Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “House of Dark Shadows (Dreamhouse Kings, #1)” as Want to Read:
House of Dark Shadows (Dreamhouse Kings, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

House of Dark Shadows

(Dreamhouse Kings #1)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  7,003 ratings  ·  850 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
Hardcover, 295 pages
Published May 6th 2008 by Thomas Nelson Inc
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about House of Dark Shadows, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Savana A bit of violence as self-defense but nothing serious, no mature themes either!
Savana There isn't anything inappropriate in here just a bit scary for some. Id say 12 years old should be enough it really just depends on the person and wh…moreThere isn't anything inappropriate in here just a bit scary for some. Id say 12 years old should be enough it really just depends on the person and what they can handle(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,003 ratings  ·  850 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of House of Dark Shadows (Dreamhouse Kings, #1)
Jena Marston
Mar 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 27, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller
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
Aaron Vincent
Sep 13, 2010 rated it did not like it
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
Apr 03, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Jessica Saylor
Jul 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own

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
Oct 15, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  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
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
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'
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
Lesa Divine
Nov 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-it, library, 2017
Nah not what I thought this book was going to be. Didn't connect with no characters. Parents especially dad didn't seem realistic. For there to be these secret rooms in to house going into crazy portals for the world. He's like telling Xander and David oh just don't go in there really. Hmm. SMH. Wasn't scary just plain weird. ...more
Jul 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Spooky, fun, and adventurous; all in all, a great read.
Feb 21, 2019 rated it liked it
A quick listen for me. I liked the adventure of the story and the uniqueness of it all. It’s creepy and mysterious without being too scary. I have a hard time with young adult books because I have a hard time letting logic rest while I read. Ha ha!
However I think older kids will enjoy this. I think it’s recommended for ages 12-16 but I would say maybe 13+. There are some gruesome parts. Not bad but just what I’m thinking based off this first book. I liked that it references several books classi
Long Live Wonderland
Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
House of Dark Shadows was a super easy and fast read. I thought the book was gonna be horror, but it really wasn't. Or maybe that's just me and my inability to get scared of things that are supposed to be horror. The plot was a little predictable, but that didn't stop me from enjoying the book. The characters made questionable descions, but some how it didn't bother me as much as some other books. I am so pumped for the next one! ...more
May 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
3.9/5 stars.
Now he knew how it felt to be like Kevin McCarthy in "Invasion of the Body Snatchers"-a person who knew something was wrong but was chalked up as crazy because he couldn't prove it. He couldn't even count the number of movies featuring that character. If it happened so often on film, it must be pretty common in real life, right?

I don't know why, I just love this series. Don't get me wrong, I know that there a few a few glaringly obvious issues and plot holes, but it was my fi
Dec 04, 2008 rated it really liked it

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 leaves you wanting more. But even that bad news has a silver lining, the sequel Watcher in the Woods is already available. Do
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
Freda Mans-Labianca
If you want edge of your seat, page flipping, non-stop suspense, you're looking at the perfect book!
This story is so good I'm going to bug hubby to get me the next book.
I had to know what would happen, and the only bad thing happened, it left me hanging!!! And talk about cliffhanger!!! I'm still gripping the edge of my desk!
So yes, get a copy and check it out. I hope it wraps you in its weirdness, like it did for me.
Oct 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-read
So, this book was amazing. That is all that I can really say. It had the perfect amount of mystery to it. It had the perfect amount of horror to it as well. I love how the author jumps right into the story and doesn't wait around and explain forty-eleven different things. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a mystery, horror or likes books that jump into the action immediately. ...more
Aug 28, 2010 rated it liked it
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!
Victoria Howell
Oct 25, 2017 rated it liked it
I liked it. It had a nice twist and the end and good character development. I'll definitely read the next one. ...more
Aug 02, 2008 rated it liked it
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
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
May 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Sandra Stiles
Jun 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This was one of the creepiest books I have read. The first sentence had me hooked. Xander, David, Toria and their parents have moved to a small hick town where their father is to be the principal of the junior/senior high school. They move into an old Victorian house and find portals into another time. On their third night in the house an intruder from one of the portals kidnaps their mother and takes her through one of the portals. The kids find out that their father knew abaout the house and h ...more
Apr 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
At the beginning of the book, before Chapter 1, you'll read a brief prologue that makes this seem like a horror story; if this is off-putting, keep reading. While this first book in the Dreamhouse Kings series is doing little but setting things up, the series is shaping up to be so much more than just a killer-loose-in-the-house horror story. There are portals to other worlds; there is adventure; there is even a little teenage angst.
That being said, the horror bits are pretty spooky, the action
May 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: series, rereads
I first read House of Dark Shadows around when it released, but I've been wanting to reread it for a while now. I listened to it in audio this time and loved that. Even though I remembered the story pretty well, I still got freaked out by a certain scene and had to quit reading it at that time. The house was crazy and the creature... *shivers*

All in all, a good read. I recommend it to fans of YA thrillers.
Oct 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book and its series! I need to find more books by this author; he is able to pull you into the stories and not let go.
Stephanie  Weatherly
May 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I'm a big fan of scary movies, and this brought a lot of suspense and thrilling action. The twist at the end was unexpected...definitely going to read the second book. ...more
Garrett Pope
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Personal Response: I thought this book was pretty good, even though there was some spots in this book where the plot got a little dry. I still thought the book was good for being the first book in the series. It made me want to read more books from the series.

Plot: House of Dark Shadows by Robert Liparulo is the first book in the Dreamhouse Kings series. The book starts off with a prologue, in which a little kid’s mother is being taken away by a brute. The little kid tries to save his mom, but
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Hangman's Curse (Veritas Project, #1)
  • Diary of a Haunting (Diary of a Haunting, #1)
  • The Ghost's Grave
  • Showdown (Paradise, #1)
  • Sad Perfect
  • Hello, Cruel Heart
  • Night Magick
  • Eight Winter Nights
  • Winter Chill
  • And Both Were Young
  • In Sight of Stars
  • MAKER (The Men of Whiskey Mountain Book 4)
  • The Box (The Temple of the Blind, #1)
  • Reflections in the Nile (Time Travel, #1)
  • The Barn
  • Dylan (Inked Brotherhood, #4)
  • Rafe (Inked Brotherhood, #5)
See similar books…
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

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)

Related Articles

If you've got an overflowing Want to Read shelf of books that you keep meaning to get to (one day!), you're in good company. Our company, that...
9 likes · 1 comments
“Bravery is not the absence of fear but the forging ahead despite being afraid” 40 likes
“Knowledge was like candy: you never turned it down, especially if you didn't have to work too hard to get it.” 29 likes
More quotes…