A review by kittenmittons
The House of Drought by Dennis Mombauer


The tagline of "A haunted house for the climate change era" isn't incorrect, but nor do I feel it's wholly accurate either. For example, that doesn't give you a hint of the folklore (!!!) style of this novella, which was my favourite aspect of this story. I loved how the different acts felt almost like folktales in a lot of ways; I maybe would have read an entire book of just different vignettes like this.

The last act and chapter both had some tension, which was nice to see how the entire book culminated in a clear action climax. And the author's writing lended itself well to this - I found his writing pretty simple, and this is absolutely 100% a personal preference but: I like my horror or my folktales to feature really atmospheric, visceral writing. So the writing didn't quite work for what I personally wanted.

I think there were some very unique and interesting ideas in this - haunted house that has a direct connection to water and thirst! Pretty cool way to tie it into modern climate change, right? But I feel like a lot of the ideas could have benefited from more page-space, as there was a LOT to explore in a short novella. I don't know if a novel-length expansion of this would have been for me, but I think it could have led to more exploration of the house's history and mythology, as well as a deeper connection to climate change and more character development - actually, I think I've talked myself into thinking that it could very well be for me. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

Overall, this wasn't quite like anything I've read before, and in a fairly good way!