Doggem by John F Leonard

Doggem: A Tale of Toy Dogs and Dark DeedsDoggem: A Tale of Toy Dogs and Dark Deeds by John F Leonard

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Doggem is an educational tool, used to help in the development of children. It’s George Gould’s turn to take him home for the holiday season, where he and his parents will pay a visit to his grandmother. As observed, not all is right in the Gould clan. Certain schemes are talked about behind closed doors, yet are heard all the same.

(WARNING: This review contains minor spoilers.)

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I thank John F Leonard for giving me the opportunity.


Doggem, despite its overall length, involved many elements within its pages, from the crimes of human greed, to the mysteries of an ancient forest. Whilst I can appreciate conveying so much in so little space, it struck me as a little too jam-packed, to the point I felt that particular aspects weren’t given enough justice. Joan Demdike, for instance, was such an intriguing character, yet her presence was so fleeting. If only she had been further explored, adding more meat to her bones, then perhaps I wouldn’t have been left so dissatisfied. The same goes for Jordemain Wood as a whole.

Saying that, the entity that was Doggem fascinated me a great deal. I couldn’t help but recall all those times wishing life into my own stuffed toys, yet that childhood fantasy brings with it a frightening prospect. Imagine a sentient mind stuck inside a thing as inconspicuous as a child’s plaything, seeing and hearing everything. It makes me uncomfortable, so I applaud Leonard’s ability in that regard. Doggem’s voice was distinct and memorable, and by goodness I wouldn’t hesitate to read a longer novel all about him.

In conclusion: Doggem was an introduction to an interesting world, one with many secrets teeming beneath its surface. I truthfully had some issues, such as the sheer amount of factors that were mentioned yet neglected, but that’s short pieces of fiction in general; sometimes it’s difficult to connect entirely. I’d still however recommend it, for Leonard’s imagination is something to admire.

Notable Quote:

Skin to skin contact with his wife had slowly dripped the devil into his soul.

© Red Lace 2019

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