Publication Date: December 4th 2018 by Atria/Emily Bestler Books
About the book:
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.
The Mansion started off a little slow for me with the introduction of characters and explanations of the technology Shawn and Billy were trying to invent way back before Eagle Logic officially took off. But as soon as that was out of the way, I was completely hooked wanting to find out what happened to Billy, Shawn and Emily in that tiny cabin on the creepy property of Eagle Mansion. Especially, since Billy and Emily are back, ten years after their spectacular fallout with Shawn, trying to fix the glitches of Shawn and Billy’s original creation: Nellie.
Nellie’s a far more advanced version of our present-day Alexa or Siri, and Shawn finally got her up and running, but with bugs that his own team of engineers can’t iron out. Nellie’s been installed in the newly renovated Eagle Mansion, a renovation that’s been plagued by questionable accidents with Nellie acting up all over the place. There’s a “ghost in the machine” that makes Nellie unpredictable, and dangerous…
I wanted to know: Was Eagle Mansion and the grounds truly haunted? Or was this just a case of malfunctioning technology? There’s a dark history between Shawn and Billy, even before Emily, slowly revealed through character’s memories as they tackle the problem of Nellie in the present. The revelations were chilling! From Shawn’s own past, to what went down ten years ago with Shawn, Billy and a third programmer who eventually disappeared. Scenes from the past and present made my hair stand on end and my pulse race! I love it when an author can put me on edge, and fill me with tension over what might happen next!
I felt Mr. Boone really dug down deep with his characters in The Mansion compared to The Hatching books. I appreciated that this was a bit more character driven since I love getting inside and finding out what makes them tick! Billy, Shawn and Emily, were all likable and unlikable at times; perfectly imperfect, and it was easy to sympathize with them even when I didn’t approve of their actions.
The Mansion was a book I really wanted to read straight through, but sadly life had other plans for me. Still, every time I picked the book back up, I was again riveted by the story unfolding. Ezekiel Boone created a very different story from his previous series, The Hatching, but both are compelling, and frightening in their own ways. I eagerly await whatever Mr. Boone comes up with next!