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Darkside by S.K.S. Perry

When you're dead, wishing you were is kind of counter-productive. 

James Decker just won’t stay dead. Slain while rescuing a young woman from a would-be rapist, he finds himself in a pseudo-life, caught between two realities, belonging to neither. Haunted by the ghosts of his father and grandfather, he learns that the woman he rescued is in fact an Innocent, the physical embodiment of hope. As it turns out, seeing dead people is the least of James’ worries. It’s the trolls, goblins, vampires, and other assorted creepy-crawlies that make being dead a living nightmare.

When a Madness Demon kidnaps the Innocent to sacrifice at the Blood Moon ritual, it’s up to James and an odd assortment of Otherworld companions to rescue her. If they fail, humanity will be without hope for the next thousand years. To succeed, James must first battle his own inner demons, and come to grips with who and what he has become. After all, when you’re dead, wishing you were is kind of counter-productive.

Note: Darkside contains some graphic violence and harsh language.

A complete novel

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Listed: Dec 18, 2008


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Editorial Reviews

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In a nutshell: I liked it.

By Sarah Suleski, editor, author of Sidonie

Jan 15, 2009: First and foremost: Darkside is fun. It’s a rollicking fantasy adventure that starts with a bang and doesn’t slow down. It has humor, likable characters, and an engaging first person narrator.

The summary sums up the story well (I know, who would have thunk it, right?) so there’s really not much for me to recap. I will comment that Darkside’s plot isn’t really anything out of the ordinary—when you boil it down it’s a pretty straightforward fantasy quest. Regular guy learns he has powers and is far more important in the grand scheme of things than he ever imagined, joins up with a motley bunch, and sets off on a journey to save the world and/or the damsel(s) in distress. The story’s strength isn’t in breaking away from the mold, it’s in presenting it in such a way that you embrace every element because you’re just having too much fun to not enjoy vampires, faeries, troll, ogres, and goblins (oh my). The main character is an "Eternal"—someone who "dies" only to discover that he can’t die. And yes, I waited for a Highlander reference and reveled in it when it finally came.

This is not to say that Darkside doesn’t have its serious moments, however. The end of Chapter 16, in particular, is heartbreaking. For the most part, though, it’s pretty lighthearted. There are lot of moments of "we’re doomed" and "I have a bad feeling about this" but the characters rarely let it really get them down. I did sometimes find the character of Josh to be a little too jocular, considering it’s his wife or daughter who are in mortal peril for about 90% of the tale.

When I reflected on the story, in preparation for review, I noted that the author did a very good job of presenting a main character that is strong enough to carry you through the story. I mainly cared about the secondary characters because James cared for them. Everything is filtered through his lens and done so effectively that I don’t really stop to think, "Hey, would I care about Leanne all that much? Meh, probably not." Instead I was completely in James’ mindset and felt real concern when Leanne was in danger. Even though I expected the story to turn out well, I felt James’ concern when things weren’t going so hot. Moral of the story: an engaging narrator/main character is gold.

On the technical side: the writing is very good. I only noticed one typo in the entire thing. The site is readable and chapter navigation is a breeze.

But wait! There’s more! "Darkside" has a complete sequel, not posted online, but if you email the author he’ll send you a copy. Bonus.

4 of 4 members found this review helpful.
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A Great Fantasy Ride

By Linda Schoales, editor

Jan 7, 2009: Darkside is a really fun read with non-stop action, fast dialogue and characters you want to spend time with.

James Decker, Our Hero and narrator, is a middle manager and all-around nice guy who gets shot while rescuing a teenager from her attackers. He dies but isn’t “dead-dead”. He’s still a part of this world. Plus, he can now see ghosts, trolls, and all sorts of other supernatural beasties. In fact, the ghosts of his father and grandfather soon appear to [more . . .]

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Absolutely Fabulous!

By Miladysa, editor, author of Refuge of Delayed Souls

Dec 20, 2008: Read the synopsis for this completed novel and if it reads like your kind of thing than it will be.

Darkside is a tightly woven rip-roaring adventure which delivers right from the first chapter.

There is a whole host of well defined supernatural characters which include (amongst others) ghosts, vampires, demons, trolls, shape-shifters and sidhe.

The author’s style is wise cracking and yet [more . . .]

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Most Helpful Member Reviews

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I loved this

By Teresa Garcia, author of Selkies' Skins: Temple and Skinquest

Aug 27, 2012: It took me several days to finally finish reading Darkside by S.K.S. Perry, but that was more because of all the stuff going on in my own life. Without all the drama and writing, and if I’d been given my wish, I would have had it read in a day or two, with coffee and cookies. However, this made the pleasure just last longer.

Darkside is a first person point of view story, which has the benefit of having you basically [more . . .]

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Darkside: Immortality with a sense of humor.

By Jaeger, member

Jun 17, 2011: I had writer’s block so I took a step away from my own projects and looked for something fun to read. After a few disappointments, I stumbled upon Darkside and devoured the whole story in one sitting.

Having played White Wolf’s Changeling, Werewolf and Vampire, I felt at home in the story. The main character, James, narrates in the first person with humor and descriptive visuals that really help you ‘see’ the strangeness that envelopes him.

[more . . .]

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Fun and Funny!

By Jaws415, member

Sep 3, 2009: To keep the review short the book was a great read. Set in a urbran fantasy/modern supernatural enviornment it is a adventure story with a touch of wit and a dollop of humor added to it.

I don’t want to spoil any of the story so won’t mention specifics. The author has created a unique world full of the supernatural vampires, fey and more. The world is well defined as are the characters, and the characters interact well with each other.

[more . . .]

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