The dead don’t walk. Except sometimes they do.
When Alex Easton, a retired soldier, receives word that their childhood friend Madeline Usher is dying, they race to the ancestral home of the Ushers in the remote countryside of Ruritania.What they find there is a nightmare of fungal growths and possessed wildlife, surrounding a dark, pulsing lake. Madeline sleepwalks and speaks in strange voices at night, and her brother Roderick is consumed with a mysterious malady of the nerves. Aided by a redoubtable British mycologist and a baffled American doctor, Alex must unravel the secret of the House of Usher before it consumes them all.
This novella is a retelling of Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher, and let’s just say that the author blew it out of the park. Everything that made the original creepy is expounded on and one can’t help but like the protagonist, Easton who finds themselves at the house because an old childhood friend wrote them about this sister’s slow demise. The book is moody and dark, and you’re quickly wrapped up in the mystery and eeriness. However, there are moments of comedy when Eugenia Potter, a British mycologist is in the scene. She was by far my favourite character, and couldn’t wait for her to show up. If you love Poe and love dark gothic mysteries, then do yourself a favour and read this now!
*Thank you so much to NetGalley and Tor Nightfire for the digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!