Monday, August 8, 2016

Book Review: And Darkness Waits: When Fear Descends Into Madness by C.K. Post

Media Type: Ebook 
Title: And Darkness Waits: When Fear Descends Into Madness
Author: C.K. Post
Publisher: Self-published
Pages: Kindle; 190
Release Date: August 1, 2016
Source: Author
Genre: Thriller

HDB Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who love unreliable narrators and books with plenty of twists.

Add it on: Goodreads | Amazon | BookLikes
A successful horror author, Jeffrey Newman has everything money can buy. The world doesn’t know about his bouts with depression, his frequent nightmares, the darkness that weaves through him or the crushing burden of guilt he has carried for most of his life.

With his emotions out of control and a six-hour chunk of time missing from his recent memory, he takes off to join a friend and five others on a sailboat headed for Bermuda. A strange storm sinks the boat, leaving them stranded on an island where some mysterious force claims the lives of his companions one by one. The deaths are eerily familiar—he has become trapped in his unfinished novel.

Long-suppressed memories come to the surface, shocking instances of abuse. Fear, rage and grief chip away at his sanity, and he is obsessed with unraveling the mysteries locked away in his mind, all the while struggling to keep his remaining companions alive. Because when the last one succumbs, there will be nothing left between him and the madness overtaking him.

It's going to be a bit difficult to fully review And Darkness Waits: When Fear Descends Into Madness without spoilers, so please pardon the following vague review. This is the type of story that is best experienced by going into with as little information as possible. Most good thrillers are.

One of my favorite things about this book is that it features an unreliable narrator. It quickly becomes apparent that Jeffrey isn't entirely certain about this own mental state. Post plays off that well, creating a slow descent into a place where nothing is quite what it seems. Little snippets of a childhood that was forgotten float to the surface, and show themselves in unexpected ways. I admit, I felt a lot of empathy for for Jeffrey. Uncovering the darkest parts of yourself is a terrifying process, but even more so when those parts end up being much deeper and darker than you expected.

What didn't quite vibe for me was the lack of tension that was built up. The story itself was solid, and there was a lot of great potential for some very tense and terrifying scenes. Maybe it's because I read a lot of thrillers and horror, but the intensity of these scenes just didn't manifest for me. There would be that moment of knowing that someone was about to die, it would happen, and then the story would move forward. It didn't seem like the characters felt too concerned for their own well-being, despite their comrades dropping like flies. As the story neared its ending, I slightly understood why. Still, it would have been fitting to have a little more dread built into this story. Jeffrey might have felt it, but it didn't translate into my reading experience.

As for the ending, I'll admit that I figured out that it was coming before it happened. I didn't mind so much, because it was stil a nice touch. My one real qualm was that the ending of this book wasn't quite the resolution that I was hoping for. I was still waiting for some of my questions to be answered.

Overall though, And Darkness Waits: When Fear Descends Into Madness is a solid way to spend a few hours. It's a quick read, that has a good amount of twists and turns, without giving too much away all at once.

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.


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