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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 7 March 2011
`The Dark Path', by Australian author Luke Romyn, is a novel in the horror genre. However, more than that, it also deals with questions of spirituality and the supernatural. Written in a very straightforward manner, with no excessive or flowery description (you are told as much as is necessary - I found this refreshing) it tells the story of a hard-headed, cold blooded assassin named Vain.

Although Vain is an abhorrent character from the outset, killing his victims for profit and money (and enjoyment!), the reader quickly identifies and feels empathy for him. This allows you to care for the `Dark Man' as he takes his journey on the dark path.

The story is fast paced and also forces the reader to think about some spiritual issues that were completely unexpected by me when I started the book.

I originally found the author Luke Romyn via the social media tool Twitter, and was tempted by his personal wit and personality to purchase this novel. It was a good decision and I thoroughly enjoyed the journey which reading `The Dark Path' took me on. I would definitely recommend this book.
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on 2 May 2012
Authors are like Photographers.

Everyone who has a camera thinks they take amazing photos, many books available here are by those who are trying to write amazing books but do not achieve their aim.

Luke is an author in a very different category. This book is awesome.

He writes beautifully with insightful build up in his characters which leads you to actually CARE what happens and leaves you wanting more. Much more.

It took me some time to find Luke as an author due to the amount of material I go through.
Testimony indeed that I feel the need to devote my time to a review of his work.

The story is a well structured, supernatural theme which I thoroughly enjoy but it is the characters are the main body of the story.

Like a skilled artist, they are painted as beautifully as the scenes in which they are placed.
As I dislike others spoiling a storyline for others so I will not divulge other details.
Sufficient to say the story is well paced and more than captivating throughout.

On the strength of this one title, I have now purchased ALL of Lukes other works and I am currently enthralled by 'Blacklisted'

To summarise. ignore any negatives you read, do yourself justice and make your own mind up by clicking the purchase button.

It's well worth the asking price!
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on 20 February 2013
A book well written enough to make it hard to sleep. Up there with James Herbert, I'd say, for a nail biting and hypnotic read. Right from the start one feels like a rabbit held hypnotized by the venomous snake of Romyn's strong and compelling narrative.
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VINE VOICEon 17 September 2013
Once more Luke Romyn excels - unbeknownst to me, this book set the scene and characters for later novels, which were to come, and have subsequently read. Superb!
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on 5 August 2013
I received a free copy of THE DARK PATH from when the author offered a free download. In exchange, I offer this, my fair and honest review. I thank the author for this opportunity.

At the outset, I note that there are a few grammatical glitches, but none so significant as to trouble the story or to be accounted for in my rating.

Using my rating checklist, I rate A DARK PATH in three areas: (1) My overall enjoyment--for which I give the work 3 stars; (2) Creativity/Originality--for which I give the work 4 stars; and (3) Voice/Flair for Storytelling--for which I give the work 4 stars.

For me, THE DARK PATH was indeed--dark. I almost quit reading several times because of the jarring nature of some of the scenes. If you have no stomach for violence--particularly that directed at women and children--you may way to stay clear. Even so, I was grateful the author did not go into excruciating detail in those scenes--it was disturbing enough, knowing what was happening, without the gory details. So, I read on, and in so doing, I found a truly unique urban fantasy thriller.

After Martin Roberts is unable to stop the murder of his partner and closest friend, he is scheduled to testify at the trial of the syndicate responsible for that murder. In protective custody with his wife and daughter, Martin, goes off one evening in a fit of temper. Tragedy ensues, following which, Martin's entire persona is changed, as he becomes Vain, the Dark Man, an assassin who brings justice to those in the criminal world. The man, Martin, all but ceases to exist. Or does he? When pegged as the only person who can save a young man who Martin/Vain doesn't even know, Martin/Vain rises to the challenge. Yes, it seems it was a part of the personas of both Martin and Vain responsible for saving Sebastion, the Avun-Riah. Without the heart of Martin, hiding somewhere deep inside the Dark Man, Vain's effort to save Sebastion would not have been made; without Vain's wherewithal, the efforts to save the Avun-Riah would have proven futile.

THE DARK PATH introduces interesting characters--most notable for this reader--Squirrel and Priest, and tells of angels and demons--all the while leaving the reader to wonder a bit which are which--and perhaps whether it even matters. But, the thing most missing for me in THE DARK PATH, was a character that I liked. Martin/Vain may have been the "hero" in some strange way--he was certainly mouthy and brash (and delivered some good lines in the process)--but I never liked him--even when he went the extra measure to do good. I kept thinking, hoping, that some part of him would become likeable, but that did not come to pass. Thus, while for me THE DARK PATH was not exactly an "enjoyable" read, it was for the most part, a worthy one.
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The Dark Man, born of torment into an existence of death. In the underworld of killers he reigns supreme. And yet he is chosen for a task of supreme benevolence. Why would he be selected to save a young boy, the Avun-Riah, and then protect him against a horde of enemies, both mortal and demonic?

Because he is the only one with any hope of success.

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse have risen from the pits of Hell and, along with a fanatical army of cultists, are ranged against Vain. If the boy is slain then Sordarrah will be raised to destroy the Earth, a feat even Lucifer never managed.

That's what I read before I picked up the book. Doesn't it sound great? Well I can promise you it is. The blurb for this book is spot on. Vain is the epitome of evil: dark, mysterious, silent, cold and deadly. I thought he was reminiscent of Stephen King's George Stark in The Dark Half, but in truth he is a much darker, and scarier, character. Everything about him is perfect if you're a lover of the horror genre, even the shred of humanity that survives deep within him. Mr Romyn is clearly affluent with the dynamics of abuse and grief, which are quite prevalent within Vain's makeup, and these struck a chord with me.

This book has a great opening and a great finish, the two aspects most significant to me in enjoying a book.. and it is just as good in between too. It is clever and subtle on many levels. I love Romyn's vision of Hell contained within and Vain's interactions in that domain. It adds body and depth to the spectre of the book. The concept and premise is great and had especial appeal to me. Vain is the ultimate anti-hero and with so many great supporting characters such as Priest, Gabriel, Empeth and, of course, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

I love a book that moves with pace. If anything this book was too fast for me at times, but is it fair to criticise an excellent work for such a reason? I think not. In truth, there is nothing to complain about. This is a really exciting read, with plenty of thrills, great characters, a great premise which is delivered on in full and a great climax to top it off. I have recommended this book to many and will continue to do so. Luke Romyn is fast becoming one of my favourite writers and I like some of the very best. The new generation of horror writers is here. Keep your eyes open folks; there is more to come.
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on 13 August 2014
Okay, so it's not the "best written" book I've come across, (but who am I to judge?)
This guy's stories are amazing, the characters great fun and the pace is phrenetic and non stop.
If you want a strong story line AND a fast read which you will not want to put down.READ ON!

I also have to say the rest are better and if you get around to reading BLACKLISTED when it is out, I only wish I could give 6 or 7 stars!!
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on 25 June 2012
Thank Heaven for Twitter! It was through this social forum that I first encountered Luke Romyn and was tempted to read Beyond Hades as I have an interest in Greek Mythology. I loved the book and wanted more. As the sequel is not yet available I decided to try Dark Path, even though I have never been a fan of the horror genre. I am so glad I did! The biggest strength of Romyn's writing is his ability to hook you right from the very start of the story, engaging you with the main character in such a way that you feel a personal connection, a sympathy even, for a man that is evil personified. The story itself is extremely cleverly written and I found it refreshing that I couldn't second guess the twists and turns of the plot. Romyn has an unusually intuitive understanding of the age old conflict between good and evil, and I was fascinated by his ideas of the nature of God, Satan and the ethereal beings. I am a philosophy teacher and will definitely be encouraging my students to read and review this book.
Please don't be put off by comments relating to the finer points of grammar or syntax, this is a remarkable story that will take you on a journey into the realms of darkness and leave you with a renewed hope for the human spirit.
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on 17 July 2012
I hadn't heard of Luke Romyn until I first started using Twitter. I checked out his website then the reviews on Amazon and as a horror fan I knew I had to download his book, The Dark Path.
I wasn't disappointed. It hooked me in from the start and kept me turning the page. I liked the supernatural aspect and the fact that somehow, you're made to care for the 'villian', Vain.
You'd never think it possible after the horrible things he does at the start of the story but by the end, you're wanting him to win and wanting him to find himself again.
It takes you through a range of emotions, one of them being complete and utter sadness. I actually cried when I found out why Vain had turned evil.
I'm now reading Beyond Hades by the same author and again, I've been hooked; I'm on the first chapter and I can't wait to get the kids in bed tonight to read some more!
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on 20 August 2012
I have to say that I am on the fence with this book. I can't say that I don't like it, but, similarly, I can't say that I really enjoyed it either. Sadly it is a book that I quickly forgot until I took it upon myself to re-read it.

I do like the basis to the story, however, I felt that it lacked "padding"..this is of course only my opinion.

There is an element of learning associated with The Dark Man, however, I think I would like a little more outside influence from other characters in their own right.
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