The Nice House On The Lake” – Book Eleven
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Álvaro Martínez Bueno
Color Artist: Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: AndWorld Design
Reviewed by Steve J. Ray

Summary

They’re eleven people in a perfect house, in a perfect world… at least, that’s what they thought. Their best friend, a man named Walter, isn’t actually a man at all. He invited them here under false pretenses; this isn’t a vacation, it’s the subtlest of traps.

While the eleven are safe the rest of the world has died screaming and their memories of the event were erased, theoretically to avoid more suffering. Now, in The Nice House On The Lake #11, their memories have returned and their futures are at stake.

Positives

Wow. Talk about explosive! Last month’s issue saw more of Walter’s secrets revealed, as the housemates finally learned the truth about their situation. Now, the controls Walter used to wipe his friends’ memories and manipulate their physical and mental well-being have been tampered with. On top of all this, one of the housemates has seemingly been killed.

Horror and tension have always been present in these pages, but this penultimate chapter manages to up the ante and deliver even more shocks and twists. Walter and his masters may have spared the occupants of the house, but right from the beginning Walter’s been lying, both to his superiors and to his human friends.

James Tynion IV, Álvaro Martínez Bueno, Jordie Bellaire, and Deron Bennett have created one of the greatest pieces of horror fiction I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. Although the series is ending, they’ve never lost momentum. I know that I’ve complained about the scheduling of this title in the past, but this penultimate issue has come hot on the heels of its predecessor and masterfully built on everything that’s been taking us through to December’s finale.

Has Walter known exactly what was going to happen all along and planned for it? Or worse, has this been his plan all along?

James Tynion has cleverly shown us how all this will most likely end, writing scenes set “now” and interspersing them with those telling showing us how we got here. With the final issue now around the corner, we still have a few pieces missing from the puzzle. This story has been exquisitely and expertly crafted, so much so that I will re-read all eleven issues again in the days leading up to the release of the final chapter.

Negatives

I take back my complaints about the delays we’ve had since the series started… I don’t want it to end. On the flip side, I also cannot wait to see how this all plays out.

Verdict

The Nice House On The Lake #11 has blown my mind… again. Memories have been lost, regained, manipulated, and edited like a document on a PC. Walter’s been writing all these people’s lives for decades, but now the puppets’ strings have been cut.

Is this horror fiction, or a critic’s look at how writers treat their characters, as told by a writer? This series works on so many levels and I’ve loved every second. For now, however, the end is, quite literally, nigh.

Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment


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