Author: Daivd Mitchell.
Published: 20th October, 2015.
I’m going to rant a bit, just letting you know. Ok so as you all know David Mitchell is my favourite author to read. I love his work, and the universe he has created.
This book is good, I will say that much. It’s well written, has an array of interesting characters, and has a good premise. Slade House is a haunted house that appears every 9 years, and is home to two “Anchorites” who feed off of the souls of victims who tend to have fallen across the house by mistake or are investigating it. That’s the main idea. For those who remember, the Anchorites played a big role in The Bone Clocks (2014).
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get down to the meat of the stuff. This is my 5th David Mitchell novel, and I intend on reading the other two. It is, by all intents and purposes, a good book. It is, however, his weakest I’ve come across. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy it, because I did. I found the multiple time periods aspect interesting as always. The characters were engaging too, especially Freya Timms who is the first lesbian character I’ve come across in David Mitchell’s books (he has featured gay & bisexual men before).
For me, Slade House (2015) doesn’t have the weight of his previous novels. It’s relatively short at 230-something pages compared to his other works which run into the 400s-600s. I’ve nothing wrong with him writing shorter pieces it’s just this didn’t have the power of his other books that are able to blow my mind.
What this does feel like is a companion piece, or spin off, of The Bone Clocks (2014). It features the Anchorites again yet instead of an all out war, it’s just 2 Anchorites stealing people’s souls. I found that idea interesting in TBC but I don’t know if writing another novel on it was necessary? Sure we get more background info, but I was looking for something new.
I did enjoy it, as I do all Mitchell’s novels. And I did like it more than The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet (2010), purely because of the plot and genre, but TTAOJDZ (2010) was undoubtedly written much better than Slade House (2015). The former had much more meat to the story than the latter.
I always welcome a Mitchell novel, but I think I would’ve preferred if he had waited and written a stronger one. It’s a great companion piece, and a definite good novel, but not in the same league as his other work. This one isn’t for first time readers of Mitchell. Long time fans will enjoy it, and get some more information on the Anchorites from The Bone Clocks (2014).