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“Alice loves to talk to her dolls, and her dolls and dollhouse love to talk back.

When Alice is six, she is given a beautiful antique dollhouse. When things in her life get scary, Alice turns to her dolls and dollhouse for comfort. One day, they invite her to come play inside with them. As Alice’s life is turned upside down in the “big” world, she is always welcomed home to the little world inside the dollhouse; the house will even grant her a wish if she agrees to live with them!

Follow Alice through the door of the dollhouse and into the demon’s den.”

The Dollhouse Family

I got an ARC of this book.

I got super excited to see that Joe Hill has his own line of comics now. I needed to read all of them immediately. My partner is also obsessed with Hill comics, they were the only books he read before I came around. So it has been a part of our relationship that I hunt out and tell him about all the Joe Hill stuff so he doesn’t have to slog through a book he will never finish since he isn’t a reader. I just wish this was one I could be excited to tell him about.

This book can be summed up very easily: a bad adult reboot of Caroline. You know the one about the girl who goes through a magical door (dollhouse) and is offered what she really wants, a family that notices her (her dad to stop hurting her mom). Mix that with a bit of Locke & Key, magical multi generational demon hunting the family for some reason. Ta-da, you got this book.

The issue was this book didn’t do either of those plot lines well. The reason this is not just a solid one star, is I liked the art. The characters were forgettable, I couldn’t tell you any of the names of the characters, except Peggy-O and I just finished this book seconds before I started typing this review. The only reason I remember Peggy-O is every time it appeared I went “what the fuck?” at the name.

The plot jumped in time a lot which was probably the only interesting thing about the timeline. It really was a forgettable story and really poorly done. To really make this a story that could stand with Joe Hill’s name on the cover, it would need multiple volumes and a huge overhaul on pacing. There would probably need to be a volume for each of the dolls to really expand this into being a complete story.

Overall, it was a flop. It really didn’t stand up as a complete story. It had a lot happening, but it was so predictable that it didn’t really matter that there was even an attempt for a larger picture plot of angels and demons. I am also really annoyed that yet again sex was used to move a plot forward when it didn’t make sense. My first thought finding a woman that shouldn’t be in a cave in a cave would not be “huh, guess it is time for sex”. It is just so wild to me that this was the entire crux of the plot. Nope.

1.5 out of 5 stars. I would not recommend this book.

You can buy the book here.

~Isaiah