Look Out For … The Militia House by John Milas

The Militia House by John Milas - cover“With this horrifying debut, Milas mines from his own experiences with a strange gothic haunting set against the brutal backdrop of modern warfare.”

Recently promoted Corporal Loyette and his unit are finishing their deployment in Kajaki, Afghanistan. It’s 2010, and they’re replacing the Brits currently stationed there, whittling away the boredom and dread loading cargo in and out of helicopters. The Brits love telling Loyette and his men about the history of the old barracks just off the base—a Soviet-era militia house they say is haunted. It doesn’t take make much to get Loyette and his men to take a trip outside the wire to check it out.

It’s not a long trip, but soon after their visit to the militia house, the men experience a mounting agitation. They do their best to forget the weird, disturbing sights and sounds from the house. Things feel really … not right. Determined to ignore his men’s growing unease, Loyette soon realizes there’s something about the militia house that refuses to let them go.

Why we’re excited about this book:

With his debut novel soon to release, John Milas knows a thing or two about the military, and horror. Milas enlisted in the US Marine Corp at nineteen and then deployed to Afghanistan, honorably discharged from active duty in 2012. From there, he earned his MFA in creative writing, working with such authors as Roxane Gay, Robert Lopez, Terese Marie Mailhot,  and Donald Platt. With this horrifying debut, Milas mines from his own experiences with a strange gothic haunting set against the brutal backdrop of modern warfare. Gus Moreno (This Thing Between Us) says: “I was floored from the very first page of The Militia House. Milas takes the absurdity of war and plants a haunted house tale in its heart. The result is terrifying and uncanny, with an ending so devastating that it felt like those final pages took a piece of me with them.”, and Dan Chaon (Ill Will, Sleepwalk) says: “It’s not enough to say that The Militia House is one of the great haunted house stories of this century. In his startling and aching portrait of American soldiers in Afghanistan, John Milas takes us deep into the psychological damage of war that these young people carry with them. This is an indelible first novel–terrifying and heart-rending, full of scenes and images that will linger for long afterward.”

Forthcoming from Henry Holt & Co. 11 July 2023, The Militia House by John Milas is available for pre-order now.



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