Review: Darkness Rising by Brian Moreland

darkness risingAbout Darkness Rising

It’s all fun and games until...

Marty Weaver, an emotionally scarred poet, has been bullied his entire life. When he drives out to the lake to tell an old friend that he’s fallen in love with a girl named Jennifer, Marty encounters three sadistic killers who have some twisted games in store for him. But Marty has dark secrets of his own buried deep inside him. And tonight, when all the pain from the past is triggered, when those secrets are revealed, blood will flow and hell will rise.

About the Author

Brian Moreland is the author of supernatural horror: DEAD OF WINTER, SHADOWS IN THE MIST, THE DEVIL'S WOODS, and THE VAGRANTS.

Kindle owners, download his FREE short story THE GIRL FROM THE BLOOD COVEN. The eBook sets up the mystery for THE WITCHING HOUSE.

Brian's latest eBook DARKNESS RISING releases September 1st, 2015.

My Thoughts

Brian Moreland's Darkness Rising sucked me in right from the very beginning, with a cold open revolving around the brutal murder of a couple by the lake. Their assailants are a trio of crazies clad in animal masks, a la You're Next, armed with knives and a video camera to record their depravity.

Cut to: hapless, love-struck, and oft bullied Marty, a janitor at the local university who tutors his object of affection in Shakespeare and poetry. She's way out of his league, and he confines his expressions of desire to the poems he writes in his private journal, reading them to himself at the lake. Ah, the lake...

All the pieces were there - poor Marty, his lover from a distance, Jennifer, and the mad sickos who use the lake as their twisted playground for depravity. I thought I knew where this story was going, thought I knew what to expect.

And boy was I wrong.

Moreland flips the script on its head rather nicely, shocking me out of my own complacency and delivering a ridiculously solid horror novella to while away the day with. I was more than a little disturbed at some of the character's backgrounds and history, which is exactly what you want in this type of story, but there's never an excess of detail or overwrought, trying-too-hard fumbling attempts to shock or turn the material toward the extreme (at least for my tastes).

Darkness Rising is a terrific, well-paced story of woe, revenge, and redemption that even manages to say and symbolically convey a few neat things about the act of writing, while delivering some satisfying twists and surprises. Read it!

[This review is based on an advanced copy received from the publisher via NetGalley.]

Buy Darkness Rising At Amazon

Michael Patrick Hicks

Michael Patrick Hicks is the author of the science fiction novels Convergence, an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2013 Quarter-Finalist, and Emergence. His work has appeared in several anthologies, and he has written for the websites Graphic Novel Reporter and Audiobook Reviewer. In between compulsively buying books and adding titles that he does not have time for to his Netflix queue, he is hard at work on his next story.

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