Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Cthulhu Tuesday: Dreaming In Darkness - a 5 star review!

Dreaming In Darkness recently received a very detailed, and very pleasing, five star review on Amazon.com. Here are just a few choice comments:

The tales of H.P. Lovecraft have inspired generations of writers. Indeed, Lovecraft has become a genre unto himself, as have his mythos. Dreaming in Darkness represents the finest efforts of four great writers to inherit and increase Lovecraft's legacy by taking it in new directions. From New York crime scenes to the English countryside to the very outer regions of eldritch terror that spawned the Great Old Ones, Dreaming in Darkness is a tour de force of some of the best themes and tropes of the Lovecraftian genre with four novellas written in unique and uncompromising style...

Jonathan Green's "The Serpent's Egg" takes us into what we expect is familiar territory, with its treatment of the legend of the Lambton Worm. However, rather than revisit Stoker's Lair of the White Worm or the film of the same name, Green takes the reader for a spin through the tried and tested satanic cult genre. However, rather than dish up the same old bill-of-faire, Green injects enough originality into his story to make it well worth our while.

Our protagonist is a writer seeking to put a new twist on the legend of the Lambton Worm. While staying at the manor house of the Earl of Lambton, the would-be writer encounters an orgiastic cult seeming to approximate some horrid ritual from De Vermis Mysteriis (another title in Lovecraft's imaginary library of the occult) and his nights become plagued with bizarre visions.

The novella treats us to many of the thrills of occult fiction. There are dusty tomes in a stately library, nightly creeping about the English countryside, a romantic interest, and all manner of occult goings on. Green maintains an orderly narrative that lulls the reader into a state of complacency before dashing cold water in your face. In a horror novella, that effect is absolutely essential, and Green manages the changing rhythms of his plotline with marvellous aplomb.

Green also achieves a remarkable consistency throughout his work. From the drawing room to the grotto of the cult of Shudde M'ell (a nod here to Brian Lumley), we are treated to all manner and shade of suspense and excitement. Dennis Wheatley would have been proud...

It is clear that these writers have brilliant careers ahead of them, and I hope to read more of their dark and sinister offerings as time goes by.

You can read the whole review here, and purchase a copy of Dreaming In Darkness here.

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