Book Review: The Witch’s House: The Diary of Ellen by Fummy

Title: The Witch’s House: The Diary of Ellen
Author: Fummy, vgperson (Translator)
Released: December 31st, 2019 (Kindle)
Series: N/A
Rating: ★★★★★

Description:
Such cruelty that can come of purity… A prequel story to the popular horror game The Witch’s House.

It’s recommended this story be read after seeing the true ending of The Witch’s House.

Included as a bonus with the e-book release is an excerpt that was initially shelved when the book was written, “A Black Cat’s Monologue”. Written by the original author Fummy, featuring cover art and 35 illustrations.

Please keep in mind that this review contains spoilers for the entire book and the entire game. Read with caution. If you click the “Read More”, it is under the assumption that you either don’t care about spoilers, you’ve already read the book, or played the entire game. Although if you’ve played the game, you really should read this first before clicking ahead.

One of the problems of reading a book that’s a prequel is that you might have an idea of what happened prior to the main story or at least a general idea. The only thing that a prequel story might do is, really, confirm some theories of what had happened.

And especially more so if the particular had done well enough to plant the seeds of what had happened before. So, imagine my surprise when something like this comes along – I’ve only watched a Let’s Play of this game because I don’t do well with jump scares and chase sequences but the person who did this Let’s Play in particular went out of their way to get the True Ending.

Now, of course, I’ve always wondered why Ellen, the main antagonist, had switched bodies with Viola, the main protagonist… or would it be the other way around? As the case may be, this story lets us peek into Ellen’s past and why she looks at what she does… and why she forced to switch bodies with Viola.

In a fury, Ellen had killed her parents because she wasn’t loved by them. Worse yet, her mother was apparently having an affair with a richer man and probably said her goodbyes to properly abandon them and a father who only worked and smoked his pipe. He never saw Ellen as his daughter or even a person who existed.

And the reason? Because Ellen was deathly ill. I believe she may have had leprosy or at least something similar to it. But regardless, she managed to kill both of her parents and got offered a deal by a demon whose body she had just buried – she had seen a cat’s body by her window and she was kind enough to find the energy to bury it… And yet, she didn’t find it in her heart to be kind to her parents.

While this story more or less confirmed what a lot of fans believed had happened prior to the story, I honestly do think this could’ve stood alone even for those who haven’t played the game themselves (or are unable to for any reason).

The reason why I gave it five stars is for the simple fact that, while yes it was somewhat predictable of what happened and it confirmed my own personal theories about what had happened, in this case, it was more about the journey. And what a journey it was.

For this particular story, it was extremely dark. There were some places Ellen went that I wasn’t sure if the original protagonist would ever come to brighten up her world. And what makes it even direr was when the focus shifted from Ellen’s point of view to Viola’s. When it was Viola’s time to shine, this prequel added depth to her that I didn’t think it was possible. The only thing that you’re granted at the beginning of the game as a starting point – where “Viola” is led to the Witch’s House and she was drawn to it. But we never really knew why she was drawn into it in the game itself or why the witch, “Ellen”, wanted her body so much.

The way it was written, or rather translated, really captured my imagination as I imagined a rotting Ellen as she wondered about life outside the slums. I imagined her in the amazing garden inside the house. I imagined the screams and pain of those who died in the house. It’s amazing that even in Viola’s time, the rumors of the witch had long since gone after a hunter tried to kill Ellen.

With few words and a few phrases, I was watching this awful play act out in front of me and I wanted to find out the cruel conclusion. That’s why I rated it five stars – it could very well be a stand-alone without the game. But I also understand why the author prefers readers to read this after they’ve played the game. The game itself teases a bit of naught magic being performed but this story confirms it.

As for the short story, “A Black Cat’s Monologue”, it’s pretty good for the fact that you get a third perspective but on the other hand, I’m glad the author only decided to add in behind the prequel and not as a stand-alone story by itself. It doesn’t really surprise me with anything I already didn’t know. I suppose I’m a bit disappointed that it didn’t give anything else about the black cat’s agenda or even his past. Ah, well.

Would I recommend you to read this? Of course, I would! But only after you visit the true ending of A Witch’s House.

About Lily

A fujoshi who won't shut up about anime, manga, video games, BJDs, nendoroids, and anime conventions. She apparently can't stop writing either.

Posted on January 14, 2020, in ★★★★★ – 5 Stars, Book Reviews, Light Novels, Oneshots, RPG Maker Novels and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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