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on May 18, 2015
Something strange and evil is lurking in the London fog: a demon with the ability to suck the life force out of any poor soul who comes across it. It's struck at a harbor along the Thames, and is searching to release an even more powerful demon known as "the Father." Enter into this picture Jason Dark, a detective armed with a special blade for fighting the supernatural, and who comes from a long line of ghost hunters. He is later joined by Siu Lin, a Chinese immigrant trained in martial arts, and who seeks vengeance against the demon after it kills her parents.

The book feels like a mixture of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Who (in fact, a minor character is named Tom Baker). The demon is well realized, and Guido Henkel does a good job of introducing its powers and limitations without making the reader feel like he's just making things up as he goes along. The storyline mostly involves the parallel attempts by the demon to find the Father, and Dark and Siu Lin trying to figure out where he's going and what he's trying to do. The story moves at a good pace and keeps the reader interested.

Overall, I enjoyed this quick little read. It was a lot better than I expected.
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on May 14, 2011
This book was previously reviewed at RedAdeptreviews.com

Plot/story: 5 Stars
I really enjoyed reading this first book in the Jason Dark series. The green mist that sucks life energy and moisture from people grabbed my attention and held me captive to the story from the very beginning. When that green mist turned into a minor demon seeking to gain power enough to release its "Father" from a metaphysical prison I was enthralled.

Characters: 5 Stars
Innumerable times throughout the book I felt as if I were reading a new version of Sherlock Holmes, one that was immersed in action and occult studies. Jason Dark was wonderfully depicted, as was Siu Lin. I could see that Siu Lin was probably being set up to be Dark's "Watson" sidekick in later books. Her knowledge of occidental mythos paired nicely with Dark's knowledge of western occult.

Writing style: 3 Stars
For such a great story, the lack of dialog stuck out horribly. More than once, I felt like I was reading a silent movie. The descriptions were fantastic, but the almost complete lack of dialog really was bothersome. There were also a couple of odd adverb choices that threw me out of the story a bit.
The scenes were well thought out, and the descriptions of London conveyed a wonderful "feel" to the whole book.

Reviewer's Notes:
1. I enjoyed this book immensely, and purchased the second book in the series to see if the dialog issue was prevalent there also. I am pleased to note that it was not a problem in the second book at all.
2. This book was reviewed as given to Red Adept Reviews. After looking at the Amazon page, I did see that the book had been revised. I do not know what issues have been fixed in the revised edition.
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on February 18, 2016
Demon Night is the cool start of an atmospheric series mixing elements of Sherlock Holmes, the X Files, and gothic horror. The setting is Victorian London. The hero is Jason Dark, a professional ghost hunter and paranormal investigator. The villain is a demon that takes on the shape of a sinister green fog that drains life force to survive. A fun read! The author's passion for gothic mystery and horror is apparent on every page.
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on September 30, 2015
Rarely read this genre, but since I am a fan of the author's early video games, I gave it a try. It was good. The characters were engaging and the plot was gripping. The author really seems to know his demons. There were a few points in the story where things happened just a bit too conveniently, I thought, which required more suspension of disbelief. And there were a small number of places where a sentence just wouldn't make sense, maybe a formatting problem, IDK. But overall, for someone who doesn't enjoy stories about monsters, I found it highly readable and suspenseful. I doubt the author converted me to this genre, but this book confirms my opinion that he is a very good writer, and maybe I'll even read another one….
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on September 9, 2012
In his afterword, Henkel explains that he is open to reviews and criticism of all kinds, and so I am going to trust him on that.

I am a huge fan of horror stories, and have written and published a modest number of them myself. As such, I can't but respect what Henkel is trying to create here and that leaves me wishing all the more that the execution of this first installment in the Jason Dark series were a bit more refined.

Demon's Night is very effective in places, and at its most consistent is enjoyably quirky and camp. However, Henkel's writing does seem to suffer from verbosity - many sections are bogged down by unnecessary details about less-than-pertinent information while other, more pressing passages that need such description will instead include a deus ex machina of sorts. For instance, the narrator is quite satisfied to spend two pages describing Siu Lin's martial-arts poses in the heat of battle. Yet though she has only the hint of a Chinese accent when Dark first meets her, she later exhibits only tentative command of the English language, with no explanation as to the shift.

Add to this a steady flow of adverbs (which students of Stephen King will recoil at, perhaps to our shame on occasion), and I believe I can give the reasons why this 25,000 word project took me the better part of a week to read rather than the majority of an afternoon. While the language is simple enough, there is far too much of it in some places, and this can make the story difficult to navigate.

I will end by forgiving the rather anticlimactic ending, as this series does continue and so leaves itself open for those unanswered questions to be resolved. I do have high hopes for the future of Jason Dark, as the writing becomes more refined and mature. So, mostly, I leave this review here to prepare those who are sticklers for language - my hope is that you see this project for what it is, a worthy endeavor by a man who clearly loves what he does, and not too-soon write it off for the shortcomings that do arise.

And, should the author see this, I hope I've offered suggestions for improvement while also making it very clear that I wish him the best and am looking forward to his continued success.
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This decently entertaining short novel is the first installment of Guido Henkel's supernatural adventure series starring his Jason Dark, Ghost Hunter creation. Though the writing in this self-published offering is sometimes a little repetitive and clunky, it never sinks to sloppy or slapdash levels. Besides, the scene setting and descriptions of Victorian London more than compensate: both aspects are moody and effective, nicely drawing the reader into Henkel's world of demons and supernatural investigation.

My other criticisms are basically quibbles. I would have liked to see more dialogue between Dark and his supporting cast members; it would have enabled us to get to know everyone a little better, as well as break up the large blocks of dense description (usually of streets and buildings) in the prose. Also, an occasional plot twist or dramatic revelation would have punched things up a little, especially at the end, where all we get is a long fight scene (though not a bad one). But, again, I liked the moody, creepy vibe Henkel delivers throughout, and more importantly, I cared about Jason Dark and the people around him.

From reading Mr. Henkel's book description here on Amazon (as well as his recent blog postings), I learned that I apparently just missed a revised version of "Demon's Night", which includes a new cover, a lower price, and a polishing of the prose. So the most recent version of this book might be better than I'm giving it credit for here. It's certainly cheaper.

Will I come back for more? Sure. While perhaps lacking the crispness and total polish of a novel one might pick up at your local book store, the sudden availability of interesting self-published offerings like Guido Henkel's Jason Dark books on the Kindle more than compensates for any slight shortcomings in the final product, at least in this case.

And, as we all well know, it's not like "officially" published books are perfect, either.
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VINE VOICEon September 1, 2010
When Jason Dark, a ghost hunter, learns of a series of mysterious deaths in London, his interest is immediately peaked. He sets about investigating the deaths, discovering that his instincts were correct and that a paranormal force, a demon, has caused the deaths. He takes it upon himself to hunt out and destroy this evil force.

Guido Henkel did a great job of introducing this reader to a new genre of reading. I enjoyed Guido's descriptive and imaginative writing, his story drew me right in, without any resulting nightmares. This novella is a nice, short introduction into a promising series.
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on June 18, 2012
Let me start off by saying I'm not a seasoned novel reader, and just began reading a few books here and there with my new kindle fire. Having said that I really prefer the "dime novel" short stories as is with the Jason Dark series. I know the series have been out for a while, especially Demons Night, but I just discovered the book doing a search for supernatural fiction. For me to sit and read a full novel (I have read some) is hard, I find my A.D.D. kicks in and my mind tends to wander even if the story is really good. With Demons Night I found it is well written, the story is to the point, and keeps me interested, looking forward to the next book. I don't usually write reviews because as I mentioned above I am new to the reading thing, especially fiction novels. I felt compelled to write this one because as anyone with A.D.D. knows how difficult it is, and is a credit to Mr Henkel's writing that I enjoyed the book. If you are into supernatural fiction and enjoy short novel's, I highly recommend Demons Night.
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on March 6, 2012
Enjoyed my first Jason Dark book. definitely a throw back to Sherlock Homes style with a healthy mix of the supernatural. makes a change from some modern horror books that rely on plenty of gore to keep their readers entertained. could do with more information about the main character Jason Dark but as this is the first of a series I am sure the character will develope accordingly. the style also reminded me of the dime store novels out years ago, short read by today's standards but plenty of action to keep the reader eager for the next instalment ..
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on January 9, 2012
Guido Henkel gets it. He knows exactly what the Indie revolution in publishing is all about. His Demon's Night novella is like popcorn cinema in the most flattering sense of the term. Reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, the Green Hornet and Kato, with a classic monster movie twist. I loved this first entry. Jason Dark and his sidekick, while not explored thoroughly in this opening chapter, are fun and fascinating and have plenty of room to grow. Henkel's prose delivers a full blooded dose of horror without wasting your time on unnecessary details. Still, scenes are vivid with a ghastly ghostly charm, and the action comes with never a dull moment to spare. The dynamic between Dark and the women in his life is fascinating and refreshing and doesn't go to the places you think it might go, at least not right away. The prose respects the intellect of the reader and hearkens back to a simpler time when imagination was valued above all else. A truly professional piece of work that makes the most of the character and the format. One book down, nine to go, and thank God for it!

--Aric Mitchell, author of The Congregation
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