Review for A Guest in the House

Review for A Guest in the House

A Guest in the House Emily Carroll, Horror, Graphic Novel, Adult, Gothic, Girl walking down a stairs with something behind her, monstersI received this book from Netgalley/First Second in exchange of an honest review.

I have been a big big fan of Emily Carroll for a while now, her books aren’t always the easiest to get so I still need to read a few, but the ones I read I loved. So this was one of my most hyped books of 2023 and I was excited I could read it before it was released. However, this one wasn’t my favourite. This one had me struggles. Not because of the art. The art was amazing once again.

But the story? While it was a haunting one and I was often quite scared, especially given how the ghost went from a gorgeous princess to something dragged from hell, plus the feeling of oppression (is that the right word) was heavy as well. Things get really dark, and that I loved.
But, I am so confused what is going on with the story and I still have no clue what truly happened to Sheila, suicide or murder. I mean, I still don’t know if the ghost is even really there or just a manifestation of Abby’s mental health going down as things get more scary and she finds out new things/sees her new hubby’s personality fluctuate from yay to nay. There are some themes that just wouldn’t click for me or that felt very confusing or not properly developed. We also get some colour pages, which I am guessing is Abby’s dreamscapes/mental health, but it just made the story more confusing for me and just had me re-reading parts or just shrugging and admiring the pretty art, haha.
And frankly, I just couldn’t see one hint of attraction between Abby and her new husband. I just didn’t get why she was with him, did he use some sort of voodoo to get her to marry him?

Though I did like how Abby was with her new step-daughter and how she tried to be there for her. That was sweet!

Then there is the ending that just had me scratching my mind and wondering if I missed out on pages of the story. I mean, bad things happened, revelations were revealed, but given the story so far and how Abby’s mental health is I didn’t know if they were true or not. It was just all confusing. Plus, the real kicker is the last pages, suddenly there is a neighbour who claims she is x, then there is a ghost, and then boom something happens, and then it is over? WHUT? You can’t just end it there. Did you forget some pages? Is there going to be a second book?

Oh, and dear publishers could you please just make sure that the quality of the scans is good? I mean, it was so blurry that even wearing glasses didn’t make it much better and I found myself either getting up close and personal with my screen or just give up on words. I hope that in the final version it is all good, but can we just make ARCs great as well?

So all in all, this could have been an epic book, with epic art, epic story, but it just all felt very flat, I know that Emily Carroll can write and create stories so I wonder what happened. But the art was at least very pretty and that is why I am giving it just a bit higher star. Plus, again, there is potential for this story to become something awesome and not confusing. So a small bit of bonus for that as well.

Star rating, 2.5 stars

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