Xander, the 15 year old brother, is not to fond of this idea. He wants to know exactly why his dad is making them move, but d ...more
Malbishri3
Xander a 15 year old boy wanted to get out of this new house his family moved to from L.A. that is so creepy and scary, but he cant do anything he is a child and his father told him they are moving for the better. So he tries to explain to his family that there is something going on in this house and that they are not alone but no one but his brother David believes him. Then a strange man/figure kidnaps his mom and suddenly his dad was not supposed and know what was going on! house of dark shado ...more
C.
I bought “House Of Dark Shadows” from a charity and was so enchanted with the haunted house possibilities, I ordered the remaining volumes new. Alas, my search for ghost literature persists. The setting is instead, a fantasy / dystopian / science fiction medley. Nonetheless, a fair reviewer judges what is written. What is fulfilled is my second place passion: proof of physical paranormal workings, like the antigravity meadow and hidden sections of a building. A third element I savour is any secr ...more
Erin (Bookish in a Box)
The Dreamhouse Kings series is an engaging read, centering mostly on brothers Xander and David King, as well as the rest of the King family. When they move to a new home, they discover it has secrets as dark as its past, and they must save themselves from the evils inside.

The premise might sound like a bad B-movie, but don't be fooled: House of Dark Shadows is great entertainment. Personally, I tend to avoid books with male protagonists, but Mr. Liparulo tells the story so skillfully that I forg
...more
Rachel Thompson
Xander King is unhappy because his family is being transplanted from Pasadena to a small town in northern California. The only thing that might make this all turn out okay is their strange, creepy house, which adds excitement into their move.

The entire house's atmosphere really creeped me out. I loved the crazy things Xander noticed about the place, such as the way sound behaved, or how people seemed to appear where they shouldn't be, so I was looking forward to settling in for a truly scary boo
...more
Jesse
Xander King, his parents, and siblings move from Pasadena to Pinedale, a small town out in the country, and while hunting for houses they find one that is a lot more interesting than the rest: tucked away in the woods, in relatively decent shape although it has been abandoned for a few decades, and with a creepy story to go along with it – the last family to live there just disappeared, and rumors abound as to what happened to them.

I’ll admit, at first I was a bit cynical about this one. It is y
...more
Leslie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jill Williamson
Review by Jill Williamson

Fifteen-year-old Xander King is not happy to be moving away from Pasadena, California to live in the tiny town of Pinedale. Everything he’s always wanted was in Pasadena: his friends, his girlfriend, Hollywood. An amateur filmmaker, Xander wants to make movies someday, and living in Pinedale isn’t going to help.

When the Kings finally find a house, it’s nothing like Xander would have imagined living in, and everything he’d expect to see on the silver screen. Haunted isn’
...more
Jessikah
I would give this 2 1/2 stars if goodreads would let me. This wasn't a bad book. It was interesting suspensful and intriguing... howeever here is why it deserves 2 1/2 stars and here, with as few spoilers as possible is why.
The book begins with a horrific nailbiter of a scene depicting the abduction of a woman in front of her family which has something to with the strange house they live in.
From here on out I will be as unspecific as possible but spoilers will be present, so if you are intereste
...more
Victoria
Good, creepy-fare type of novel that has a really intriguing premise and good characters.

Xander is not entirely pleased about moving away from California and into "Hicksville," but when he sees his family's new house, he starts to change his mind. The house seems pretty cool to Xander and his younger brother David, if a little creepy. But slowly the "creepy" starts to ramp up, from unexplained noises to shadowy figures lurking in doorways. Soon, Xander, David, and their parents and sister will
...more
TC
Ok, I think I'm starting to dislike trilogies and series of books. It seems as though that is all I am reading these days, can't one of these books just end at the last page? *sigh*

my thoughts:

1. The prologue is amazing and it sucked me right in.

2. house sounds like a great layout and fun mystery

3. This book takes way too long to get moving

4. Author writes really well and makes you like the characters, if it wasn't for his good writing, I would have ditch the book right away.

5. seems like it was
...more
Colleen
Jul 18, 2012 Colleen rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mindy Terry, Anyone who likes Time stories
Shelves: blog-books
My Take on It: This story took a while to get into. I’m not sure if it was the elaborate descriptions or the whiny attitude of the principal character (Xander) in the initial chapters but at first it seemed cumbersome. Fortunately the chapters were short and within the first 100 pages, things really picked up. I appreciated the map given by the author at the beginning- I think otherwise following all the physical twists and turns in an already convoluted story would have been nearly impossible ...more
Michelle
ABOUT THE BOOKS


(Dreamhouse Kings Book 1)

Dream house...or bad dream?
When the Kings move from L.A. to a secluded small town, fifteen-year-old Xander is beyond disappointed. He and his friends loved to create amateur films . . . but the tiny town of Pinedale is the last place a movie buff and future filmmaker wants to land.

But he, David, and Toria are captivated by the many rooms in the old Victorian fixer-upper they moved into--as well as the heavy woods surrounding the house.

They soon discover
...more
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Robert Liparulo's novels, Comes a Horseman, Germ, Deadfall Deadlock, The 13th Tribe, and The Judgment Stone,have received rave reviews. His short story "Kill Zone" is included in the anthology Thriller, edited by James Patterson. He is also the author of the best-selling young adult series DREAMHOUSE KINGS: House of Dark Shadows, Watcher in the Woods, Gatekeepers, Timescape, Whirlwind, and Frenzy. ...more
More about Robert Liparulo...

Other Books in the Series

Dreamhouse Kings (6 books)
  • Watcher in the Woods (Dreamhouse Kings, #2)
  • Gatekeepers (Dreamhouse Kings, #3)
  • Timescape (Dreamhouse Kings, #4)
  • Whirlwind (Dreamhouse Kings, #5)
  • Frenzy (Dreamhouse Kings #6)
Watcher in the Woods (Dreamhouse Kings, #2) Gatekeepers (Dreamhouse Kings, #3) Timescape (Dreamhouse Kings, #4) Whirlwind (Dreamhouse Kings, #5) Comes a Horseman

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