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The Mansion by Ezekiel Boone

The Mansion

by Ezekiel Boone

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THE MANSION is Ezekiel Boone's new book after fabulous The Hatching trilogy. This book is something else completely. It's a story about an old crumbling mansion and a love story that will destroy a friendship and turn two men into bitter enemies.

Shawn Eagle and Billy Stafford were once a great team, but Shawn's girlfriend Emily left him for Billy. Shawn, however, ended up with the innovative computer Eagle Logic that he and Billy had created together. So, while Billy and Emily had each other, Shawn ends up one of the richest men on the planet.

  MaraBlaise | May 19, 2019 |
Some authors have great editors, others don't. Some authors think they know more than their editors; they really shouldn't. Case in point: The Mansion which reads more like a high school endeavor dusted off to capitalize on the success of Boone's Hatching Trilogy. To be clear, the Hatching books were so pedal-to-the-metal fun that I could hardly wait to read The Mansion. And to be honest, there might have been a compelling novel here except... well, editors and such, and the fact that I'd finished the entire trilogy AND a 700-page book on Appalachia by the time I managed to drag myself through the tedium just to reach the halfway point here. It shouldn't ruin anything if I just tell you upfront that Shawn Eagle is really, really, really rich. ( )
  Lemeritus | Feb 14, 2019 |
Ezekiel Boone gave me the heebie jeebies with his Hatching trilogy. (Spiders, giant spiders....) He returns with a new creepy thiller called The Mansion. And it's really quite timely....

Shawn and Billy were programming partners as young men. They created Eagle Logic - a brilliant system. But Shawn walked away with all the money when Billy walked away with Emily - Shawn's girlfriend. Billy hasn't fared so well - he's a recovering alcoholic, he's in debt and he and Emily are arguing. When Shawn offers up the chance to resurrect one of their failed projects - and pay Billy handsomely - he takes the job. They'll work out of Shawn's isolated mansion. And the project? It's named Nellie. And Nellie is "a next-generation computer program that can control a house’s every function."

And I'm not giving away much when I say you can see the possibilities can't you? And the realities from current news stories of technology gone wrong.....

The main plot didn't really surprise me. Boone takes a bit of a long path to the actual scary stuff. The tale is fleshed out with lots of detail and back story. A bit too much in my opinion. I wanted to get to the good stuff with Nellie. I think if I had read a physical copy, I might have been skim reading some of those passages.

But....I chose to listen to The Mansion and I quite enjoyed the audio version. In great part to the narrator. George Newbern is a perennial favorite reader of mine. He has the most expressive voice and brings an author's work to life with his inflections, timber and tone. His voice is clear, easy to understand and pleasant to listen to. He changes things up for each character and it is easy to know who is speaking. Another five star performance for Newbern. ( )
  Twink | Jan 10, 2019 |
disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for review consideration. All of the opinions presented below are my own.

With a premise that seemed to be a combination of Smart House and The Shining, I was stoked to try this book out. Unfortunately, the first 50 or so pages were a background dump and were so repetitive that I had to wonder if an editor actually combed through this or not. (To be fair, I was reading an advanced copy and it's possible this was cut down). The characters were solidly one-dimensional and I was torn between wanting to see if there was any development and not believing it was even possible. I skimmed reviews to determine whether it was worth continuing and this one reaffirmed my feelings on it. While it appears there are others who genuinely liked it, it doesn't seem like the issues keeping me from enjoying it will abate.

In addition to the poor pacing and lack of characterization, there were a couple instances where I had to raise an eyebrow at what I was reading. The first is mentioned in the above linked review: one of the characters has a secretary who is objectified in an incredibly misogynistic and racist manner. The second is another character thinking about how a daycare on a houseboat could only appeal to men with autism. First of all, what??? Second of all, relevance??? I didn't want to stick around to see what strike 3 would be, so I cut my losses there. Hopefully this went through some serious editing before publishing, but as the ARC stands this isn't a book I'd recommend reading.
  samesfoley | Dec 26, 2018 |
By all accounts, Ezekiel Boone's spider trilogy was quite good. I wish the same were true of his haunted mansion novel. In fact, The Mansion is so far removed from being a decent novel that it is one of the few times I regret the time I spent reading a novel.

The problem is that nothing happens. Seriously. Nothing. Happens. Oh, there is some drama and blood once you reach the 90 percent mark, but before that point, there is nothing but hints of a depraved history and a very repetitive rehashing of the origins of this fabulous software system.

Once the action does heat up, the answers remain vague and disappointing. You are so thankful something is finally happening, however, that you ignore the fact that there are no real answers and celebrate the rapidity of the denouement. The end is in sight, and you can't wait to get there after wading through 300 pages of the same technology verbiage, the same character introspection, and the same lack of answers.

The characters have no development. They are purely one-dimensional placeholders, one step above the pseudo-artificial intelligence around which the novel revolves. Mr. Boone spends more time tap-dancing around their individual tragic childhoods than he does creating any depth in his characters. The lone exception to this is Shawn, the man who makes the entire novel possible. We do see one night of his childhood tragedies, but even that does not come until the 60 percent mark of the novel. With four narrators - Shawn, Billy, Emily, and her twin nieces - one expects a better understanding of each of their motivations and desires. Instead, we get a whole lot of their past motivations and desires, and not much of anything else. These are easily forgotten characters, the kind in whom you have no vested interest. It matters not what any of their futures are because you just don't care.

At heart, The Mansion is as much a love triangle as it is anything else, which is supremely annoying because the only character aware that it is a love triangle is the computer program, which should be creepy but is really nothing more than Hal from 2001: A Space Odyssey - movie or book. The whole story tries to hard to be something new but fails spectacularly. Between the lack of original plot, boring characters, and fact that nothing of interest happens in the story, it is safe to say that Ezekiel Boone's latest novel is one for which it is best to skip.
  jmchshannon | Dec 16, 2018 |
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