Title: The Mansion
Author: Ezekiel Boone
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books
Publish Date: December 4, 2018
My Rating: 4/5
After two years of living on cheap beer and little else in a bitterly cold tiny cabin outside an abandoned, crumbling mansion, young programmers Shawn Eagle and Billy Stafford have created something that could make them rich: a revolutionary computer they name Eagle Logic.
But the hard work and escalating tension have not been kind to their once solid friendship—Shawn’s girlfriend Emily has left him for Billy, and a third partner has disappeared under mysterious circumstances. While Billy walks away with Emily, Shawn takes Eagle Logic, which he uses to build a multi-billion-dollar company that eventually outshines Apple, Google, and Microsoft combined.
Years later, Billy is a failure, beset by poverty and addiction, and Shawn is the most famous man in the world. Unable to let the past be forgotten, Shawn decides to resurrect his and Billy’s biggest failure: a next-generation computer program named Nellie that can control a house’s every function. He decides to set it up in the abandoned mansion they worked near all those years ago. But something about Nellie isn’t right—and the reconstruction of the mansion is plagued by accidental deaths. Shawn is forced to bring Billy back, despite their longstanding mutual hatred, to discover and destroy the evil that lurks in the source code.
Shawn and Billy once created a computer called Eagle Logic, but their friendship and business partnership went downhill fast. Shawn went on to build Eagle Logic into a a billion-dollar tech company. Now, it’s years later, and Shawn needs Billy’s help resurrecting an old project. The project is a next-generation computer program that has a problem Shawn can’t work out on his own. He has housed the project in his family’s old mansion, which he recently remodeled. Billy takes the job, and he and his wife Emily move into the mansion.
A haunted house story with a technological twist. The old mansion has had numerous disasters occur on the grounds. The locals say it’s haunted. The computer program, Nellie, is enhanced home automation. Sure, Nellie turns on lights, locks doors, adjusts temperatures, etc., but she does more too. Nellie is a presence. She takes care of it all.
This story is told using flashbacks from when Shawn and Billy worked together to tell how they came to be who they are today. A big part of the story is that Shawn and Billy both love Emily. She was once Shawn’s girlfriend, but ended up with Billy.
Supercomputer. Haunted house. Love triangle. This novel has a lot happening, but it is slowly drawn out. I’ve read The Hatching and Skitter by Ezekiel Boone, and I was expecting a faster moving story. The Mansion definitely burns slowly.
A combination of horror and technothriller. It’s more eerie than scary. Atmospheric, creepy, and high-tech.