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DON'T FEED THE DARK

The Darkness Within Demands to Be Fed

By SovereignofAshes, author of The Vorrgistadt Saga

Jul 12, 2018: Disclaimer: This review was written as part of a review swap. This review will also focus exclusively on the first book of the on-going series.

First Impressions: I usually like to mention other stories, movies, or video games that flow within the same vein as the work I’m reviewing with this section, but I’m going to have to throw a wrench into this right now. With a story focusing on survival horror in a zombie apocalypse, most would expect the compulsory The Walking Dead, Resident Evil, or one of the many works of the late George A. Romero to be mentioned but I’m going to have to disappoint you right now. I’ll state the ones I feel are appropriate now and through my explorations below you might find out why I chose these: Silent Hill 2, Jacob’s Ladder, and The Shining.

Content: Right at the beginning of the story we are surrounded in the dark atmosphere that will be clawing and chasing after us for the remainder of our shortened lives. A gliding, moonlit tour of a little Ohio town seeping with sin whilst having turned its back on the edifices of higher morality. This sleepy little collection of souls, not just in this town but throughout the state, are just like any other collection of souls throughout America; those carbon copies of everyone you pass by during your daily grind. Behind vain protestations of righteousness, the desire to cloak themselves in mundanity, and drunk to the gills on tiny perversions, these people are just like so many others.

Beneath a rusted October-moon, we are introduced to the first of the characters we will be following throughout this twisted and macabre tale. Nothing is held back as we are deposited into the mind of Russell, a self-styled saviour of damned souls who redeems with sharpened blades and bodily violations. From this first meeting with our depraved protagonist, the story doesn’t let up one bit. No punches are pulled as the fevered pitch of madness reaches a boiling point, then breaks through to whole new levels. The first character we get to skin-ride may be a predator, but when push comes to shove it is his own pragmatic self-importance that saves him from a fate worse than death. A choice we will become more familiar with as the story goes on.

In rapid succession we are introduced to several other characters that fill out the cast. We will get to stare directly into the face of viciousness behind the eyes of Gina; a talented stripper—tough-as-nails—whose desire to get out of the flesh-dealing trade makes her bite off more than she can chew. Stephen, a teacher who doesn’t just like to mould young minds but also steal their innocence, as well. Amanda, a spotty-drunk who indulges in far-too-many poor life choices. Finally, we are introduced to Charlie, an ex-con whose inflated sense of ethics brings him to take things way too far.

From the first moment we are introduced to a blood-thirsty serial killer the storytelling of this story is top-notch. The simple fact that the author can turn an otherwise repugnant personality into a character we start to root for within the first chapter proves the talent behind the words.

At first blush, the corrupted and infested antagonists of this tale seem like so many other of the undead. The first few twists that are apparent are that not all of the corrupted are mindless, animated cadavers. These zombies have a predatory instinct and depending on what is left of their bodies they can be both relentless shamblers and fast-paced killing machines. More than that, as hinted at both in the title and what we come to see through the horror-filled eyes of Gina, the source of this outbreak may not be what we’ve come to expect from most outbreak tales.

What if the vector of the outbreak isn’t some contamination from without, but a contamination from within? What if what separates us from the predatory dead is a simple choice whether or not to indulge the monstrous darkness that lurks within all of us? What if you had to exist in a world turned to a living hell by the bad choices of others, while always having to exist one bad choice away from losing your own very humanity? What if there was a final judgment for us all, not from some celestial or infernal figure but through the very sin that oozes out of our very minds? This is the ultimate shadow that looms in the darkness of this morality-play. Each of the characters in this story is tainted to the core, but something sets them apart from the rest, at least for now. How much longer until they submit like all the rest to the ravenous darkness that demands to be fed inside?

Particulars: This story is currently up to five books released on-line, so far, and the sixth is in the works. Books one, two, and three have been released in paperback form through Amazon. There are audio readings of the story available on-line. As such, this story has been through several revisions and is formally edited. I can’t complain one bit about the grammar, spelling, nor the content.

As mentioned above, this story is dark and doesn’t hold any punches as it explores the darkest parts of the human condition. For some this may be a godsend and for others it may touch uncomfortably upon things in ones past. The mature content that is present in the story are each done tastefully and nothing is trampled into haphazardly. If you can get through the second chapter, you can get through the rest of the story. Despite whatever negative situations may befall the characters—or that they may cause due to their own follies—it is always important to understand the larger morality-play that is going on within the story.

Conclusion: I don’t mention this easily, but Don’t Feed the Dark is both a masterpiece and something revolutionary for the darker side of web fiction. The storytelling is top-notch and surprising with its numerous twists and turns. The author has been committed to telling this tale for almost a decade with regular weekly updates and for that perseverance they must be whole-heartedly commended. I’ve always been a fan of the horror genre and I feel that this story is one of the best out there.

I’ve followed Don’t Feed the Dark for two years now and will continue to do so into the future. If you haven’t tried this story yet, you owe it to yourself to give it a shot. If you have tried it out before, you need to turn off the lights in your house, lock and barricade your doors, then give it another shot to get caught up to the latest releases. Remember how to deal with the festering dead, a second shot to the brain-case is always needed.

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