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June in Review

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This monthly wrap-up is going to be a little different, as I’m going to try and properly express where I am in terms of reviewing, blogging, and social media. I feel that after all the support I’ve been blessed with, I can at least offer some form of communication. 

I read one book in June. It wasn’t terrible, I actually enjoyed it quite a lot, therefore the issue here doesn’t lie with the quality of the material I’m picking up, but with me. My interest isn’t there anymore; it took a dander into the abyss. I can’t exactly say why, either. One thing I’ve observed over the years is that this exact thing happens to readers, often without provocation and warning, so I can only hope it passes in time. If I force myself I may come to resent reviewing altogether, and I certainly don’t want that to happen.

As for my activity on social media and the likes… Well, I hate social media. I hate Twitter. I wholeheartedly detest the drama, the way those with a large following try to use that following to back their argument, and the passive aggressive bullshit. Yes, I have involved myself in petty disputes more than once. They haven’t been my best moments.

I rid myself of Facebook for a reason, yet despite my loathing, my Twitter will remain. I’ll also continue reading at my own miserable pace, and if that results in one book a month, so be it. I apologise to those waiting for a review, just know that it will come with a delay.

Thank you for reading, and my gratitude to everyone still standing by this little blog.

TLDR: I’m not going anywhere, but my activity will continue to be low for the time being. Bear with me, please.

(Read: 1 / Reviewed: 1)

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The Dark Game by Jonathan JanzThe Dark Game was a pleasure to read; a story that brought significance to the struggles of writing and the insecurities that plague those creative types. There were twists and turns that I enjoyed, and the short chapters were a boon to my reading mood (of which was lacking). The only negative was that I didn’t cohere with the ending. Read my full review here.

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The Dark Game by Jonathan Janz

The Dark GameThe Dark Game by Jonathan Janz

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Chosen are ten writers, their ultimate goal to win the contest presented by the illustrious – and suspiciously elusive – Roderick Wells. Residing in his mansion for the summer, the task of penning the perfect tale of horror evokes the darkness already in their hearts, taking the form of regret, jealousy and ill intent. The ever-changing environment and dwindling number of the group doesn’t help matters, and soon the game descends into all-out madness.

(WARNING: This review contains minor spoilers.)

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I thank Flame Tree Press for giving me the opportunity.


My fifth Jonathan Janz novel, and yet another showcase of diversity in plot – such to be expected from Janz. I can honestly say that I found the overall concept of The Dark Game to be not only imaginative, but seriously clever to boot. I initially expected to be reminded of another, older title similar in premise (Haunted); of which I didn’t care for much at all. I was therefore happy for such an expectation to be proved wrong, as whilst there were resemblances, they were negligible. The Dark Game was a coherent piece, with a balance between the frightening and the conflict of human morality. As soon as events began to unfold I had a smile on my face, because it – Roderick Wells and his sinister manipulations – was just so cool, and that’s not a word I use often in my reviews.

The beginning was set up well – ten writers from all walks of life, some with more success than others, yet with one thing in common: big dreams of fame and fortune. There were many delicious little secrets, a handful of greedy schemes, and a mysterious threat that loomed above all. The emphasis on horror literature really appealed, especially the discussions that delved into what makes a compelling villain. I actually believe aspiring authors could possibly learn a thing or two in this regard, or at least take away food for thought when it comes to the creation of their antagonists. Suffice it to say, some intriguing points were touched upon.

Admittedly I had a little trouble distinguishing between certain characters, but that might have been a mere case of not being used to such a large cast. Staying true to the Janz formula, the majority of personalities were impossible to like, but there were a select few that fit the bill of good people, despite the mistakes of their past. My favouritism didn’t lie with any of the participants though, but with Wells himself. He was a glorious monster.

The read didn’t conclude entirely without complaints. My biggest issue overall was the ending and how it didn’t satisfy, nor make sense to me. I feel like it ruined something great, and that was an immense disappointment. Naturally I can’t give away what specifically bothered me – the spoilers would be too great. However, if I were to focus on the journey rather than the destination, then a high rating is well deserved in my books.

In conclusion: The Dark Game was a pleasure to read; a story that brought significance to the struggles of writing and the insecurities that plague those creative types. There were twists and turns that I enjoyed, and the short chapters were a boon to my reading mood (of which was lacking). The only negative was that I didn’t cohere with the ending.

Notable Quote:

“This place… this place… is a wonderland of hideous beauty. Of dreadful passion. The water that flows on this property is laced with the elixir of madness, the trees nourished by the blood of the damned.”

© Red Lace 2019

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