Thursday, March 10, 2011
The decently entertaining Demon's Night is the first installment of Guido Henkel's supernatural adventure series starring his Jason Dark, Ghost Hunter creation. Though the writing in this self-published offering is sometimes a little repetitive and clunky, it never sinks to sloppy or slapdash levels. Besides, the scene setting and descriptions of Victorian London more than compensate: both aspects are moody and effective, nicely drawing the reader into Henkel's world of demons and supernatural investigation.
My other criticisms are basically quibbles. I would have liked to see more dialogue between Dark and his supporting cast members; it would have enabled us to get to know everyone a little better, as well as break up the large blocks of dense description (usually of streets and buildings) in the prose. Also, an occasional plot twist or dramatic revelation would have punched things up a little, especially at the end, where all we get is a long fight scene (though not a bad one). But, again, I liked the moody, creepy vibe Henkel delivers throughout, and more importantly, I cared about Jason Dark and the people around him.
From reading Mr. Henkel's book description on Amazon (as well as his recent blog postings), I learned that I apparently just missed a revised version of Demon's Night, which includes a new cover, a lower price, and a polishing of the prose. So the most recent version of this book might be better than I'm giving it credit for here. It's certainly cheaper.
Will I come back for more? Sure. While perhaps lacking the crispness and total polish of a novel one might pick up at your local book store, the sudden availability of interesting self-published offerings like Guido Henkel's Jason Dark books on the Kindle more than compensates for any slight shortcomings in the final product, at least in this case.
And, as we all well know, it's not like "officially" published books are perfect, either.
Demon's Night is currently bargain-priced at 99 cents on Kindle. It's to the book's credit that I paid $2.99 for the title and don't feel like I got ripped off. The accompanying illustration depicts the book's new cover.