The Official Description: In an alternate reality where ghosts are as commonplace as the weather, the most terrifying thing imaginable is a house not being haunted.
Donna Fitzpatrick runs a surrogacy agency, where ghosts can briefly possess volunteers in order to enjoy carnal pleasures. She’s also working herself into an early grave. But that’s no big deal because death is no worse than puberty. That’s particularly evident in Donna’s twin, Kyle, a self-absorbed roustabout who spends most of his time high on sage. Kyle’s been in arrested development since his motorcycle accident fifteen years ago.
When Donna has a panic attack, Kyle insists she take a vacation at an abandoned mansion. There’s just one small problem: there isn’t a single ghost in Jackson Manor. And while an unhaunted house seems no worse than an oddity at first, soon ghosts go missing, natural disasters consume entire cities, and every afterlife on earth is threatened by the terrible secret behind… The Perfectly Fine House.
Just the facts: mystery, paranormal, suspense, quirky
A remarkable story about a world in which ghosts are common and part of the family… until something begins swallowing them up. – Kinzie Things
My thoughts bit: I have to begin by saying that this book is quite original and I loved that! It’s not often that something surprises me…but this book did! A Perfectly Fine House is a novel written by Stephen Kozeniewski and Wile E. Young.
The premise of this book is interesting! The story is set in a world in which ghosts are a part of everyday life. Most people have deceased grandparents to raise their children, say hi to the apparition of the sheriff, and have ghostly friends.
One of the main characters in the story, Donna Fitzpatrick runs an agency that provides bodies for ghosts to possess in order for them to have some physical time with a partner. While this makes sense, even as I was reading it I found myself wondering about the ethics of it! But that is part of the fun of this one – the way in which the authors subtly explore the ins and outs of this world.
The book is a treat, as the authors explore the politics of ghosts existing, ghosts having the ability to possess bodies, and even have a law enforcement system that is entirely paranormal in nature. There is an entire culture built around the existence of ghosts… and what of world religions? Well, I suggest you read this book!
In this world, the presence of ghosts/ spirits is firmly entrenched into the economy. There are spirit mediums, there are surrogate agencies, there are “sage” bars at which the spirits can go and get their buzz on. The world-building is great, and it’s all quite fascinating. I found myself reading along and taking it all in stride because the world and its structure made a lot of sense.
When Donna suffers a panic attack, her deceased twin Kyle persuades her to take some time off. She escapes to a house… that has no ghostly presence. That may seem normal to us, but in the world of this novel, it is completely out of the ordinary. When Kyle approaches the house… he is nearly absorbed to his death. And thus begins the adventure.
It turns out that there is something “other” out there in this world that absorbs ghosts/ spirits. It isn’t the theories for the “voids” that was interesting to me, it was the way in which the world was turned on its head by ghosts being threatened. Not only are spirits suddenly fearful which causes them their own particular kind of trauma, but the living are rattled by the idea that death may actually be something permanent. Would it change your life if you knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that you would continue to exist after you died? Of course, it would! No faith has been required in this world because when you die, you simply come back as a ghost and continue to have a relationship with your family and friends.
As Kyle flees for his life, Donna frantically tries to figure out what she can do to save him.
This was an enjoyable read. It’s packed with quirky characters – I mean, who would have thought that people from past centuries would have to learn to get along with modern-day people. I have to admit though, I did find myself wondering what happened to the spirits of people who lived before a certain point. Were there no ghosts of early man? Still… a very intriguing notion! I enjoyed the writing style. The plot was quite drawn out…but then, I felt the most important part was the exploration of what a confirmed afterlife would do to Society.
Things You May Want To Know: Please be aware, I’m by no means an expert on what may or may not have the potential to disturb people. I simply list things that I think a reader might want to be aware of. In this book: (SPOILERS) Vivid descriptions of the cause of death of spirits, panic attack, people passing out, suicide (technically character is already dead), depictions of people with mental illness, the disappearance of a sibling, physical assault.
I received an ARC of the Perfectly Fine House by Stephen Kozeniewski and Wile E. Young from the Author in exchange for an unbiased review.