House of Dark Shadows by Robert Liparlulo is the first in a series called Dreamhouse Kings. I was a little disappointed in this book. Not because of the book itself so much as that it didn't meet my expectations for Thomas Nelson. I was expecting something with Christian undertones. This book is largely irreligious except for one mention of the family looking for a church after their move. From a Christian mom perspective, I found some of the slang a little crude. Also I think that some people might object to a sentence revealing that the main character smoked two cigarettes and didn't think his dad would make too big of a deal about it.
The story line is pretty intriguing. The cliff hanger ending makes you want to purchase the next book. There is even a cool twist at the end. But through all of this the family never turns to God. They never pray about their perilous situation. They are completely reliant on themselves. You never get a hint that they are reliant on him in any way.
The parents are decent examples, firm but kind. The mother quit her job to stay home with the kids. The dad is the obvious leader of the home without being overbearing. The family dynamics seemed decent. The main character, Xander, is a little whiny at the beginning, but gets over himself quickly enough that I didn't have to grit my teeth to get through the book.
I think had I just checked this book out from the library I probably would have given it 3.5 or even 4 stars. But I was expecting so much more from Thomas Nelson that I can only give it 3 stars.