Posted in Books, Reviews

Your House Is on Fire, Your Children All Gone – Stefan Kiesbye |Horror Book REVIEW

So I picked this book entirely because of the cover. It was so creepy, well done, and even has a special little surprise. I literally knew nothing about this going in. Did it disappoint? Let’s find out!


The village of Hemmersmoor is a place untouched by time and shrouded in superstition: There is the grand manor house whose occupants despise the villagers, the small pub whose regulars talk of revenants, the old mill no one dares to mention. This is where four young friends come of age—in an atmosphere thick with fear and suspicion. Their innocent games soon bring them face-to-face with the village’s darkest secrets in this eerily dispassionate, astonishingly assured novel, evocative of Stephen King’s classic short story “Children of the Corn” and infused with the spirit of the Brothers Grimm – Goodreads

Rating – R (Creepy Imagery, Extreme Gore, Sex, Sexual Scenes)

Publication Date – February 21, 2011

Length – 198 pages

The Good:

  • This books atmosphere was ON POINT! It was so creepy. Like it may be the creepiest book I’ve ever read. I was so invested that I actually read it in two sittings, in two days. Go me!
  • The format of this is best described as many interconnected short stories. Each story started as if it was like a fairy tale, or old tall tales. I thought this was really interesting and sucked me into the town and the stories.
  • The stories were predictable but in a good way. I know that sounds crazy but about halfway through a story I would see where it was going and think “no no no no no” until the conclusion.
  • Oh the writing was GORGEOUS! Seriously it was so good! By far, the best part of this book!

The Meh:

  • I mentioned the creepiness of the book in the prior section, but it also was kind of a hindrance to the book. The entire book was so bleak that by the end I was just EXHAUSTED. I didn’t expect it to be heartwarming but I just needed a break from all the chaos.
  • I feel like this book needs a spark notes accompanying it. Some stories I loved, but some honestly went over my head. I just wish I knew what the intention of the author had been, in some stories.

The Bad:

  • Each short story is from a different perspective of a select number of children, in the town. This was an interesting premise, but everyone’s voice sounded the same. I found myself having a hard time telling the children apart and that was pretty disappointing.
  • I wished there was more of an “overarching narrative” to this book. Like I said these short stories were tied to together, but there was not really a driving force to the story or a climax. I just wanted there to be a mystery solved or something.


  • sTORY – 3/5 (it felt like many short stories loosely strung together. I enjoyed each story but wish there was an overarching narrative)
  • CHARACTER – 2.5/5 (I enjoyed them but had issue distinguishing them from others. I also never really connected with any of them apart from one or two)
  • WRITING – 4/5 (Seriously so good. By FAR the best part of the book)
  • UNIQUENESS – 4/5 (I’ve never read anything like this. It’s like I was reading dark and creepy fairy tales and it was so awesome)


Have you read this? What did you think about it? I’d love to know!

Thanks for reading!


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Check out my last post on my April Wrap Up HERE!