Reviewed

Turn off Siri & Alexa… then read “The Mansion” by Ezekiel Boone

If you feel like you can’t live without Siri, Alexa, Cortana, Google… you probably don’t want to read this book. I’ve used Alexa a few times, but I can live without. 

Which I will absolutely do after reading this book, live without a virtual ‘assistant’ who can answer any question I have and remind me of obscure, easily forgettable things.

*brb going to make sure Alexa is disabled on my Kindle Fire*

I hope Ezekiel Boone won’t mind me describing The Mansion as something that gives me strong vibes of Stephen King’s The Shining, because it does. It’s not the same book, not by any means. The similarities lie deep in Boone’s Eagle Mansion and King’s The Overlook Hotel, both hotels from bygone eras that carry a lot of baggage and have a personality, a soul of their own. It’s winter in Boone’s book too, and the caretakers are Billy and Emily Stafford.

But they aren’t there to make sure the pipes don’t freeze and the roof doesn’t cave in under the weight of an upstate New York snow.

This is a twenty-first century book, and they are there because, a dozen years ago, Billy and his friend Shawn Eagle stayed on the Eagle family estate to code. It’s originally a bit hazy why their partnership, one seemingly destined to create something like Facebook, Google, and Microsoft combined, ends up shattered but, perhaps not surprisingly, it’s over a girl. Emily, to be precise.

Shawn has become richer than basically anyone ever, running a tech empire that seems to make Mark Zuckerberg jealous. But there’s one thing he doesn’t have… something he and Billy (and another friend named Takata but you have to read the book if you want to know what happened to him!) created as recent grads, something he can’t work into the phones that bear his name. 

Nellie.

She is why you might be wary of Alexa, Siri, Cortana, and… does the Google one have a name?

*brb going to turn off the Google one on my laptop, and the predictive search for good measure*

Billy becomes caretaker of Eagle Mansion that winter because there are ghosts and bugs and viruses in Nellie, and Shawn is running Nellie in the mansion, with the aim of creating what I imagine would be the ultimate ‘smart’ house to be scattered across America. But Billy had a drinking problem and slightly less alarming cocaine problem, and this creates just the right level of uncertainty as he prepares to tackle a problem that could make him him a multi-millionaire and Shawn a multi-multi-billionaire (because Shawn is kind of an awful person, not entirely without cause).

Nellie will freak you out. Shawn will make you… feel things. Billy will make you root for him. Ruth and Rose (twins and of one soul) will make you curious. And Emily will make you understand.

Horror and thrillers aren’t usually my go-to genres (and to be fair, I’ve seen The Shining but I have not read it) but this is as good as it gets. It’s a book that you will not be able to put down once you start it. and when that ever more irritating Real Life creeps in and makes you put it down? You’ll be thinking about this book.

The Mansion is on sale December 4, 2018 wherever books are sold. Probably. Go buy it!

(I received a copy of The Mansion from NetGalley and Atria Books in exchange for an honest and original review. All thoughts are my own.)

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