THE DARK GAME
Paranormal, Thriller | 304 pages | 04.11.2019 | Flame Tree Press
The Dark Game is a complex paranormal thriller that at times pays homage to classics like Stoker’s Dracula and at others invents completely novel and unique characters. It is a feast of backstories, books within books, and whodunit themes. A wealthy author holds a secret contest for aspiring writers at his estate. The catch: nothing is as it seems. We encounter imaginary foes, real-life killers, and ruthless competitors. We read developing drafts of various stories interwoven into the main plot line. We get to know each contestant’s dark past as it unfolds in the present.
Jonathan Janz shows great creativity and ambition in this novel. Sadly, the execution falls a bit flat. It was strenuous to follow the present plotline while sorting through the past side stories. It was difficult to remember who is who. But most importantly, it was too hard to care about any of the characters. This led to me slugging my way through the book as it dredged on. This should’ve been a suspenseful and fast-paced horror mystery but I was rarely scared or uncomfortable and I never felt my heart beat quicken. This book just felt perfectly average. It was a decent read. It just didn’t have the little something extra that makes a novel super special or great.
I would like to thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for my advanced copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.