CSFF Blog Tour: Darkness Follows

What is it that takes a sane, upstanding citizen and turns him into a menace? What makes him destroy his life and hurt everyone he loves? What makes a man a murderer?

The darkness.

Darkness follows Sam Travis’ family, and now it’s come for him. He struggles against it, but it is by no means certain that, stalked by shadows, he will be able to keep his eyes open to the light. It’s not certain that he will be able to hold on to it, a lifeline to keep him from drowning in the darkness.

If I had to sum up the soul of Darkness Follows, that would be it: the pull of darkness on the human heart and the pull of light. Mike Dellosso plays it chillingly, convincingly; the journey is incredible yet somehow you can believe it. There is a truth, and a profundity, that cannot be denied.

The characters are nicely real, the writing is fluid and artistic, and the plot took me in directions I wasn’t expecting. But despite its overall soundness, the story was somewhat marred by horror-enhancing stupidity. I’m no criminal mastermind, but if I were plotting the crime of the decade, I’d try to lay low. Hint: Refraining from unnecessary murders is a step in this direction.

So much for the good and the bad. Now for the ugly. Now let me tell you why I was relieved to be finished with this book. Darkness Follows is bloody, relentlessly depressing, and blighted with cruelty. The lurid stories of abuse and domestic violence were a swim through depravity I didn’t need. The violence was often gratuitous; some of it wasn’t even logical. And the macabre metaphors grew tiresome.

And the ending … Why is it that one man, grasping at the brightest star in his sky, was saved, and another man was killed reaching for just the same light? Why were those most guilty least punished?

Darkness Follows had its good qualities, but ultimately I did not enjoy it and cannot recommend it. Mike Dellosso is a good author, and after reading the notes in his book, I’m sure a good man, too. I regret passing a negative judgment, but this would not be an honest review otherwise.

So take it for what it’s worth. Below are links to the author’s website, his book’s Amazon page, and the rest of the blog tour. You’ll find the positive reviews of Darkness Follows there

I am intending to post twice more, addressing the issue of darkness in Christian fiction. It’s a sensitive topic, I know. But as my new credo goes, “As long as you are the wet blanket of the blog tour, you might as well throw in your hat to be the troublemaker, too.”


Darkness Follows on Amazon;

Mike Dellosso’s website;

and the rest of the blog tour:


In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

4 thoughts on “CSFF Blog Tour: Darkness Follows

  1. Heheh–I don’t think you’re the wet blanket of the tour, Shannon. I recently discussed darkness over at Spec Faith. One of the commenters said, Be honest…the darkness is compelling isn’t it? Not that we long to run to the darkness, but to see if for what it is in comparison with who God is and what God seeks to make of mankind through the sacrifice of His son. Which made me realize anew that we aren’t all made the same way, because I in no way find the darkness compelling. Rather I am repulsed by the same kinds of things you mentioned.

    Nevertheless, I’ll give this book a good recommendation because I realize, I’m simply not the target audience. I can see, however, someone struggling with some of the issues brought up in the story finding a sliver of light that might be just what they need.

    I personally would like to see more than a sliver of light, and that was the thrust of my Spec Faith post.

    Becky

  2. I can also see some people finding what they need in this book; there was light amidst the darkness. For me, though, it just wasn’t worth it. I posted my negative reaction quite sure that more people would be posting a positive one. Other people will have their opinions; this is only mine.

    – Shannon

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