The Blurb On The Back:
Hell on earth is only a click away.
The dark net is a shadowland where criminals operate anonymously online. Or so they think. A demonic force is hacking their minds, and now it’s threatening to invade the real world …
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The Review (Cut For Spoilers):
Lela Falcon is a reporter on The Oregonian, a newspaper based in Portland, Oregon. 6 years ago, she wrote a story marking the 10 year anniversary of the death of Jeremy Tusk, a notorious serial killer who operated out of Rue Apartments. When Lela discovers that the city council has sold the Apartments to Undertown, Inc, her interest is piqued – not least because there’s so little information about who Undertown is.
Mike Juniper runs a homeless shelter in Portland but he’s also a man of secrets. A childhood accident left him sensitive to demonic forces and he knows that they’re gathering in Portland.
12-year-old Hannah has the disease retinitis pigmentosa, which has left her blind. But researchers have developed a device – the Mirage – that promises to give her sight back. Only now she can’t tell what’s real and what isn’t …
Lela, Mike and Hannah will need to find and rely on each other because hell has joined the 21st century and now no one is safe …
Benjamin Percy’s horror novel neatly brings traditional occult themes into the social media age in this fast-paced and enjoyable story with some great ideas that’s marred only by a disposable supporting cast and an ending that didn’t quite satisfy me.
The central characters of Lela and Mike are well drawn and easy to root for (even if I didn’t buy into the notion of 30-year-old Lela being a techno-phobe) and I particularly enjoyed Mike’s back story. Hannah is more thinly drawn and, to be honest, comes across as a bit of a plot device although I did enjoy her relationship with Lela. The supporting characters are pretty much disposable – there to advance plot points and little else – but that didn’t detract from my overall enjoyment of the story with Percy handling his action scenes and his underlying mythology well. I wished that Cloven had been given more page time as an antagonist – particularly because it would have given more power and jeopardy to the final confrontation (which has a weirdly open feel to it – despite an epilogue set 2 years later).
That said, I enjoyed this book and will definitely check out Percy’s next work.
THE DARK NET was released in the United Kingdom on 3rd August 2017. Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book.