Review: The Empty Wishing House by Larissa Vincente


Magical Realism



I’m done hiding. It’s time to enjoy life again.

My life has been a disaster and all I want is to recover and start dating again.

One night, I went out and explored a creepy abandoned house with my best friends and suddenly everything changed. I took one sip of a forgotten wine bottle, on a dare, and it’s the last thing I should’ve done.

Visions and dreams of beautiful and terrifying men start to plague me—only the dreams feel real as I visit a mysterious dreamscape night after night.

In my dreams, one man wants my love and the other wants me dead.

Both men will do anything to have me for their purposes.

When my dreams start spilling over into real life, I need answers. There’s no one to turn to and no one’s coming to help. I’m running out of time.

The men claim to know me, but I don’t know them.

I don’t remember them.

But they remember me.


Reviewed by Dakota Watson

The Empty Wishing House by Larissa Vincente offers a tantalizing glimpse into the world of lucid dreaming, but somewhat falls short of fully realizing its potential in this first installment of a promising series. Despite its brevity, the book presents a captivating premise that immediately draws the reader in. The mystery surrounding characters like Kiara, Ilya, and Ramone is beautifully woven throughout the narrative, leaving readers eagerly anticipating answers. However, the minimal worldbuilding in The Empty Wishing House leave readers feeling unsatisfied, particularly those who value rich and immersive settings in their reading experience. Without sufficient detail and depth in the world building, the story feels lacking in texture and believability.

Vincente’s exploration of lucid dreaming is undoubtedly intriguing, with Kiara’s confusion and attempts to navigate the enigmatic dreamscapes serving as highlights of the story. However, the book’s short length limits the development of both the plot and the characters, resulting in a narrative that feels somewhat rushed and lacking in depth.

While the author’s writing style may not resonate with every reader, the execution of the constant mystery surrounding the characters is commendable. Despite this, the characters themselves ultimately feel two dimensional and could benefit from further exploration and development.

Kiara’s characterization leaves something to be desired, particularly in her interactions outside of the dream world. While the dream scenes offer glimpses into her psyche and struggles, the portrayal of her real life persona falls short of capturing the complexity expected of a twenty eight year old woman. Despite a few scenes where she interacts with her best friend, Kiara’s character remains largely underdeveloped, lacking depth and maturity. This portrayal come across as naïve and childish, which potentially detract from readers’ ability to fully connect with her as a protagonist.

Ilya and Ramone serve as intriguing enigmas within the narrative, their presence adding layers of mystery and tension to the story. However, their lack of development prevents readers from fully understanding their roles and significance in Kiara’s journey. The limited exploration of their characters leaves readers yearning for more depth and complexity. With minimal insight into their backgrounds, motivations, and personalities, it’s challenging for readers to fully invest in these characters or form strong emotional connections with them.

The series undeniably has the potential to evolve into something truly excellent, with its exploration of lucid dreaming and mysterious characters holding significant promise. However, to reach this potential, the execution of the narrative and the fleshing out of characters must be prioritized moving forward.

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