One of my personal favorite settings for a book is within a great house or structure. I love the concept of secret passages, hidden rooms and weird things tucked into storage. Therefore, Guy Adams’s novels The World House and Restoration (the most recent book) are right up my alley. Restoration picks up within minutes of the first novel’s conclusion and ties together events from that book with remarkable skill.
(Description nicked from the publisher’s website.)
“None who enter the World House leave it unchanged.
They sought the box for many years, because held inside that arcane magical artifact was, miraculously, a house. But now its real purpose has become clear – it was a prison, and the infinitely evil being it was built to imprison has been let loose. Now the real quest begins in earnest.”
I was very impressed with the way this book managed to expand upon and tie together events in the first novel. A lot of the backstory took place outside of the main narrative in The World House, and having those gaps filled in made the story that much more interesting. Looking back at that first book, I could see how carefully Adams had planted the seeds for what would happen in Restoration, and I applaud him for an effort well done.
A good chunk of the book takes place outside of the House and follows the evil being known as “the prisoner” or “the stranger”. Here, Adams has created a truly unpredictable character. While reading those sections, I really couldn’t foresee what would happen or where he would go, although there were certainly hints from the first book. He reminded me of Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the Joker in The Dark Knight—Ledger brought to life a character that I would classify as truly psychotic, and that’s a good description for the stranger.
And speaking of characterization, the author takes another character with evil tendencies and delves into their past to give their actions context. In the process, he takes someone that readers probably hated the first time around and makes their actions more understandable (if not excusable). Most of the other characters were fleshed out fairly well in the first book and don’t need much more exposition.
I enjoyed how this novel was intricately woven into the fabric of the first book, giving greater depth to each and creating a richer whole. Restoration is a complicated and tightly knit story of destiny and perseverance, and it’s definitely one of the more unusual tales you’ll pick up.
Also by this author: The World House
This review appeared on Owlcat Mountain on August 27, 2011.