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Firefly Rain Paperback – April 6, 2010

74 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Videogame creator Dansky displays some remarkable writing talent in his debut, a supernatural thriller that effectively breathes life into one of the genre's staples-the haunted house. Jacob Logan returns to the small North Carolina town of Mayfield five years after his mother's death. Logan, whose business venture in Boston has just failed, is looking for a change of pace, and hopes to find some meaning by taking up temporary residence in the house he grew up in. A series of bizarre occurrences soon threaten that hope: his furniture and most of his possessions are incinerated in a highway explosion; his car is stolen, only to reappear and almost run him down; and he gets creepy vibes from the house's caretaker, who had carried a torch for Logan's mother. The most disturbing manifestation of a supernatural presence comes from the fireflies, who refuse to cross into Logan's property and who die when he brings them over the invisible boundary. Dansky convincingly portrays Logan's isolation and terror, and subtly gives glimpses of the forces arrayed against him. The author's insights into human nature and ease with expressive language bode well for future fiction from his pen.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

RICHARD DANSKY is the author of five novels, including the Trilogy of the Second Age for White Wolf's Exalted RPG. His short fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies and magazines. He works as the Central Clancy Writer for UbiSoft, working on the storylines and content of most Tom Clancy-themed computer games. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books; Reprint edition (April 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439148635
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439148631
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,740,581 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Hi there, and welcome.

By day, I'm the Central Clancy Writer for Red Storm/Ubisoft, having worked on games including Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Outland, Driver: San Francisco and Rainbow Six: Black Arrow. I've also managed the game design group at Red Storm Entertainment and done writing, narrative design, worldbuilding, and other various and sundry tasks over the 15 years I've been in the videogame industry. In addition, I'm an executive of the IGDA Writers' SIG and on the advisory board for the GDC Game Narrative Summit, and I speak regularly at videogame conferences around the world.

But by night, I suddenly turn into a writer of science fiction, fantasy and horror. My first publication was in the academic journal Lovecraft Studies, and since then I've produced five novels, plenty of short stories, contributions to over 130 roleplaying game products, and a steady stream of book reviews and other pieces for magazines like PW, Bull Spec, Green Man Review and others. My most recent book is the short fiction collection SNOWBIRD GOTHIC, and my next novel is entitled VAPORWARE.

I was also briefly the world's leading expert on Denebian Slime Devils, but those days are past, and really, it's best just to move on.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By J. C. Hay on January 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover
In Firefly Rain, Richard Dansky brings the reader into a well-woven Southern Gothic (or as the author calls it 'Snowbird Gothic') tale of homecomings, loss, and the need for closure. He creates an unmistakable sense of dread from the opening scene, one that fuels the need to keep reading and uncover the full scope of the story.
Dansky's rural North Carolina farming community is believable as well, almost a character unto itself. He fills it with the glimpses of back-story and relationship that take the town beyond simple setting and turn it into a real, believable place.
Richard Dansky's first original novel highlights the author's many strengths - crisp, concise storytelling; solid characters and tight, believable dialog. I look forward to seeing more of his talent in the future.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Linda Bulger VINE VOICE on June 25, 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"Firefly Rain" is all about the writing; author and video game designer Richard Dansky has a quirky and effective way with words. "Dawn was coming up slow and wary, like it wasn't sure it wanted the job...Out in the fields, the creatures that normally went to bed with the day were uneasy..." He sustains his use of creative language throughout, engaging all the reader's senses.

The story features Jacob Logan, many years away from his North Carolina home, now coming back to recoup for a while after the failure of his Boston business. His parents are both dead and buried on the rural family property. The house is empty...isn't it? Strange events and poltergeist-like effects begin to bind Jacob to his home until it seems doubtful that he will ever get away again. The town's strange characters are beautifully drawn, and the house and dusty town take shape in your mind's eye. Dansky kept me reading with his spell of words.

Why, then, three stars? "Firefly Rain" aims at the "horror lite" genre, and unfortunately it just misses the mark. I didn't find a single aha! moment in the story. There are all the classic themes of gothic horror--a remote haunted house, ghostly intervention, a main character down on his luck and not in charge of his fate, the need for expiation to end a curse. We have a "hound from hell," ferocious weather, graves, a journal from the past, and (reminiscent of "Children of the Corn") a no-fly zone for fireflies. Is it just too much, maybe? Would the book be more successful if the author had focused his plot on a few elements and developed each more fully?

So the plot didn't work for me; but when a debut novel features excellent writing and thoughtful character creation, I'll surely be watching for the author's next offering and giving his work another try.

Linda Bulger, 2010
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Philip R. Heath TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 2, 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Firefly Rain by Richard Dansky is tale of supernatural suspense. I was excited by the description on the front of the book that said "reads like Stephen King", but I found the story to be mediocre. The plot revolves around Jacob Logan who is returning to his small hometown of Maryfield, NC after having failed at his business venture in Boston. His plan is to spend a few weeks at the empty family home while he sorts out what to do next. However an odd series of events leaves him without his car, furniture, or many of his other belongings. Carl, the man who has been the caretaker of the Logan house since Jacob's parents passed away, plays an odd role of hostile helper. He brings Jacob food and supplies, but he is about as unfriendly as they come. Jacob also has a hard time getting the police to take the theft of his car seriously. Things just aren't right, and nothing signifies this more than how the fireflies will not come onto the Logan property. When Jacob manages to trap a few and bring them over, they die. As Jacob tries to make sense of things, it becomes clear that there are unseen forces causing things to happen such as moving things where Jacob did put them or the opening and closing of doors when no one else is in the house. It seems that something is tightening its grip on Jacob to keep him there, but the build up and resolution of what this is left me disappointed. At times Jacob spends too long in his own thoughts, and this bogs the story down. I know that this is supposed to add to his psychological torment and the suspense for the reader, but it just didn't harmonize with the rest of the novel very well. I also thought that the resolution to the plot made a big leap toward the end of the novel that didn't fit with what Dansky had built toward.Read more ›
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By David Girod VINE VOICE on May 20, 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"Firefly" rain isn't so much a ghost story as it is a tale of a very klutzy Charlie Brown-like loser getting haunted occasionally. Seriously, Jacob, our protagonist, returns to his childhood home after failing in a Boston business venture, only to have his furniture destroyed en route while being moved, his car stolen, his cell phone getting destroyed, bugs avoiding him, getting concussed after running out into a nasty rainstorm wearing an old pair of slippers and bathrobe, and the local Carolina populace turning against him.

We see this sad-sack try to re-coup some of his life, while one mini-disaster after another pops up against him. To be honest it almost gets laughable, and at one point when Jacob picks up a seriously begin wondering if this stooge is going to end up shooting off his foot??? When Jacob climbs atop a toilet in hopes of shutting a rain soaked window, you almost begin hoping he'll take a header into the bathtub.

If you are hoping for thrills and chills...."Firefly Rain" is going to disappoint, as it's neither scary or haunting. I will say that Richard Dansky has a nice writing style, and the story flows nicely....unfortunately he just doesn't have much of a story to tell.
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