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House of Mystery Vol. 8 Desolation - Comic Book Review

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by Jennifer Muirhead (subscribe)
I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma. ~ Eartha Kitt
Published November 22nd 2013
house of mystery, comic, vertigo comics, House of Mystery Desolation

This is it, the final volume of the House of Mystery series. Fig Keele, former architecture student and designer of the house has finally failed in her struggle to protect it and the people she loves. The Conception has caught up with Fig, Harry and the rest of her family, and her friends have scattered following the apparent destruction of the house. But the House of Mystery is made of stories and stories are not that easy to get rid of.

This volume sees the return of Lotus Blossom, the granddaughter of the sorceror Byzantium Mack. As promised in volume 7, Lotus Blossom has indeed decided what she wants to do with her life. She has come into her own magical powers and used them to capture her grandfather and take over the House of Mystery, remaking it as she sees fit. However, Lotus Blossom's actions have consequences far bigger than she could have imagined.

Meanwhile Harry, Fig and the rest of the Keele family are imprisoned by the Conception, who threaten Fig that they will kill the rest of them if she doesn't do what they want.

An awful lot happens in this final volume. At last the Conception's plans are revealed. Things that were lost are restored. Other things and people are lost forever or so changed as to be almost unrecognisable. I can't be too specific without spoiling things but suffice it to say that the series comes to a satisfying conclusion with all the loose ends finally tied up, which is impressive since there were quite a few of them. It will make you want to go back and check earlier issues to see how things were foreshadowed (pay attention to the Ham Guy), which is frustrating if, like me, you only borrowed the books instead of buying them.

The House of Mystery was sometimes romantic, sometimes exciting, sometimes scary and sometimes hilarious. I loved the witty dialogue, the intriguing stories and all the little details that rewarded you for paying attention. I fell in love with the characters and now that it's over I will miss them a little.

If you enjoyed this series you should definitely check out The Sandman (if you haven't already), since it's similar in its epic scope, occasional creepiness and dark humour.

Rated: 9/10
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Why? To find out how it all ends.
Where: All good book shops and libraries.
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