BRIAN KEENE is the author of over thirty books, including Darkness on the Edge of Town, Dead Sea, Urban Gothic, Ghoul and The Rising. He has also collaborated on novels with J.F. Gonzalez and Nick Mamatas. He also writes comic books such as The Last Zombie, Doom Patrol and Dead of Night: Devil Slayer. His work has been translated into German, Spanish, Polish, Italian, French and Taiwanese. Two of his works -- Ghoul and The Ties That Bind -- have been adapted for film. Keene's work has been praised in such diverse places as The New York Times, The History Channel, The Howard Stern Show, CNN.com, Publisher's Weekly, Fangoria, and Rue Morgue Magazine.
Walden is your average small town. That is, until residents awoke to complete and total darkness, darkness that only covered the town itself. People who attempt to leave do not return and are presumed dead. Once they enter the darkness they fall victims to whatever evil is residing inside. The narrator of the book is Robbie, a pizza delivery guy, who is detailing everything in a journal which may serve as the only witness of what occurs in Walden. The other key characters are Robbie's girlfriend and a few of his neighbors. Dez, a rambling homeless man, plays an integral role in the novel. He seems to be the only citizen able to explain the darkness, and it's source. Unfortunately, Dez is known to be a bit "eccentric", so his knowledge of the Darkness almost implicates his involvement in the catastrophe. The Darkness itself is also a very active character within the story. It overtakes the people of Walden. It tricks them by manifesting into their loved ones, calling them into the darkness.
People have compared it to King's The Mist, and while I thought that too in the beginning, the overall theme is completely different. Keene does an outstanding job of portraying what happens to people when catastrophe hits. And in typical Keene style, he leaves you guessing at the end. Highly recommended, especially to existing Keene fans.
This is the second book by Brian Keene that I have read so far this year. "Darkness on the Edge of Town" finds Keene back in the more traditional horror genre where he has made his name. It's a place where he's more comfortable, and a place that will feel more familiar to his long time readers.
If you read my earlier review of "Terminal" you know that it wasn't a happy book. I would have to say that this isn't a happy book either - and it's proud of that fact. So what is the story, you ask? "Darkness on the Edge of Town" tells the tale of Walden, Virginia. They awaken one morning to find the entire town cloaked in darkness. There is no power, no phone service, no television - nothing. There also appears to be a barrier at the edge of town that cuts it off from everything that surrounds it. No one knows why the Darkness is there, what caused it, or when it will dissipate. It soon becomes clear that there is no escape, and the town starts to dissolve into chaos as the Darkness takes it's toll.
I really enjoyed this book. It's a great addition to the Keene library, and does a lot to expand upon the underlying "Keene-verse", the Thirteen, and the Labyrinth. Long time fans will find a good bit of meat added to the underlying Labyrinth story, and a few potentially major things are teased for, what I presume, will be future stories. If you like horror novels, if you like the idea of a wide tapestry woven throughout an author's own universe, and you like just a good fun read - check out Brian Keene. You won't be disappointed.
Hell has come to Earth. Actually, Hell has come to Walden, Virginia in particular. It may have come to the rest of the world, but nobody knows because Hell has come in the guise of eternal darkness. The first thing that the people in Keene's novel do, is what people everywhere would do. Some panic, some go into denial, and some kick back and wait and see what is going to happen, and hope for the best. With the darkness comes the death of all electricity as the darkness takes the shape of a vaporic wall that has either cut off all power to Walden, or the world really is gone, and if so, so are all the power plants.
Now, people can pass through this darkness, in which case these people die, and die horribly from the sounds of the screaming, or you can stay put. Those that go into denial, get ready for work and drive into the darkness and die; those that panic, pack it all in and flee the town, into the darkness, and die. Those that take the wait and see attitude will also mostly die, but it will just take a longer and be more painful. The darkness also has the ability to reach out and infect Walden's populace, and cause them to do truly dark deeds. And people will die. Odd, death and dying seem to be a reoccurring theme here.
The novel's storyline takes place around pizza deliveryman Robbie Higgins, as he attempts to survive what is happening with his live-in girlfriend Christie, his upstairs neighbor Russ, and his downstairs neighbor, aging hippy Cranston. Also of interest is T and his whiteboy, gang wannabes, and Dez, a homeless, brain damaged man who seems to have all the answers. Although in the end he does precious little with any of them.Read more ›
**Could be some very very very very minor spoilers**
I've always loved Keene books, and I've always looked forward to his books. I'm sorry to report that Darkness on the Edge of Town is a rare miss or Keene.
The plot is pretty simple. There is a darkness that seems to be on just the edge of the a town, hence the name. The people in the town, can't cross it, and they heard the screams of the people that have tried. However, something is in the darkness that's watching the town, watching and waiting for the right moment to strike.
I had several problems with this book. The biggest problem I had is that, well, nothing happens. Nothing to much, just one or two things, and that's it. The darkness can take the form of others that the people know. Could be a family member, or someone you know, just to lure you into the darkness. I really meant what I said, nothing happens. It was a dull read.
The characters are just okay. The main character is named Robbie and he's keeping a journal on what is happening. Most of the characters were so flat and had no depth to them. I just liked one, Dez, who was the local homeless crazy guy, but he knew what the "Darkness" was. What he said about the Darkness and where it came from was pretty interesting. Now, did he really know, or was it just the ramblings of a crazy man. Either way, he was the only character that had any depth.
The writing style left a lot to be desired. There was no plot twists, nothing to really keep the reader hooked. I just finished it to see what would happen, and nothing does. Not a thing. When I read Keene, I do expect horror, and we didn't even get a lot of that. I guess Keene wanted to show the "horror" of what man can do to man when darkness takes over your soul.Read more ›