Thursday, May 30, 2019

Review: The Dark Game by Jonathan Janz

Author: Jonathan Janz
Publisher: Flame Tree Press
Date of publication: April 2019

Ten writers are selected for a summer-long writing retreat with the most celebrated and reclusive author in the world. Their host is the legendary Roderick Wells. Handsome, enigmatic, and fiendishly talented, Wells promises to teach his pupils about writing, about magic, about the untapped potential that each of them possesses. Most of all, he plans to teach them about the darkness in their hearts. The writers think they are signing up for a chance at riches and literary prestige. But they are really entering the twisted imagination of a deranged genius, a lethal contest pitting them against one another in a struggle for their sanity and their lives. They have entered into Roderick Wells's most brilliant and horrible creation. The Dark Game.

The Dark Game is the latest book by this author.  As you know, I love haunted house stories, so I was excited to give this one a try.  The presume sounded great.  Ten authors are invited to a house for a retreat.  All is well until the contest turns deadly.  Unfortunately, it didn't live up to my expectations.

I did enjoy my reading time, but I didn't love it.  I thought the gory scenes were done well.  This author is a master at writing them well enough to make you just a bit uncomfortable, but not extremely grossed out.  I also liked the ending.  It was a nice classic horror twist.  What disappointed me were the characters.  There were just too many of them.  It was hard to keep them straight.  None of them were very likable, so I didn't know who to root for.  This story is very similar to Kill Creek by Scott Thomas (my review).  I liked that one a bit more.  Despite my disappointments, this is still a good and enjoyable horror story and I would recommend it.

1 comment:

Ethan said...

Like you, I love horror. I'm happy to hear that the gore was handled in a way that was shocking but not over the top. That being said, too many unlikable characters can muddy the pace and make it hard to connect with the story.