Darker Things by Rob Cornell
Publisher’s Description: Craig Lockman…
No one had called him that in fifteen years.
Not since his days at the Agency. Not since he was trained to kill creatures that were supposed to exist only in nightmares.
Yet the teenage girl on his doorstep not only knows his real name, she claims she’s his daughter.
Before Lockman can learn how the girl found him, he’s attacked by a black-ops team of assassins. But these aren’t ordinary killers–they’re heavily armed vampires sent by his most hated enemy.
Forced on the run, Lockman protects his daughter from an onslaught of horrors while searching for who betrayed him and why. The investigation leads him to Detroit, where he unwittingly sets a plan into motion that could trigger a paranormal apocalypse and cost him his soul.
Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel (or, in other words, SPOILERS).
If Darker Things were a meal, what would it be?
Hmm… hamburger, french fries that are a little limp, and peas. The hamburger, unfortunately, has pickles on it so it occasionally leaves a sour taste in my mouth for about two bites. What about you?
I think a PB&J with celery sticks.
Are you kidding me? I thought it was much heavier than that. Not steak level, mind you, but at least full meal. And celery? Is the celery part Jessie?
Nah, Jessie’s the jelly; she’s pretty fun. I think the main characters were fleshed out very well, but the secondary characters and the supernatural “world” were pretty bland. Thus the celery.
The least you can do is make bread whole wheat or rye or something a little heavier. Granted, Craig is not by any means close to Harry Dresden, but he’s at least on the same ladder.
So we’re changing metaphors from food to ladders now? Why does your hamburger have sour pickles?
Ladders describe levels. Food describes how I feel about the story. I love steak, hence I’d love a story I compared to steak. I like hamburgers, so I like this story. As far as pickles go, you KNOW they are cucumbers soaked in evil. Blech! So, if I say I had a bite or two of pickles, then I had an instant or two of unpleasantness in the story. I told you I didn’t want to hear about bones and hacksaws!
Oh, pish. Bones and hacksaws are nothing! Besides, the torture only happens to the traitor guy. He deserves it. Bloody justice prevails!
Nervous Nellie says …
Main characters: ♥♥♥♥ The banter and the play between Craig and Jessie are good. I have a hard time seeing a 13-year-old girl traipsing from Detroit to California in just the very little time that it took her. Kate and Craig get to see each other again which may or may not lead to the romance I’m always rooting for. Jessie finds out her mom may be more than just ‘Mom.’ Craig is a good guy trying to be a better guy.
Other characters: ♥♥ The supernatural characters in the story are not from this plane of existence. The ogres are ugly and the vampires are DEFINITELY not sparkly. The bad guys were the standard monologuing villains. Also, the author had to kill off most of the supporting cast. Geez, man –they would have been great special guest stars in the next story.
World: ♥♥♥ The setting is contemporary California and Detroit; but, there is a lot of magic in the world. Magic gets a bad rap from our protagonist. As the story progresses, it only gets more interesting because Craig’s more wrapped up in magic than even he knows.
Story: ♥♥♥♥ I really liked the storyline. It’s full of action and takes off out of the gate faster than a raccoon being chased by a slavering dog. The story is very gritty, meaning intimate descriptions of guns and torture methods. The author is a very good word painter. He is so good that during the really nasty gory parts, I had to look away from the movie playing in my head. There is a little itty bitty bit of romance, enough to keep me hoping, but not enough to gross Ivana out. Oh, and spoiler alert, the good guys win.
Overall: ♥♥♥ The series starts out very Die Hard/Lethal Weapon/Jack Reacher-esque. It had enough zip to keep me interested and for those of you who are like me and need reassurance that the main characters remain safe, I can guarantee it for this episode. There are death and dismemberment, but if you know that ahead of time, you can prepare for it. There are a lot of twists and turns but the end is not a cliffhanger. The end might not be satisfying, but it’s ok.
I will read the next in the series. I’d like to see where the author is going with these people. Oh, and Rob? If you are reading this, imps, according to the movie in my head, do not look like the description in the story. Nope. No way. Sorry.
Invested Ivana says …
Main characters: ♥♥♥♥ The relationship between Craig and Jessie is the highlight of the book! Craig, Jessie, and Katy are mostly fleshed out and worth the investment.
Other characters: ♥ The side characters are pretty shallow. The villain is a megalomaniac out to take over the world (yawn). All the characters from Craig’s past get killed off right away. There’s just nothing here to invest in, except for the ogre and his wife.
World: ♥♥ Set in modern California and Detroit, most of the world is normal. There are vampires, werewolves, ghosts, and something Cornell calls imps, and though they aren’t your standard Halloween creatures, we never learn much about them. We don’t learn much about the blood magic the villain uses, either. I hope the rest of the series dives more deeply into describing the world.
Story: ♥♥♥ The book starts off with two kick-ass chapters right out of an action movie! There was a neat twist to the story, and Cornell did some good foreshadowing of things to come.
Overall: ♥♥♥ Probably won’t make my A-list of books from the first installment, but I’ll pick up the second book and see how it goes. If the world and the secondary characters get richer, I’ll be a happy camper.
If You Like This Book …
There are currently four books in the Lockman Chronicles series, with a fifth one on the way, according to the author’s website. Cornell also writes a mystery series and has authored several short stories and a standalone thriller.