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Within the Dark Places Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Within the Dark Places is one of the more frightening books I have read this year and will certainly stay with me after I’ve closed the final page. Using the shadows as something to be feared is uncanny as it makes the familiar unfamiliar. Imagine a mixture between Harry Potter’s Dementors and those murderous shadows from that one episode of Doctor Who, increase their liking for hiding in dark places, and there you have it: The Shadow Men.
The novel is fast paced and written in a clear style so the action does not get lost in wordy sentences, which is what you want from a thriller. As this was initially written as a screenplay and then developed into a novella, it reads like a film as the exhilarating action unfolds before your eyes, whilst being described in unforgiving detail. Thompson does not hold back on the gory scenes, and parts of Within the Dark Places will leave you grimacing and thanking your lucky stars you are not trapped in Druid Wood along with them. Although it is a short story, the characters are well developed and their relationships are believable. I really started to care about Joe’s character by the end, and I was rooting for him to defeat the revengeful monsters.
This was an easy and fun read, and I would recommend it to anyone who is scared of the dark. This book was sent to me for review purposes. My review is honest and any ideas and opinions are completely my own.
Thompson takes us on a rollercoaster ride through the aptly named Druids Wood. Druids were practisers of magic in the ancient Celtic religion, and often derived their power from nature. In a nod to this Thompson creates a circle of stones, similar to Stonehenge, within Druids Wood. The Druids were also thought to have practised human sacrifice. A wood named after such an ancient, mysterious and potentially dangerous group of individuals is a perfect setting for a horror story.
The opening chapter sets the scene in the wood but does not name the characters, instead calling them “the man” and “the woman”. When the main characters are introduced, they are not given surnames. This gives the book an impersonal feel and creates a feeling of detachment from the book for the reader. However the use of first names creates the illusion that the horror within the book can happen to anyone. This is clever and serves to keep the reader looking over their shoulder whilst reading!
The use of short chapters and cliff hangers is successful in creating and maintaining fear. The fear is mirrored in the characters, who hear voices in their heads and start talking to themselves: the first sign of madness. Thompson’s use of evocative and emotive language is effective; the fear and pain felt by the characters is apparent. This is useful for a scary and hair-raising horror story.Read more ›
Without giving any spoilers, the nature of the monsters hits close to home, as they derive from an everyday concept that all people experience in the midst of light and darkness. Thompson also ignites the reader’s senses with recurring smells, sounds, sights, and even changes in touch and temperature, with the appearance of his sinister creatures. As noted in the novella’s press release, Within the Dark Places began its life in the shape of a screenplay. With the novella’s vivid descriptions and sensory experience, it is easy to see how this concept began as a visual idea, to which Thompson does justice in novella form.
The story follows a couple and a stag-party, both tormented by the monsters hidden in the darkness of the woods. Alongside the mystery of the monsters, we are teased with a secret between two brothers. Enhancing this, Thompson gives us a complicated brotherly relationship, in which one brother, suffering from epileptic fits, is somewhat dependent on the other. Whilst at times I personally found some of the characters unlikeable, I think this worked to further highlight the contrast between the brothers and the other members of the stag party, and to intensify the secret between them.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Horror isn’t my usual genre of choice for reading material, so I was initially dubious when I approached this book. However, after a few pages Within the Dark Places had me hooked! Read morePublished 7 months ago by Catherine Leach
Within the Dark Places is a fantastic new novella from Duncan Thomas. Duncan has a talent for hooking his readers from the very first page. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Poppy Jennings
I sat down and read this book to the end as soon as it was in my hands. I couldn't put it down!
It was very reminiscent of the books I used to sneak when I was a child, the... Read more
Fantastic & gripping debut book from this up and coming author, absolute page turner!
Speedy next day delivery and bargain price
Great story, very well written. The pace of the story keeps you interested, you can't wait to find out what's going to happen next. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Amazon Customer