Book Review: The Dark Horde by Brewin

13499485Title: The Dark Horde

Author: Brewin

Genre: Horror, Dark Fiction

Age Group: Adult (18+)

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Goodreads, Amazon, B&N

Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

1989, rural Victoria, Australia. Something is preying upon the township of Howqua Hills. Brian Derwent, head of the local Police Station, must simultaneously grapple with the investigation, his disintegrating personal life and unseen forces that are not of this world.

Part thriller, part crime-fiction, all supernatural horror, The Dark Horde tells of the return of an ancient evil that is neither stoppable nor comprehensible…

In the first few pages of The Dark Horde, there’s already enough horror and bloodshed to fill an entire episode of The Walking Dead. Barney and Frank Weston, two seemingly normal fellows, are found ripped apart. And whatever or whoever has done this to them, sergeant Brian Derwent is convinced it’s unlike anything or anyone they’ve ever come across. Roughly awokened from a nightmare-filled sleep and with a killer headache, he heads out to investigate the murders. Because of the reader witnessing the murder first hand, the reader gets thrown into the action right away. From the very first page, it’s wham! bam! boom! fights, action, blood and gore. I was a little concerned about that – most stories that start with such a high level of action seem to die out soon, and then have a mediocre plot moving forward – but not so in The Dark Horde. The action stays solid from page one till the end.

One of our main characters, Brian, the sergeant, starts having terrifying visions about the approaching Dark Horde. Except he doesn’t know what it is – besides that it isn’t human. He starts investigating the murders, unwillingly putting himself right in the middle of the danger. Brian is as flawed as a character can get – he even borders on being unlikeable. Yet for some reason that makes him more intriguing, more real, more human, and I felt more invested in this character than I would’ve thought possible.

Then there’s Danny, our other protagonist. He’s just a little kid who gets bullied by the other kids, which instantly made me feel for him. I so badly wanted him to have a happy ending, to escape the madness about to happen. But evil makes no distinction between the good of heart, and the bad… So Danny is put in the middle of everything, in the same fashion as Brian is, but here because he’s the target of these creatures.

And what exactly is the Dark Horde? It’s a question never answered. At first, I thought werewolves, which would’ve been sort of lame, but with their supernatural speed and strength, it could’ve been. But as some of their more demonic powers were touched upon, I began thinking demons. I’m still not entirely sure – guess that’s something for each reader to make up for themselves.

This book’s strength is in its setting, the imagery, the unsettling atmosphere that starts right in the beginning and becomes more gloomy with every passing page. The evil tormenting the small town is relentless, unforgiving, and everywhere. Impossible to escape, and as a reader you start to experience this claustrophobic feeling as well.

The book’s greatest flaw perhaps is the more technical side of the writing. There is some repetitiveness, and some sentences lead to rather loose ends. There are also some minor grammar errors. If you’re a grammar nazi, you might be annoyed by this, but I could easily look past them to focus on the story itself.

If you’re a fan of horror, the unknown, and everything scary, check out The Dark Horde. I thought it was an impressive, intriguing read.

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