Clod Iremonger lives at the Heap House. It is a strange mansion full of mazes surrounded by and built from lost and discarded items from London. Everyone in Clod’s family has a birth object, something that is chosen for them when they are born. They must keep this item with them at all times. Clod can hear these birth objects speak. Each one says a different name, his bath plug says James Henry. Things begin to get even stranger when Lucy Pennant arrives at the house. A big storm seems to be taking shape and the voices are getting louder. What will be left when the mysteries of the house come unraveled?
To be honest, it is hard to even describe this book. In a nutshell, it was strange. The fantasy of it was very dark. This book included elements of child slavery, cruelty, and just plain evil. I found it to be incredibly original and creative. It started a bit slow, but I think most of that came from my confusion. As I read more, I found that I could not stop reading. The characters were unique, and I liked them all, even if I liked them because they were evil. They were almost as well described as the setting of the house and its grounds. I would love to have a chance to wander the house and grounds. I also like that each chapter began with a picture of a different character in the book. It really helped to visualize such fantastical characters. I also enjoyed that the story was told from two different perspectives, Clod and Lucy. It allowed us to hear the story of the house from the side of privilege as well as the side of captivity. I really enjoyed this book, but I wonder if it would appeal to too small of a group.