Book Review: House of Pain by Karolina Wilde

Thank you, NetGalley and Xpresso Book Tours, for the chance to read and review House of Pain by Karolina Wilde.

House of Pain is the first book in the Precious Villains trilogy by Karolina Wilde. It’s also the author’s self-published debut novel which came out on the 6th of December. This 476-page book is billed as a Gothic Harry Potter meets Gossip Girl, and I AM HERE FOR IT!

The book was sexy; it was fun, and it was fast-paced. I loved the competition that was taking place, and I loved how the house you’re in had a genuine impact on how you survived at school and after it. In short, I loved the world Wilde set up here. I was a huge fan of Val and how ruthless she is. I legit don’t think she had enough page time! The side characters like Jolene were also cute, and I wish we’d seen more of her and Alecto interact.

There are things that I feel could have been edited out. Some of the names, like Rogue, were just too cheesy. Some things, like what happened to that girl by the lake, were not elaborated on, and I wish we could’ve found out more. While I liked Alecto and Blaze, things were too heavy-handed. Some subtlety in terms of violence can also be effective. The whole demon they summoned at the start and the spell which was super focused on how hot he was supposed to be felt a bit odd; like the book was smut with some plot and not vice versa. It also didn’t really feel very relevant. I also didn’t get how Alecto was part of the inner circle when people seem to hate her so much for being a half breed.

That being said, I feel like these are teething problems or even things that can be cleared up in the next book. I have already pre-ordered the next book…


Alecto Black has spent her whole life in Inathis, yet she never quite fit in being the half-witch amongst the purebloods. When she finally enrolled in the most prestigious witchcraft university, The Venefica Academy, last year and joined the House of Snakes as a rightful legacy member, she thought she had finally found her place.

But every year, The Venefica Academy students that belong to 12 Houses all participate in the deadly Game that many witches don’t survive. And when the second year at Venefica starts, Alecto finds herself a target of one of the rival Houses while also having to face the enemy from the inside — fellow Snake, Blaze Leveau. As secrets start unraveling, hate turns into something more dangerous and deadly.

While Alecto tries to fight her new dangerous attraction to Blaze, she also finds herself asking how far she is willing to go to secure her place in the world that wants to destroy her?

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