Book Review: Haunted House (Afraid) by Jack Kilborn

Posted January 6, 2017 by @Angelized_1st in 2016 Horror Reading Challenge, Books, Entertainment, Reading Challenges / 2 Comments

Book Review: Haunted House (Afraid) by Jack KilbornHaunted House by Jack Kilborn
Series: Afraid #4
on May 3rd 2013
Genres: Fiction, Horror, Occult & Supernatural
Pages: 300
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Buy on: AmazonBarnes & Noble


It was an experiment in fear.

Eight people, each chosen because they lived through a terrifying experience. Survivors. They don't scare easily. They know how to fight back.


Each is paid a million dollars to spend one night in a house. The old Butler House, where those grisly murders occurred so many years ago. A house that is supposedly haunted.


They can take whatever they want with them. Religious items. Survival gear. Weapons. All they need to do is last the night.

But there is something evil in this house. Something very evil, and very real. And when the dying starts, it comes with horrifying violence and brutal finality.

There are much scarier things than ghosts.

Things that will kill you slowly and delight in your screams.

Things that won't let you get out alive.

“Looks like you invited the wrong goddamn dominatrix to your little party, bitch!”

Jack Kilborn brings together eight of his surviving characters from previous five books in the Konrath/Kilborn collective. Most of these characters I was familiar with, except for one from a short story I never read, but it was still pretty cool to see them all together in one book. However, while it was a bit of fun, this is one of Konrath’s weaker entries as the writing was choppy, the humor was misplaced, and the horror wasn’t very horrific.

This story is about yet another crazy doctor experimenting on people, but this time the doctor wants to eradicate fear. He uses the survivors’ fears of their captivity and past abuse to harvest their fear for his experiment. However, the haunted house appears to be a lot more real than the survivors expected. This was a pretty cool concept, but I felt as if the characters were mostly caricatures of themselves. The only two who stayed mostly true to who I thought was Tom Mankowski from The List, and Frank Belgium from Origin. Maybe there were just too many characters in this one story for Konrath to keep their individuality, but it seemed as if many of the characters were… out of character.

The other aspect of this story that I didn’t particularly care for was the plot. It read just like many of Kilborn’s other stories, and was just a bit too similar to Endurance. I may have liked this book more if I hadn’t read it right after the previous book, or as a standalone. I’ve since read past this novel in the collective, and don’t see any way this connects to other novels (yet), so I kind of feel as if I could have skipped this book altogether. However, despite the problems with this book I did still enjoy reading it. It was a pretty fun and quick read. Yet, I wouldn’t recommend this as a must-read. Haunted House is the book you read on a lazy rainy afternoon when you have nothing better to do.

About Jack Kilborn

Jack Kilborn is a pseudonym for bestselling author JA Konrath, creator of the Lt. Jacqueline “Jack” Daniels series.

When Joe writes a dark thriller or a horror novel, he publishes it under the pen name “Jack Kilborn” in order to differentiate it from his other books. Kilborn tends to be less humorous and more violent, with a higher scare-factor.

Jack and Joe have also collaborated on many books, to make it even more confusing for fans. They both apologize for this.


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2 responses to “Book Review: Haunted House (Afraid) by Jack Kilborn

  1. Though you didn’t like this one as much it says a lot about a series that you would just plow through them all like that, I am normally one to put books in between a series, but now and then I read one that I have to read the next one right away. 🙂

    • @Angelized_1st

      Now that I’ve finished these, I’ve taken a break before I go one with another one of his series. Need to scrub the brain a bit 🙂 I’m surprised myself that I plowed threw this series. That wasn’t my plan for the holiday at all. I was hoping to read all the unread books on my shelf. Doh!

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