Saturday 23 November 2019


Everyone but Sophia and Cyrus were going to die. They were all goners well before they knew it. And they certainly thought whatever was happening, they were helping others and saving the world doing it.

Samantha was only fourteen and looking for what every fourteen-year-old looks for - freedom. She wanted to be as far away from her substance-riddled mother and abusive home as possible, but she never asked for anything like this. It always starts with just one person and one fucked up idea. This is the story about Samantha and the cult called Freedom House.

A psychological horror thriller, this book will frustrate you, scare you, disturb you, and at times, it will make you want to be ill. Are you ready to learn what's going on behind the doors of Freedom House?

I was really excited when Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi sent me a review copy of this book. It's one I've heard great things about on Twitter, and was totally intrigued by. And I love that creepy cover.

Samantha is fourteen, lives with her deadbeat mother, and dreams of running away. Sophia is a tough cop living with a haunting memory from her childhood. Detective Salvino doesn't want a repeat of what happened six years ago when he dealt with a cult.

Now, young kids are disappearing and everything leads to the doorstep of the Cult Called Freedom House...

O.M.F.G. 😳

This book is about a cult, so of course I went in expecting some pretty terrible things. I mean, what else is a cult but a place where downtrodden people are brainwashed and abused? While accepting this abuse because they're convinced they deserve it.

Yeah, I knew what I was getting into.

Even then, I was equally disgusted, disturbed, intrigued and captivated by everything that was going on. As soon as I started, I couldn't put my Paperwhite down. I needed to find out what was going to happen next.

There are a lot of things to like about this book, but the characters were the lifeline. They're interesting and real. Whether I despised or sympathised with them, I was totally invested in every single one of their screwed-up lives.

This story isn't pretty. A lot of what happens is dirty and unnerving. 

Samantha is a great character. A young girl, lost and in desperate need of attention. She craves a real home and even when things don't seem as perfect as she first thought in Freedom House, she pushes on. And is strong as hell.

Sophia is another intriguing character. She's a cop and wants to save people because her own guilt has become a never-ending haunting she can't escape. Dealing with Freedom House teaches her there are deeper levels of being broken than she already is, while also pushing her.

Detective Salvino is a caring man lost in a world where some of the most horrible things he sees are perpetrated by his gender. He wants to save the young and naive, even after a huge failure to do so.

The sense of location was described really well. Santa Cruz might look like a cosy coastal town, but it ain't Santa Carla. The predators here aren't vampires. They're drugs, dealers and desperation. The lost boys and girls of Santa Cruz are lured by a different kind of immortality.

The Cult of Freedom House is a gritty and sometimes really uncomfortable book. It actually deals with two of my least favourite horror tropes--can't say which because of spoilers. The kind of stuff I usually stay away from. But the way this is written, the creepy vibes and the heart at the core of everything, kept me hooked to the page.

Yeah, I really enjoyed this book and the descent to the end had me on the edge of my seat because the suspense was killer.

The only other thing I want to say is that if you're squeamish about the grosser parts of human predators, prepare yourself. This story goes to some very dark and depraved places.

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