Worth a Look: “Rend the Dark” by Mark Gelineau & Joe King

“The great Ruins are gone. The titans. The behemoths. All banished to the Dark and nearly forgotten. But the cunning ones, the patient ones remain. They hide not in the cracks of the earth or in the shadows of the world. But inside us. Wearing our skin. Waiting. Watching.

Once haunted by visions of the world beyond, Ferran now wields that power to hunt the very monsters that he once feared. He is not alone. Others bear the same terrible burden. But Hunter or hunted, it makes no difference. Eventually, everything returns to the Dark.”

I had never read anything by either author previous to this 2015 novella. I plan on remedying that soon. “Rend the Dark” is a short, quick-paced fantasy/horror hybrid. Most fantasy series turn me off with way too much exposition early in the book. I get bored before I bond with any of the characters. This does not do that in any shape. There is very little in the way of expository banality. The authors, instead choose to let their world-building out in little dribbles. This allows for the reader to become completely immersed in the lives of the characters from the get go.
The characters are interesting (although, pretty typical for this genre). The authors left plenty to discover about the major characters for further installments. The plot is non-stop from the opening scene (once you get beyond the odd prologue, which felt unneeded). Where this story really shines is in the world the characters inhabit. This could have easily been another cookie-cutter fantasy world, but it is far from that. The horror aspect of the novella takes over and gives us mysterious, violent, and vile foes. The authors’ description of the monsters is much more Lovecraft than Tolkien.
Overall, it is a superb introduction to this new world.

Rend the Dark

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