There is a great deal that is excellent about Tenebrae Manor, the writing itself being the main one. The prose is beautifully rendered in the gothic style and it quickly becomes clear that this author can write very well.
Tenebrae Manor has a delightful cast of bizarre characters, and the generic names vampire, mummy, demon, imp and so on do them little justice for they are unique. The book focuses on Bordeaux, a demon, but also follows several other characters, and each are intriguing and complex characters.
The descriptions are highly evocative and the eerie quality of the manor and its surroundings pervades everything, though sometimes I felt that the author had become so enamoured with the beauty of his or her prose that they forgot that the purpose of prose is to tell a story.
So why, when there is so much that is excellent, have I given it only three stars? Because it is extremely slow moving and far too little happens. I wanted this not to be a problem, and I immersed myself in the flavour of the book, enjoying that while I waited for something to happen. Trouble is, nothing much did. I found myself putting the book down and doing other things. After a while, I found myself not looking forward to picking it up again. Eventually, I had to admit that despite my desire for it to be otherwise, the book had lost me. But, don’t let that put you off. This author is worth supporting and I hope to see a stronger offering from them in the future.
This book needs the plot elements strengthened and the pace sped up considerably. Something needs to happen early on; the threat needs to be stronger and felt much earlier. A good prune would help, but it will also expose the structural problems and the author may find that they are left with little in the way of a novel. Quite simply, not enough happens.
If you are happy to immerse yourself in an eerie gothic manor in a dark and brooding forest and don’t need a strong story to hold you, you may well enjoy this more than I did, but as it is, it does not meet the criteria for inclusion in the Awesome Indies list.