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Within the Dark Places by [Thompson, Duncan]
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Within the Dark Places Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Length: 69 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Product description

About the Author

Duncan has spent most of his life in a small market town in West Yorkshire — the same town in which most of his stories are set under the guise of Raven's Peak. Duncan has been writing works of fiction since the age of seven. In those early days his stories often involved himself and his friends being transported to fantasy worlds. However, as a teenager, Duncan fell in love with horror movies and his writing took a whole new direction. In the late ‘90s, Duncan turned amateur director and started creating his own horror movies with no budget and a video camera ‘borrowed’ from his parents. Fast-forward some thirteen years later, Duncan turned to film-making once more, and the idea behind Within the Dark Places was born — initially as a screenplay. Unfortunately, adult responsibilities caused the project to end before it had really begun. However, Duncan felt there was merit in the story and so developed his concept into a novella. Duncan works in financial services and lives with his partner and their two young children. He is currently working on a sequel to Within the Dark Places. He also says he has already planned enough stories to keep him writing for the next twenty years, and he never stops coming up with new ideas.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 334 KB
  • Print Length: 69 pages
  • Publisher: Rowanvale Books (31 Aug. 2016)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01JMLQ0LK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Bean Bag on 13 Sept. 2016
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The story is not bad. The problem was that very little made much sense. Three men who have been chased through the woods by ten shadow creatures immediately decide to split up and go wander around in the woods. It was also annoying that every person who picked up a tourch, phone, or lighter managed to drop them, or fall over and drop them in the process. Other than that, okay.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
'Within the Dark Places' is a story about Joe who goes on a camping trip with his friends only to encounter a force unlike anything else. I'll leave my synopsis at that as this is a story that is best approached from knowing as little as possible about what is to come as the surprises are certainly best received that way. I read this story in just one sitting, Duncan manages to immediately grab the reader by the jugular and thrust you into Joe's nightmarish trip without any sense of relenting. The writing is sharp and engaging, the chapters are perfectly paced and you'll find yourself wanting to reach the last page to find out the terrifying conclusion. I'm happy to hear that Duncan has many more stories to tell and a sequel to 'Within the Dark Places' is imminent - a horror writer to keep your eye on.
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Format: Paperback
Within the Dark Places follows the terrifyingly eventful Stag Do of Joe, his friends Mike and Charlie, and his brother, Tony. This, however, is not a usual Stag Do; it is a peaceful night camping in Druid Wood. Well - that’s what it was meant to be until the presences lurking in the shadows decided to rear their faceless heads.

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.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Duncan Thompson’s debut novella, “Within the Dark Places” is a spine-tingling horror story. Joe and his friends go camping for the weekend in Druid’s Wood to celebrate his stag party. Whilst enjoying beers around a campfire, the group notice something lurking in the shadows and their investigations could prove fatal. Is the danger hiding in the shadows or is it the shadows themselves?

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.
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Format: Paperback
Duncan Thompson’s Within the Dark Places throws excitement at its readers from the very beginning. From the opening scene, it begins to unravel the mystery of its unusual monsters, threatening two different sets of people in the eerie setting of Druid Wood in Raven’s Peak, which is inspired by Thompson’s hometown in West Yorkshire. The novella is cleverly fragmented, combining the perspectives of the different groups to intensify the threat of the monsters. The reader must slowly piece together the puzzle, making the reveal of these creatures all the more frightening.

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.
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