Thursday, April 25, 2013

Book Review: Darker Things by Rob Cornell

I recently got around to reading the first book of the Lockman Chronicles, Darker Things. I’ve spoken with the author Rob Cornell on twitter quite a few times and I can tell you, he’s a nice guy. That’s why what I say next is a bit hard. The first few chapters of Darker Things started out okay. It wasn’t original but what is these days? I personally enjoy cliches because let’s be honest cliches are fun. Anyways, Craig Lockman is a government hit man. Well a hit man for supernatural creatures and wielders of occult forces. He’s an excellent gunman and hand-to-hand fighter and knows his monsters. He’s also got your stereotypical callous attitude and the accompanying soft spot for children that seems so popular these days. So when a teenage girl shows up claiming to be his daughter wacky hijinks must ensue. Vampires attack! Werewolf stalks! Ghost…haunts!? The plot feels somewhat thin – no that’s not right – it’s more like each event is a knot on a string leading predictably to the next. There is only one way to proceed and it is painfully obvious. I have to say that throughout most of the book I was completely and utterly bored. There were a few interesting parts (Lockman’s actual identity and how that came to be) and a few parts that just made me cringe from the squick (multiple references to incest I’m looking at you). Don’t get me wrong I can deal with anything a plot dishes out. As long as it serves the plot. Let’s just say it didn’t and leave it at that. In addition, there were too many “plot orphans” (bits and pieces of dialogue and factoids that didn’t make any sort of sense and weren’t really referenced again). Add this to the almost stilted manner in which the dialogue of the book was written in general and you get a flat cast of characters. It seemed like most of the chapters toward the middle were just filler not having any real impact on how the story ended. While the ending was predictable and the origin of supernatural creatures was just plain banal. I wish I could recommend this book but I do not. In fact, I don’t intend to pick up the sequels because of it and I don’t think you should either. You are of course welcome to risk it. I for one am glad I picked this up free on Amazon because I would have been very annoyed if I had to pay for this drivel.

I give Dark Things 1 out of 5 pennies. It has a few interesting bits but overall…it is just not worth picking up.