Bryan Smith's 'The Dark Ones': A Review
WARNING: The cover to this book is very graphic. If you are easily offended or have young kids, proceed with caution.
I was browsing some of my favorite artists for upcoming releases, and I came across 'The Dark Ones'. Smith is a new author for me, and when I saw the recommendations and praise he had received from some of my favorites, I was sold. 'The Dark Ones' stood out the most to me, so I figured why not? When I received my copy, I was surprised by the length of the book. Thinking to myself that sometimes great things come in small packages, I set my judgements aside and dove into the book. When all was said and done, I was grateful the story was so short. There is so much that is wrong with it, I don't think I could have forced myself to read any more of it.
The Dark Ones, that's the name Mark and his crew had given themselves. The group of Gothic dressing, night crawling delinquents get their kicks from roaming at night. While their shenanigans don't amount to more than beer guzzling and smoking the occasional joint, they're feeling antsy. There are rumors of an abandoned house that is said to be haunted by the devil himself, and Mark is eager to see what really awaits inside. However, what Mark finds inside is an evil that is beyond all imagination. Andras, Marquis of Hell and killer of men, has long been sealed inside the house. As the kids disturb the sacred seals holding him in place, they unknowingly release his wrath upon their little town. As they escape the dreadful house, they'll soon find that things will never be the same again. Can the Dark Ones reverse their terrible mistake? or are they doomed to be Andras' slaves forever?
To be completely honest, 'The Dark Ones' was terrible. While I'll admit that the idea of the story was interesting and had tons of potential, Smith wasn't able to transform his ideas into a tangible product. The cast certainly left a lot of be desired, each character is paper thin and indistinguishable. For me, Clayton was the only stand out as he was the only character with half a personality. I felt like I was just being told a story. . . I didn't feel anything at all from it. I didn't feel like I was able to get inside the heads of anybody, which takes away any trace of believability. Sure, I just spent 300 pages with the cast, but I don't know anything about anybody. I wasn't impressed by Smith's writing style either. It's simplistic, and bland, lacking any kind of flavor. While Smith does try hard to supplement sex and gore to hide his lack of skill. Lastly, I'm not sure who to blame, Smith or Deadite Press, but the story is full of misspellings and typos. Which ever the case, someone needs an editor. I've seen words improperly spaced, repetitive words and even repeated sentences. Regardless of who's at fault, I would be embarrassed to have put something out that's so flawed. While I'll give Smith credit for an idea with a lot of potential, it just didn't pan out. I think that Smith might want to change his genre. All of the grammatical issues are downright comical. Let's face it, this demonic story is about as evil as a fluffy white bunny. One star.
Click here to find this tale of demons and mayhem.