Review: DARKNESS CONCEALED, by D. Emery Bunn

Darkness_Concealed_cover-1500x940As I said a couple of days ago, I am a terrible friend to my fellow independent authors.  However, I’ve been doing my best to curtail that tendency lately and making myself read on my Kindle.  Surprisingly, it hasn’t had the same weird sleep-preventing effects on my wife that it was having when I first bought it.  So maybe I can keep this up for a while.  At any rate, the second book that I’ll be reviewing (of at least three; there will likely be one more review this weekend) is of D. Emery Bunn’s Darkness Concealed.  You’ll have heard Emery’s name around here once or twice before; he’s a Twitter buddy and I interviewed him here when the book first came out.

Bunn bills Darkness Concealed as a dark fantasy, and… well, yeah.  Right on the nose, that.  This is not for the faint of heart, kids; the book starts with a family being massacred by demons in their house, and while the violence is never gratuitous, at least by my standards, that event sorta sets a bit of a tone for the rest of the book.  And seeing as the rest of the book revolves around the four main characters trying to find a) a reason for and b) a way to prevent a recurring near-apocalypse that regularly slaughters a fair chunk of the human populace… so yeah, it’s a bit on the dark side.

Darkness Concealed is book one of a trilogy, and it shows; there are a number of weird little bits here and there that are never explained (one of the characters has somebody else living in her head, for example) and there are plenty of questions and plot points left dangling for the sequels.  That would be a weakness in the hands of a less skilled author; here it just makes the world look bigger and avoids the dodge of “self-contained first book then a duology makes a trilogy,” a phenomenon I’ve kinda gotten tired of.  There are clearly more answers coming and more story here, so if you’re the type who wants everything tied up nice and neat with a bow on it when you close the book (or, uh, exit the Kindle app?) this may not be the book for you.

Why is this a book for you?  Worldbuilding.  Bunn has big ideas for how the word of Telthan works, and some of the settings that the characters visit, including a ruined city, a magical library tower and a damn-near-literal castle at the end of the world, really made the book for me.  These characters are searching for answers, and they’ll go wherever they need to to get them; the author clearly has no shortage of cool locales for them to visit along the way, and one of the joys of the book for me was seeing what they would encounter next.

Three dolla ninety-nine cent at the Amazon.  Check it out, you shall.

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Luther M. Siler

Teacher, writer of words, and local curmudgeon. Enthusiastically profane. Occasionally hostile.