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The House Without a Summer

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  100 ratings  ·  28 reviews
The year is 1816, in Northamptonshire. A red, spiderwebbed haze covers the sun. Temperatures drop, fields flood and freeze, grain rots on the stem. The people are starving, and even the wealthy and titled are affected by shortages. Sickness spreads as a red fungus overtakes fields, seals over windows, and infiltrates cellars.

On the way back from the Napoleonic Wars in Fran
Kindle Edition, 232 pages
Published March 2nd 2020 by Wonderland Press
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Average rating 3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  100 ratings  ·  28 reviews

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May 09, 2020 rated it it was ok
I'm so mad at how this book turned out!
The House Without a Summer was an amazing read, until the last... 20%. We were following a great cast of people, the setting was so atmospheric, and it was legitimately giving me some chills. I was ready to write this off as a four star and be happily in love with it.
Then the ending happened. I wasn't satisfied with the explanations and I hated the conclusion. None of it added up to the amazing darkness we had gotten before. I don't even fully understand w
Marcus returns home back to Penderbrook from fighting in the war only to discover that his brother Barnabas is missing and his father the Earl of Penderbrook isn't as he once was. To make matters worse, a mysterious red fungus has invaded the family home and is making everyone crazy. Can he save Penderbrook, his friend Lucy, and stop the red fungus before it infects everyone else? Read on and find out for yourself.

This was a pretty good gothic horror and HP lovecraft type story. If you enjoy the
 Reading Reindeer 2021 On Proxima Centauri
So superb! THE HOUSE WITHOUT SUMMER is excellent historical Weird Fiction with resonances of H. P. Lovecraft, Ann Radcliff, and Gregory Lewis. The elements of Cosmic Horror are--totally terrifying! There are evil humans (I thought of the 18th Century London Hellfire Club), evil that is not and never was human, and a Cosmic Otherness that echoes Lovecraft 's worst nightmares! For my mycological sensitivities, there is an implacable, constantly spreading, inescapable, Red Fungus! There is a Mad Sc ...more
Rebecka O'Malley
Jun 11, 2020 rated it liked it

• I found myself quite intrigued by many aspects of the book
• Lucy was a character I very much enjoyed
• Marcus made for a good, flawed character
• The setting was really atmospheric
• I've never read a book set in 1816, so it was a good experience for me (and I was prompted to do some research about the real historical period which was fascinating)
• Unfortunately, that independent research is probably my favourite take away from the book
• The ending was a bit disappointing, felt
Bruce Baugh
May 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a Regency gothic horror, something you don't get to say about a lot of books, set in 1816, the year that there was worldwide bad weather, unusual coolness, and other trouble because of the eruption of Indonesian volcano Mt. Tambora the year before.

Between a prologue in 1851 and an epilogue that spans the years between 1816 and 1851, the bulk of the story takes place in and around Penderbrook, one of the grandest mansions in England.

The current Earl enjoys a great reputation and is respo
May 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, horror
I'll admit, I picked this book up because of it's cover. It gave me a Cthulhu vibe, that I thought would fill the book as well. So if that is why you're also thinking about reading this book, I will just state here at the beginning, (view spoiler)

With that being said, the story does have a very Lovecraft vibe going on leaving me with a 'the real monster is always men/humans' message as my final thoughts.

The story takes pl
Jay Williams
May 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Reality Folds on Itself

This is a strange tale of the summer in England that never happened. The main characters are two brothers, their childhood playmate and their associated families. When Marcus is called back from the Napoleonic wars,he returns to a family estate that drags him down. Before the story has ended, the characters switch through time and space. They struggle with monsters, both human and supernatural. The writing makes great mental images, and it keeps the effects of the unusual
Laura Ruetz
Mar 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a very thoughtful gothic horror. This is a subtle horror that creeps up on you as you read it and deeper you follow Marcus in the mystery of Penderbrook (and what happened to his brother), the more the horror feels tangible. It goes from a feeling of unsettled unease to otherworldly horror and I loved it!

Returning to his home, Marcus finds his brother dead and his father seemingly gone insane. With his brother's fiancee, Marcus tries to find the answers he seeks, not only about what happ
Jun 02, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Somewhat compelling, but terribly fragmented and amateurish.
May 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rarely do I stumble on a book that leaves me speechless, but DeAnna Knippling's The House Without A Summer is almost impossible for me to describe. Here's what I can tell you: it's an absolutely gorgeous book. At times, I had to put the book down because the language was so beautiful. While I've read many Gothic horror novels, I'm guilty of sometimes skipping over the long-winded descriptions of crumbling manor houses and misty English moors and all the rest. But Knippling has a true gift for de ...more
Jan 19, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror, dnrec
I am a simple reader—I see an interesting cover and “horror” as the genre, and I’m probably going to put it in my cart. Given that, it was obvious The House Without A Summer by DeAnna Knippling was going on my TBR. I mean, look at this cover, folks.

The promise of gothic horror and a vaguely-Lovecraftian/clockwork cover? Glorious.

In The House Without A Summer, Knippling shares the tale of the Penderbrook estate. In a year where unusually moist, cool weather is causing mayhem to the world’s agric
NoNo JoJo
May 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
Preface: I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
Actual rating: 4.5 stars

This book was a bit of a first for me - I've always had a passing interest in Lovecraft-esque horror, but rarely actually dive into it. I took a chance, though, and I'm glad I did. This book was delightfully horrific and disturbing. For the most part, it's a very atmospheric, creeping sort of horror, but as the implications and possibilities continue to build, it becomes genuinely very tense. T
Aug 31, 2020 rated it liked it
Well, I liked the characters and the style of the author but still it didn’t manage to quite grip me. The story from about half of the book starts to become more vague and even confusing in some points, and although I think this is by choice and adds to the „lovecraftian“-feel of the book I felt like I didn’t get quite enough details to be captivated by the story. There were some nice ideas that unfortunately weren’t developed further. I think this is a pretty hard genre to write, the author man ...more
Jun 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gothic-horror
I love a moody gothic horror story and this meets all requirements. The Earl of Penderbrook has invited something horrifying to the manor and the adjacent village, an otherworldly fungus that spreads and takes over the area. His sons, Barnabus and Marcus, along with their childhood friend Lucy must stop their father before the world as they know it is lost.

Reminiscent of The Invasion of the Body Snatchers, people are infected by the fungus which seems to come from another realm. They cease to be
Tonya OK
Mar 19, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Rounded up from 1.5. The story started out well enough and built with reasonable suspense and all due creepiness for a while. I didn’t connect with any of the characters and found them almost alien in their personalities and interactions, but the story was atmospheric and true to the gothic horror genre. Until just past the half-way point. I honestly can’t make sense of what happened in the second half of the book. It felt like reading something written during a bad acid trip. Out of that incohe ...more
Mark Wallace
Apr 19, 2021 rated it liked it
This was a weird book and that's what kept me going: a gothic fairy tale with some Arthur Machen and Lovecraftian effects and a decent writing style. The historical context at the beginning was great. The characters never quite became interesting, but the chaotic story was fun enough, if a bit slow at moments. Really this book probably deserves two stars on quality alone but I'm giving it a third because its unexpected turns into strangeness were, if not always worthwhile enough as a narrative, ...more
Jul 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Other reviews and blurbs advertised this as a Gothic story of Lovecraftian flavor. And I get it, I do. There is enough universal horror in here to fill several of HP‘s short story. However, what makes Lovecraft so great - namely being afraid of what we do not know or understand - is unfortunately lacking here. The (body) horror is fairly straightforward, and the protagonists go about trying to explain everything that is going on. While understandable, it just didn‘t grip me as much as I‘d hoped. ...more
Lala (Daily Dose of Books)
The entire review is on my blog:
I came across this book by mistake, and when I saw the title, I was intrigued. I have always been a fan of historical fiction but never read a horror book, so this novel over here was about to be a surprise to me! 'The House Without A Summer' is the sort of volume you don't get over quite effortlessly!

Before continuing I have to say this I received a free copy of the book from the author.

Leslie Wiederspan
Mar 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A strange and well written tale about... monsters and time travel? Alternate realities? It has so much to offer, it is really difficult to fit it into one category. I can just suggest to read it and decide for yourself! Chapter 10 and 11 were a bit confusing, just to forewarn. A few names were switched around. It was not Barnabas at the bottom of the stairs; it was Barton. Barnabas is dead. Or something like it. (Not a spoiler.)
May 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Satisfactory story telling

I love this kind of gothic story. Everything was really cool until I could not distinguish which one was the real happening and which one was the imaginary after life effort to defeat the evil.
After that i got more and more lost since the dead return as if they were still alive and possessed full control over their modified bodies. This last part of the story was confusing as an ending.
May 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book has twist after twist and proved to be very hard to put down. I loved the Gothic and Lovecraftian feel. The story draws you ever deeper into the mystery and weirdness. This is the authors re imagining of a historical event. I look forward to reading more of this author.
Donna Waters
Aug 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Lovecraftian Regency Horror

Change a few words, and this could easily have been part of the Cthulhu mythos - the creeping horror, the Goat of a Thousand Young, and all the rest. Definitely worth a read for horror fans.
Nov 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'm not usually someone who reads horror,, and this book was included in a collection I bought. Wow! I was sucked into the story immediately, the pacing was great, and it was a very smooth read. I struggled putting it down when bedtime came. That's always a sign of a great story. ...more
Scott Wilson
The first part was excellent. The last third of the book or so was terrible.
May 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Roy DeRousse
Apr 13, 2021 rated it it was ok
DNF @25%. The premise was interesting, but it was so SLOW 25% into the book. I didn't know much more then than I did at the start of the book. Maybe I'll pick it up again at some later date. ...more
May 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Definitely not my usual genre but the storyline was very.....intriguing.
Compelling story, but structured awkwardly and got a bit too ridiculous towards the end.

EDIT: Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia is a much better book with similar themes.
kelly G
rated it it was amazing
Apr 03, 2021
Rebecca Soule
rated it liked it
May 15, 2020
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DeAnna Knippling is a professional freelance writer, ghostwriter, and editor. She has a browser history full of murder, gore, and Victorian street maps. She writes across many genres, but has a soft spot for all things crime, horror, and gothic. Her latest book is the Gothic horror novel The House Without a Summer. You can find her in Colorado with her husband and daughter, on her website at www.W ...more

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