Sunday, May 15, 2011

Frenzy (Dreamhouse Kings, #6) by Robert Liparulo


Frenzy (Dreamhouse Kings #6)Their destiny is to fix history. Their dream is to get home.

When you live in a house that's really a gateway between past and present, you have to be ready for anything. It's a painful fact the Kings have faced since moving to Pinedale eight days ago. Desperately trying to rescue their mother from an unknown time and place, brothers Xander and David have lunged headlong into the chaos of history's greatest--and most volatile--events. But their goal has continually escaped their grasp.

And worse: Finding Mom is only a small part of what they must do, thanks to the barbaric Taksidian. His ruthless quest to sieze their house and its power from them has put not only the family, but all of mankind, in grave danger.

Somehow, the key to it all hinges on Uncle Jesse's words to the boys: "Fixing time is what our family was made to do." But how can they fix a world that has been turned updisde down--much less ever find their way home?

At long last, the secrets of the house and the King family are revealed in the stunning conclusion to this epic series.
First Look: *****  I love the cover!  And the title is just plain cool. I also like the how the mom is the only light figure.

Setting: ***** 
Well, hmmm, let's see... Creepy old house? Check. Atlantis? Check.  Ancient Rome?  Check.  Random, viciously morbid settings throughout history all stuff into one book?  Check!  Like the Pendragon series, this book does a great job of bouncing around to countless different settings.  Though it's based on Earth, the history-jumping is a wild ride all on its own.

Characters: ***** 
Xander has remained my favorite since the beginning.  He seems like the most three-dimensional one in the series.  (Yes, that's right, I like the character who tends to have anger-spazz moments.)  David was sort of getting to that point and I liked him and felt for him, but all the others fell a bit flat for me. Dad, as he was simply known throughout the series, was too...typical. So was the mom, but she wasn't really in much of the series anyway. Taksidian, the villain, would be really creeping me out one minute, but the next he'd do or say something that would just downright make me laugh. Don't get me wrong; he was scary, but he seemed awkwardly written at times. I hoped this book would prove that Toria deserved to be in the story, but...guess not. I felt like her only point was to add cuteness to otherwise freaky situations.

Plot: ****
This book is paced a bit slower than Whirlwind, which is good.  Whirlwind really was...a whirlwind.  That being said, this entire series moves insanely fast.  The whole six books take place over, what, ten days?  Whew!  It was a little jarring, which was good.  I like that in this kind of series.  I thought the ending was fitting, too, but...my predictions were incorrect.  I thought...erm, that certain people would die, but nope, they didn't.  Now I'm just wondering why that disappoints me so much. 

Uniqueness: *****
This series is unlike any other, combining Christian fiction with haunted houses with time travel.  However, the plot arc of each book was very, very similar to the one before it.

Writing: *****
Oh, Liparulo never fails to make me smile in some way or other with his writing.  Only he would have half his characters battling certain death in Atlantis while the other half sits at a drive-through, wondering why the first characters won't pick up their phones. And he does like to put a lot of emphasis on food, of all things. It's a bit weird, how he puts very mundane things into the spotlight when they don't need to be there at all. Other than those weird little things, I mostly like his writing.

Likes:
The word bicep only appeared once in this book! Yahoo! It was used dozens and dozens of times in the previous books. And for goodness' sake, that's Jesus! Loved that twist.

Not-so-great:
Okay, really?  That beginning was almost a bit...cruel. Yes, I was freaking out. And then to leave us hanging through a whole 330-something pages? Harsh. And I'm sorry, but...the guy bit David. That is so gross.

Total Score: *****
And so the Dreamhouse series concludes. Despite my nitpicks, this was by all means a good ending to the series. This entire book is a bit of a frenzy, but then again, that's how I like my books.  Like the other books, it was a somewhat jarring read.  Be warned, these books are not without their morbidness.  Revisit all of the most terrible scenes in history? Sure, why not? But I love time travel books, and I like history, and I love the concept of messing it up. A high fours stars for Frenzy. Recommended, but make sure you read House of Dark Shadows, Watcher in the Woods*, and so on, first!

*Creepiest cover/title combo ever, by the way.  I love it. The title is stalkerish and then there's this vague outline of a guy, just standing there, watching you...

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