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House of Mystery, Volume 5: Under New Management

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A new era for the House of Mystery begins as Fig reopens the bar to the public, with Cain himself as her new partner. Trouble arises, though, when a young man arrives claiming to have a very special relationship with Fig. The problem: Fig has no idea who he is. And she doesn’t much like him, either. Collecting: House of Mystery 21-25


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A new era for the House of Mystery begins as Fig reopens the bar to the public, with Cain himself as her new partner. Trouble arises, though, when a young man arrives claiming to have a very special relationship with Fig. The problem: Fig has no idea who he is. And she doesn’t much like him, either. Collecting: House of Mystery 21-25

30 review for House of Mystery, Volume 5: Under New Management

  1. 4 out of 5

    Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)

    I think I just need to hang up the towel and admit this series is not for me. It's gruesome and dark in a way that doesn't appeal to me. The characters are either sadistic or they fall prey to other sadistic characters. I wouldn't say I'm too squeamish to enjoy any horror, but this kind of horror I don't like. I was drawn in by the story within a story format and the idea of a house between dimensions. But those things don't overshadow the unappealing aspects for me. I feel the series really jum I think I just need to hang up the towel and admit this series is not for me. It's gruesome and dark in a way that doesn't appeal to me. The characters are either sadistic or they fall prey to other sadistic characters. I wouldn't say I'm too squeamish to enjoy any horror, but this kind of horror I don't like. I was drawn in by the story within a story format and the idea of a house between dimensions. But those things don't overshadow the unappealing aspects for me. I feel the series really jumped the shark with one event. I was like, seriously! I did kind of like the cameo though. I guess I'm going to have to say that this is the last volume I will read. My sister is tough and I'll ask her to hold me accountable not to pick any of these up. It's a shame. I want to know how things end. I suppose I'll have to do what I did with the Under the Dome show. I had my sister keep me honest! I stepped away and haven't looked back, other than drooling over pictures of Mike Vogel. I don't think that there's a hot actor in this series to tempt me to reading more of this series. Three stars because it's not really bad quality or poorly written. It's just not my taste.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Bradley

    Grand Re-opening! As always, I'm enjoying the shorts. It's not always about the episodes, but it usually is. I can't quite decide whether I'm supposed to focus on the characters or the tales they tell, but one thing is certain. Cain is always a kick.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Wendy Lohr

    *This review can also be found on my blog, The Never-Ending TBR Pile. Despair. Heartache. Change. The House of Mystery has a new location and new boundaries for the remaining 'residents' there. They can actually leave the house, but they can't leave the location. Any change is good, right? Not really. Some characters are gone. Some have been around in the background but are now getting more of the spotlight. And some characters are still the same, but have changed due to the sequence of events. And *This review can also be found on my blog, The Never-Ending TBR Pile. Despair. Heartache. Change. The House of Mystery has a new location and new boundaries for the remaining 'residents' there. They can actually leave the house, but they can't leave the location. Any change is good, right? Not really. Some characters are gone. Some have been around in the background but are now getting more of the spotlight. And some characters are still the same, but have changed due to the sequence of events. And one character is new, twisting an already complicated story into a whole new level of complexity. A lot of questions have now been answered since this journey began in the first installment. But now there are many more questions that I want answers to. I'm hoping the last three volumes will provide those answers, but I have to wait for them to be delivered before I can continue on. As for the artwork, spot on as always and a real pleasure to the visual senses! I love the different styles incorporated to tell the various stories and can't wait to dive back into this strange and fascinating world once more, letting the art tell as much of the story as the words themselves. So, change has come to the House of Mystery, but not all of it is good. And the despair and heartache felt because of some of these changes practically oozes off the pages, drawing you in to experience it for yourself. No doubt there will be more changes and revelations and surprises as the story progresses and I eagerly look forward to experiencing even more of this strange world!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Allie

    This was weird, but I liked it. I didn't realise it was the 5th volume; I haven't read any of the others, but based on this: I would.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Raeanne G. Roy

    Wasn't fond of the Strawberry storyline, but the rest was interesting.

  6. 5 out of 5

    colleen the convivial curmudgeon

    4.5 I loved, loved, loved this entry of the series. After the last volume's sort of lackluster everything, this was a burst of much needed awesomeness. I should say, though, that I can see why others might be a bit less enthused. Once again, the main story is sort of parsed out in drips and drabs throughout the book. Things and people are coming together in interesting ways, but I also found myself confused at much of what was going on because, frankly, I'd forgotten most of what happened in the l 4.5 I loved, loved, loved this entry of the series. After the last volume's sort of lackluster everything, this was a burst of much needed awesomeness. I should say, though, that I can see why others might be a bit less enthused. Once again, the main story is sort of parsed out in drips and drabs throughout the book. Things and people are coming together in interesting ways, but I also found myself confused at much of what was going on because, frankly, I'd forgotten most of what happened in the last book (since lackluster = boring = forgettable). But what really makes this installment are the stories within the story - which is, really, what sold me on this series in the first place, as I also loved them in the first volume as well, though I feel they've mostly suffered between then and now. But, once again, I found myself captivated by those other stories, sometimes funny, sometimes disturbing. The other thing I loved is something that I think you might have to be a Sandman fan to truly appreciate - crossover! Cain has been a part of the story from the beginning, but now he's more involved in the day-to-dayness of it. And, with Cain is Abel. And Goldie! And then in comes Lucien, with a pen-sword, and Eve. It was like a reunion from beyond the Gates of Horn and Ivory. (For any authors reading, the Corinthian would be a most interesting cameo for the denizens of the House. *grins*) Anyway - really enjoyed this entry, even if it did only move the overall arc of the story ahead ever so slightly (though some of the narration was poignant and gripping - which was another thing I liked from the beginning which I felt was a bit lacking of late). I suppose we'll see what comes in the future. Whenever I get myself psyched up for a series the next installment almost always disappoints - so I'll try not to expect too much.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Etain

    I like the stories, the artwork. I like it, but I don't. Perhaps it's because at this point, I just want to say "Get on with it!" I'm mainly reading because I just want to know, why....why is Fig so important, who is she really, what is so important about her. Even Fig, the main character, is as confused and wanting "the" answers as much as the readers. I felt the series was a bit of a drag or slow, I like it but I can't help but feel like they're sucking my money for nothing and I'd be sorely d I like the stories, the artwork. I like it, but I don't. Perhaps it's because at this point, I just want to say "Get on with it!" I'm mainly reading because I just want to know, why....why is Fig so important, who is she really, what is so important about her. Even Fig, the main character, is as confused and wanting "the" answers as much as the readers. I felt the series was a bit of a drag or slow, I like it but I can't help but feel like they're sucking my money for nothing and I'd be sorely disappointed in the end when everything is finally answered or ends. This volume and the last one has been hinting of something big happening, or "soon to come" (in a dark, low, dramatic, epic voice), but come on! It's been 5 volumes already and three more left and still nothing. Five volumes of hints and false messages and teasing from that plot who just won't give you any, not even an good flash of excitement to grab hold of you so that the wait will suffice. I'm so close to want to call it quit but I'm hoping, just maybe it would be epic when the story finally have an awesome story arc that can satisfy my thirst and need. Damnit, I want you to give it up for me already!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jaimie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The House's occupants have just started to settle in when Fig's long lost (and completely forgotten) brother shows up and starts rattling cages. It turns out that everything he's spouting is the truth, but he's a pretty twisted person so I'm happy to see him get murdered (ostensibly by Abel). Unfortunately, he'll be back before too long because the last scenes of the book show him meeting up with Fig's dad and grandfather (now a ghost) in the Land Inbetween. Between the three of them I highly do The House's occupants have just started to settle in when Fig's long lost (and completely forgotten) brother shows up and starts rattling cages. It turns out that everything he's spouting is the truth, but he's a pretty twisted person so I'm happy to see him get murdered (ostensibly by Abel). Unfortunately, he'll be back before too long because the last scenes of the book show him meeting up with Fig's dad and grandfather (now a ghost) in the Land Inbetween. Between the three of them I highly doubt that Fig and co. will be allowed much time to rest before the war that's brewing with the Conception comes to fruition. Fig's bargain with the Conception in the previous volume may just pit her against her own family when the war is finally fought, but she might be more willing to do so because her family seems like a pretty large bunch of jerks thus far...

  9. 4 out of 5

    zxvasdf

    The House of Mystery is a tall tale for the 21st century. Within its pages are the syntheses of entirely new Grimm Bros slash Aesop's Fables tales. Grim and macabre moral stories pepper the main plot. (My favorite for this book is the meet cute). Speaking of the main plot, the book rides quite nicely to the last page the minds of several different authors. I don't know if Sturges commissioned this himself, or it was Vertigo who did, but it's a brilliant idea. Each author brings their talent to th The House of Mystery is a tall tale for the 21st century. Within its pages are the syntheses of entirely new Grimm Bros slash Aesop's Fables tales. Grim and macabre moral stories pepper the main plot. (My favorite for this book is the meet cute). Speaking of the main plot, the book rides quite nicely to the last page the minds of several different authors. I don't know if Sturges commissioned this himself, or it was Vertigo who did, but it's a brilliant idea. Each author brings their talent to the table. An obvious off shoot of Sandman, I hope the House of Mystery has an equally impressive run.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Felix

    Having followed this series for 26 issues, I think I'll give up on it. I just don't seem to care what happens to the characters or how the background story develops. I guess the build-up is just too slow for me and I get impatient. After over two years worth of monthly issues I still don't know what the powers-that-be (i.e. The Conception) want nor what their actual powers are, nor where their alliances lie, nor who they actually are! There seems to be some underlying big-scale conflict between Having followed this series for 26 issues, I think I'll give up on it. I just don't seem to care what happens to the characters or how the background story develops. I guess the build-up is just too slow for me and I get impatient. After over two years worth of monthly issues I still don't know what the powers-that-be (i.e. The Conception) want nor what their actual powers are, nor where their alliances lie, nor who they actually are! There seems to be some underlying big-scale conflict between Fig's family and the Conception but it eludes me what they are struggling about and why... I'm sorry, but after over 600 pages that's just not enough to keep me interested...

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lara

    For whatever reason I liked this one much more than I did the last volume, even though yeah, the story doesn't really move ahead by much. I think that's the thing though--I don't even really care all that much about the main plot line when the side stories entertain me, and I found there was a lot of interest in this particular collection, and I was reminded of why I liked this series so much when I first started reading it. I'm definitely looking forward to reading the final two volumes.

  12. 4 out of 5

    S.M.M. Lindström

    I still enjoy the side-stories very much, but I've begun to lose interest in the main storyline. The addition of yet more (quite unlikable) characters and yet more plotlines and sub-plots took a way from the already established characters which I was already invested in. It's not a bad story or a boring story, but it felt a bit like it was a new story, slowly taking over from the one that had been set up - at least when it came to the characters.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Stewart Tame

    This volume actually stands alone to a reasonable extent. As the title suggests, Cain and Fig have come to an agreement regarding the House. Sturges has a good handle on Cain's character and he often steals the scene without even trying. The back humor, which has always been present in the writing, comes more to the fore in this volume. Lots of fun stories. I particularly enjoyed the Sergio Aragones illustrated short. Good stuff!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Alan

    While the status quo for the House and Bar have changed a little bit, such as Cain has returned and others have been forced out, I enjoyed Fig's characterization here. True, we now have more questions about Fig's past, but in this installment she moves much more to fore, and takes more charge of her life. Unfortunately, this does shove some of the other characters way into the background.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    One of the less interesting and substantial of the series, which overall I like, but no doubt the creators occasionally have fallow periods, but need to get something added. Hopefully the next one will be superior. It really didn't advance the main story, nor were the side stories all that wonderful. Nevertheless, I still like the concept and a few of the characters.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Amanda [Novel Addiction]

    I think I continue to read this series because of the brief glimpses we get of characters seen in the Sandman series. The story itself is interesting enough, and I'll certainly keep reading it, but this is definitely not the best thing Vertigo has put out. However, I did find a quote in this volume that amused be quite a bit. "You people with your quests annoy the pants off me." - Cain

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Once again, this graphic novel series is entertaining, if not wildly creative. If you like pretty straightforward, short horror stories, this isn't a bad diversion. The ongoing characters are continuing to develop a bit, as we learn more about Cain and Abel in this volume and about Fig's deal with the Conception. I'll move on to volume 6.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Scott Lee

    Does a decent job of establishing the new status quo after the last collection ended the first arc by restoring Cain to the House of Mystery. I'm okay with how it worked out. Some of the better short stories so far are in this volume, I think. Doesn't do a whole lot to rev up new plotlines though...hence four out of five. Now where did I put volume six?

  19. 4 out of 5

    Venus Maneater

    I miss Harry. Fig doesn't radiate the same clarity and coherence as he did and I do think this comic needs that. The various stories told by the bar patrons are okay. Some a bit gruesome, some trying a bit too hard to be funny, but all in all they're okay. The main story-line is wobbly and takes all kinds of turns and twists, but still keeps me reading.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Michaela

    I'm beginning to have a hard time with this series. Obviously tied to the previous Sandman series. But I don't understand the Inception-like connections and am beginning to tire of the lack of character development. A figment of the imagination meets what? And why does Cain care?

  21. 4 out of 5

    Donald

    The story picks up after the conclusion of the prior story arc leaves Fig and Cain sharing management of the House. An unexpected guest with some SERIOUS skin art shows up to keep things interesting. Oh yeah, mayhem ensues. I have thoroughly enjoyed these books and this volume is no exception.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Peacegal

    I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this one. It's not for all tastes, but if you don'y mind some rude humor, the mishmash style of stories and art will draw you in. I also enjoyed the author's truthful discussion of grief and its effects.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    Oh, it was good, but Neil Gaiman set the bar in The Sandman series, and the first volumes of HoM kept the pace and brought us back to our roots. So it's worth a read, and above many things on your list.

  24. 5 out of 5

    nidah05 (SleepDreamWrite)

    Weird you are. Yeah that's all I got. I got nothing else to say. The art just draws you in as the same can be said for the stories being told and the characters. So win win? But of course the weirdness is at a 10. Pretty good none the less.

  25. 4 out of 5

    GrilledCheeseSamurai (Scott)

    Cain and Abel crack me up. They always have. The two of them frequent this particular volume so it makes sense that I enjoyed it. Some interesting short stories in this one as well. Oh yeah...also... Goblins! Fuck yeah!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Alex Sarll

    Continuing the series past what was clearly planned as a possible endpoint, the overplot is starting to feel a little forced. But some of the tales within the tale are lovely, especially Sergio Aragones on a Lovecraftian Western and John Bolton's elegant vampire romance.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Morbus Iff

    I love the idea, but I'm rarely a fan of the execution. "Eh", I say.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Chantale

    Gory and suspenseful. I really enjoyed this one!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Chris Lemmerman

    Oops, did I finish another volume of this so quickly? Must be because it's bloody awesome.

  30. 5 out of 5

    D.

    A tale with so much blood and regret shouldn't be this sweet, not by half.

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