"House Hunter" Book Review
Written by S.T. Cartledge
2012, 104 pages, Fiction
Released on October 23rd, 2012
Think of cool things like video games, secret societies, gangster movies, otherworldly and very dangerous forests, epic quests, Lara Croft-like heroines like, and violence. Now put all of it together in your head. Whatever you came up with probably pales in comparison to Shane Cartledge's House Hunter, his contribution to the 2012 New Bizarro Author Series from Eraserhead Press.
House Hunter follows Imogen, a brave, capable woman whose job is capturing young houses and training them to be decent, well-behaved homes. She likes her job, but a group called the Association threatens to put an end to it by hunting down the mythical Jabberhouse in order to breed houses in captivity. Trying to stop them sounds relatively simple, but there are dangerous people and lots of bad intentions surrounding the Association, and Imogen will have to use every ounce of her strength and intelligence to get the job done.
Cartledge understands that novellas must move forward at breakneck speed in order to work, and that's exactly what he does here. From the opening lines to the last page, House Hunter is a frenetic, action-packed read that's bizarro as much as it is an action/adventure sci-fi extravaganza waiting to be turned into a movie with a gorgeous actress as Imogen so Cartledge can become an international sensation.
Besides the pacing, House Hunter also boasts superb descriptive passages. Without bogging down the narrative, Cartledge delivers weird and unique descriptions of creatures, fights (human vs. human, human vs. creature, house vs. house, etc.), and places. In fact, the descriptions of the forests are worth the price of the book. Between spiders with acid breath the size of bears, huge eyes embedded on the ground, epic house battles, shootouts, and gigantic mushrooms the size of trees, Cartledge keeps the scary, weird, and fantastic coming throughout the narrative, and that makes this book the antithesis of boring.
If you're looking for a fast, interesting tale packed with action and great world-building, look no further than House Hunter. When you're done reading it, add Cartledge to the list of new authors who will be delivering bizarro goodness for years to come.