Thursday, November 17, 2011

Darkness Falling by Peter Crowther

Published September 27, 2011.

When four employees of KMRT Radio investigate an unearthly light that cuts off communication with the outside world, they discover that something has taken the place of their friends and fellow townfolk, and imbued them with malign intentions. Little do they know, the phenomenon is not unique to the town of Jesman's Bend... (


I didn't want to stop reading it in the sense that I didn't want another horror novel to fail but I really just couldn't take it anymore. That blurb? It's misleading. Up to the point where I stopped reading, somewhere between a quarter and a third of the way through, not only was it from the POV of the radio people, but there was also some guy on a plane, a crazy old lady that talked to voices in her head and a serial killer. And they were all interpreting the same thing for far too long.

I was kind of wondering where the story was going right form the beginning when it started rambling on about this guy's wife and how he hated her and she was causing problems for him on the plane. This was one hell of a tangent that went on for far longer than it should have before the creepy element happened that zapped everyone away. Then that same zap moment was replayed from the POV of the crazy lady with an equally long tangent of backstory, the serial killer and all of his gross idiosyncrasies and the radio station people with more of the same. It's like I was stuck in the Twilight Zone, reliving the same damn moment over and over and over again. Or is that Groundhog's Day? Probably both.

The plot just stalled out for me and when actions actually started to get repeated amongst the characters (like serial killer and the radio people busting into people's empty houses) I just put it down. The characters were unnecessarily effed in the head, I felt like a hamster in a wheel reading and, personally, I could tell that it was someone only familiar with the stereotypes of Southern accents creating the accents in the story. I was right in assuming that since the author is British. Very cliche, podunk accents that one thinks of when they think of a Southerner, not necessarily what it really is.

Plus the author had a heinous habit of name dropping like crazy. I couldn't go a chapter without multiple references to books, authors, musicians, movies, actors and whatever else you could think of. And then he referenced Kent State, and needlessly mentioned the riots that happened there seemingly just to prove that the author himself knew about them, because it was irrelevant to anything that was going on. That just hammered the nail into the forceful coffin for me. I was done. I couldn't be bothered to make my way to the end if I had to slog through endless repetition and constant pop culture references.

This one had some great potential but it was far too scattered and directionless for my tastes. It breaks my heart when horror novels turn out to be turds but I'll carry on.

Ban Factor: Unknown - Didn't finish reading it so I couldn't tell you. But from what I did read it seemed pretty harmless despite it's horror categorizing. Except for the serial killer.
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