Monday, May 2, 2016

Children of the Dark - Review #JonathanJanz


My thoughts
In a recent blog post, Jonathan Janz spoke of Stephen King being his favorite author. Not only that, he credited King with making him a reader. Well, all that reading paid off because Janz is showing his stuff as an author, and in this book, I was very much reminded of Stephen King's work. Now mind you, I'm not saying that this book is a copycat of anything King has written. Far from it. This is a unique, page turner of a book. What reminds me of King in this book is the small town feel, the camaraderie between Will and his friends, the palpable feeling of being bullied, and the underlying feeling of dread. I'm reminded of King's The Body (off which the film, Stand By Me was based). I could easily see this book being made into a movie. It's that good.

Janz thoroughly impressed me with his werewolf novel, Wolf Land (review). He has gone even further with Children of the Dark. The prose is smart and engaging. The real winner though...the characters. These are characters we really care about. Even the supporting characters are written so we care what happens to them as well. Throw in some pretty scary monsters and quite an interesting plot twist and we have one hell of a horror novel here. Hell, even non-horror fans can get something from this book. Because it's not just about the horrors of what might be lurking in the dark. It's about growing up and learning the hard lesson that the world is not always a very nice place, whether it may be because of cruel, ignorant people, sadistic murderers, or primeval monsters.

If you have not read Jonathan Janz yet, I suggest you get busy reading. I can't wait to see what he has in store for us next.

About the book
  • Print Length: 293 pages
  • Publisher: Sinister Grin Press
  • Publication Date: March 15, 2016
Will Burgess is used to hard knocks. Abandoned by his father, son of a drug-addicted mother, and charged with raising his six-year-old sister, Will has far more to worry about than most high school freshmen. To make matters worse, Mia Samuels, the girl of Will’s dreams, is dating his worst enemy, the most sadistic upperclassman at Shadeland High. Will’s troubles, however, are just beginning.

Because one of the nation’s most notorious criminals—the Moonlight Killer—has escaped from prison and is headed straight toward Will’s hometown. And something else is lurking in Savage Hollow, the forest surrounding Will’s rundown house. Something ancient and infinitely evil. When the worst storm of the decade descends on Shadeland, Will and his friends must confront unfathomable horrors. Everyone Will loves—his mother, his little sister, Mia, and his friends—will be threatened.

And very few of them will escape with their lives.


About the author
Jonathan Janz grew up between a dark forest and a graveyard, and in a
way, that explains everything. Brian Keene named his debut novel The Sorrows “the best horror novel of 2012.” The Library Journal deemed his follow-up, House of Skin, “reminiscent of Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House and Peter Straub’s Ghost Story.”

2013 saw the publication of his novel of vampirism and demonic possession The Darkest Lullaby, as well as his serialized horror novel Savage Species. Of Savage Species, Publishers Weekly said, “Fans of old-school splatterpunk horror–Janz cites Richard Laymon as an influence, and it shows–will find much to relish.” Jonathan’s Kindle Worlds novel Bloodshot: Kingdom of Shadows marked his first foray into the superhero/action genre.

Jack Ketchum called his vampire western Dust Devils a “Rousing-good weird western,” and his sequel to The Sorrows (Castle of Sorrows) was selected one of 2014’s top three novels by Pod of Horror. 2015 saw the release of The Nightmare Girl, which prompted Pod of Horror to call Jonathan “Horror’s Next Big Thing.” 2015 also saw the release of Wolf Land, which Publishers Weekly called “gruesome yet entertaining gorefest” with “an impressive and bloody climax.” He has also written four novellas (Exorcist Road, The Clearing of Travis Coble, Old Order, and Witching Hour Theatre) and several short stories.

His primary interests are his wonderful wife and his three amazing children, and though he realizes that every author’s wife and children are wonderful and amazing, in this case the cliché happens to be true. You can learn more about Jonathan at www.jonathanjanz.com. You can also find him on Facebook, via @jonathanjanz on Twitter, or on his Goodreads and Amazon author pages.

Praise for Children of the Dark
“Jonathan Janz brings us a vicious tale of terror with the innocence of youth in a coming of age tale that should surely make Stephen King smile.” – Dave, Beneath the Underground

“Jonathan Janz has written the next definitive coming-of-age horror novel that is sure to be mentioned alongside those that came before it. Be on the right side of history and read it now, before it becomes a classic.” –Patrick Lacey, author of A Debt to be Paid

Praise for Jonathan Janz
“Janz is the literary love child of Richard Laymon and Jack Ketchum (with a little Joe Lansdale DNA in the mix), with all the terror that implies. Try him out. You won’t be disappointed.”
-Pod of Horror

“One of the best writers in modern horror to come along in the last decade. Janz is one of my new favorites.” –Brian Keene, best-selling author

“It’s the best of its kind I’ve read in years, such that I’d call it 'The Quintessential Haunted House Novel.' You’ve taken the old school traditions of the form which readers want and then have injected modern style, characters, and macabre, hard-edged mayhem into the guts of the story. THAT’S the way to do it, my friend!”
-Author Edward Lee on House of Skin

“Jonathan Janz is one of the rare horror novelists who can touch your heart while chilling your spine. His work offers incisive characters, sharp dialogue, and more scares than a deserted graveyard after midnight. If you haven’t read his fiction, you’re missing out on one the best new voices in the genre.” –Tim Waggoner, multi-published author

"Fans of old-school splatterpunk horror--Janz cites Richard Laymon as an influence, and it shows--will find much to relish." - Publishers Weekly on Savage Species

Purchase Links
Amazon

Also, check out Sinister Grin Press Website



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