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Darkness Wakes Mass Market Paperback – December, 2006

4 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A fast-paced, over-the-top, blood-and-guts thriller, Waggoner's latest turns the world of deviant sex clubs into a graphic horror-show. When 45-year-old family man Aaron Rittinger stumbles onto a secret sex club, hidden away in his small Ohio town, he's intrigued; when a sexy neighbor invites him to join, his curiosity gets the best of him. Soon, however, he discovers that the club isn't just for kinky sex—it's for worshipping a demon called the Overshadow, who gives his followers incomparable pleasure in exchange for human sacrifice. As Aaron uncovers the secrets of the club, he becomes torn between current and former members, dragging himself and his family deeper into danger. Waggoner establishes a creepy vibe early and carries the suspense throughout, but his favorite scare technique—the gross-out—is not for the weak-stomached, and his characters, almost all of whom are creepy, ultra-horny and a bit crazy, don't elicit much sympathy. It's a satisfying if unmemorable ride for those who like their horror bloody, their heroes tarnished and their action just this side of unbelievable. (Dec.)
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About the Author

Tim Waggoner is the author of Darkness Wakes, Pandora Drive, and Like Death.

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 321 pages
  • Publisher: Leisure Books; English Language edition (December 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0843957948
  • ISBN-13: 978-0843957945
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,470,325 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I write fantasy and horror for both adults and young readers. I also teach creative writing at Sinclair Community College and in Seton Hill University's MFA in Writing Popular Fiction program.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Tim Waggoner is a talented writer; I have no doubts about that after reading Darkness Waits. His writing is smooth and engrossing, the scenery is well depicted and the action rolls in non stop motion down a jagged hill of unexpected revelations. The story gains velocity from the very first page when the reader is introduced to a small Ohio town of Ptolemy and a few of their quirkiest inhabitants. Waggoner is all out with risqué and explicit erotic encounters between the members of Penumbra, a kinky sexual place and their guests or should I say their victims. Something strange and very dark is going on behind the gray metal doors placed innocently in midst of a small shopping strip.

The hero of the story is Aaron Rittinger, husband and father and practicing veterinarian. I found Aaron to be likable but at the same time full of issues. He loves his family more than anything but can't help himself and lust for his next door neighbor Caroline. When his wife falls short on her promises and goes to bed too tired to share herself with him night after night, Aaron's mind and soul start to wander and that is when he encounters Caroline and her interesting involvement with a club behind an innocent gray door...

It doesn't take long for Aaron to start changing as sex and some mysterious addiction that bathes the city at night to take hold of his entire attention span. Bodies start to pile up as sacrifices of random victims are necessary to feed the mystery that slumbers in the club and Aaron finds himself deeply imbedded between lust and terror, both emotions virtually intertwined as this tale grabs the reader by the collar and doesn't let go until the last page is turned.

I loved the ending; it was creepy and totally surprising, no cookie cutter resolution there!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Aaron Rattinger has hit the slump that many middle aged men find themselves facing. His work life is routine, his family life is unfulfilling, and his love life is intensely lacking. He has come to the realization that he's never persued anything in life with a true passion. He's never known complete fulfillment.

Caroline is Aaron's fantasy... the gorgeous (married) woman who lives next door. Late one night in a parking lot, Aaron sees her leading a young man through an unmarked door that he had never noticed before. His mind is suddenly awash with possibilities, and his fantasies are fueled. What lies beyond the door? And what could he do to get himself inside?

Caroline soon takes notice of Aaron in a way that seems too good to be true. But can he betray his wife and his family to indulge in his desires with Caroline? Surely just a taste can't hurt...

Soon Caroline has introduced him to the world that lies beyond the unmarked door; the secret society known as Penumbra. A secret society where darkness is worshipped. A place where an unimaginable level of ecstasy can be experienced for a price. A room where the shadows come alive to please those who are willing to provide a sacrifice.

Here Waggoner leads us through a graphic tale of pleasure-seeking and addiction. Intense (although perhaps too sexually explicit at times), Darkness Wakes is a very unique glimpse into the human mind, and the depths to which people will go for fulfillment. Dark, psychological, and well-paced, this novel should serve to terrify those who have wondered what lies beyond the forbidden door, and if the grass is truly greener on the other side...
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Aaron is dissatisfied with his lot; his sex life is boring, his job is unsatisfying, his kids are rebelling, and he's got the hots for Caroline, the girl next door. Then while returning some rented DVDs, he sees his groin's desire going into an unmarked door next to the rental store with a man not her husband.

Surmising that this is a sex club, Aaron almost follows Caroline inside. The next day he seeing her jogging, Aaron stops to talk to her, dropping a hint about her late night activities. Piqued, she arranges a meeting at his veterinary clinic and kinda, sorta seduces him, raising the ire of his long-time receptionist, who eventually pays the price for caring.

He is then invited into the club (Penumbra), has mucho sex, and learns the club's terrible secret. It's the home of a supernatural being that, for a price, will grant unimaginable bliss, and this bliss is instantly addicting. After this, Aaron's life plummets completely downhill.

The problem with "Darkness Wakes" is that it's as slow as molasses in January. Aaron stays the same dense, over-age whiner throughout the novel, who mopes around for fifty pages, then is seduced. The novel then goes into tacky sleaze mode for another fifty pages, until the creature is introduced, and it's way too unoriginal to be worth the wait, and it's not even seen enough to be effective. "Darkness Wakes" tries for a "noir" touch; weak male, femme fatale, dark secrets, etc.; but just having the ingredients isn't enough, with the novel just coming across as crude, sleazy, vanilla, and perfunctory.
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