Jonathan Janz delivers a great story with copious amounts of horror. There is layer upon layer of great storytelling. Children of the Dark has an abundance of monsters, violence, teen angst, murder, blood, and gore. It even has a serial killer within these pages. I can’t say enough about this book! It is so good!
There’s always a book that catches you by surprise, even if you’ve been told that it’s top notch. You know the old reader saying, “I’ll believe it when I read it.” This book has made my favorites list. It has made my all-time favorites list.
Will Burgess is having a tough go of late, but things are starting to look up for once. He may start over some of the guys on the varsity baseball team. His childhood is a different story, though. Will was abandoned by his father, and his mother is addicted to pills. Will takes care of his kid sister. His first crush, Mia, is dating his archnemesis, too.
The Moonlight Killer has escaped prison and he’s on the lam. He’s heading towards Will’s hometown of Shadeland. The Moonlight Killer isn’t the only one threatening the small town of Shadeland. Something far more ancient and menacing is skulking in Savage Hollow–the forest surrounding Will’s house. To top it all off, there is a massive storm hammering down on the small town. Will and his friends must face the enigmatic horrors. And very few of them will escape with their lives.
The characters have depth, and they are very relatable. Children of the Dark is a great coming of age story! Jonathan Janz isn’t afraid to kill off his darlings. He builds the dread with the impending arrival of The Moonlight Killer. Jonathan Janz sets the book’s tone with the imminent storm brewing. There’s just enough tension between the characters.
Children of the Dark is thoroughly engrossing. It is unputdownable! Jonathan Janz grabs your interest, and before you know it the clock reads 3 a.m. This book makes you feel something. If you haven’t read this book yet, then I suggest you remedy this immediately. I am a fan of Jonathan Janz! I’m definitely going to read his other work!
5/5 stars! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
· Print Length: 293 pages
· Publisher: Sinister Grin Press
· Publication Date: March 15, 2016
Will Burgess is used to hard knocks. Abandoned by his father, son of a drug-addicted mother, and charged with raising his six-year-old sister, Will has far more to worry about than most high school freshmen. To make matters worse, Mia Samuels, the girl of Will’s dreams, is dating his worst enemy, the most sadistic upperclassman at Shadeland High. Will’s troubles, however, are just beginning.
Because one of the nation’s most notorious criminals—the Moonlight Killer—has escaped from prison and is headed straight toward Will’s hometown. And something else is lurking in Savage Hollow, the forest surrounding Will’s rundown house. Something ancient and infinitely evil. When the worst storm of the decade descends on Shadeland, Will and his friends must confront unfathomable horrors. Everyone Will loves—his mother, his little sister, Mia, and his friends—will be threatened.
And very few of them will escape with their lives.
Biography of Jonathan Janz
Jonathan Janz grew up between a dark forest and a graveyard, and in a
way, that explains everything. Brian Keene named his debut novel The Sorrows “the best horror novel of 2012.” The Library Journal deemed his follow-up, House of Skin, “reminiscent of Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House and Peter Straub’s Ghost Story.”
2013 saw the publication of his novel of vampirism and demonic possession The Darkest Lullaby, as well as his serialized horror novel Savage Species. Of Savage Species, Publishers Weekly said, “Fans of old-school splatterpunk horror–Janz cites Richard Laymon as an influence, and it shows–will find much to relish.” Jonathan’s Kindle Worlds novel Bloodshot: Kingdom of Shadows marked his first foray into the superhero/action genre.
Jack Ketchum called his vampire western Dust Devils a “Rousing-good weird western,” and his sequel to The Sorrows (Castle of Sorrows) was selected one of 2014’s top three novels by Pod of Horror. 2015 saw the release of The Nightmare Girl, which prompted Pod of Horror to call Jonathan “Horror’s Next Big Thing.” 2015 also saw the release of Wolf Land, which Publishers Weekly called “gruesome yet entertaining gorefest” with “an impressive and bloody climax.” He has also written four novellas (Exorcist Road, The Clearing of Travis Coble, Old Order, and Witching Hour Theatre) and several short stories.
His primary interests are his wonderful wife and his three amazing children, and though he realizes that every author’s wife and children are wonderful and amazing, in this case the cliché happens to be true. You can learn more about Jonathan at http://www.jonathanjanz.com. You can also find him on Facebook, via @jonathanjanz on Twitter, or on his Goodreads and Amazon author pages.
Praise for Children of the Dark
“Jonathan Janz brings us a vicious tale of terror with the innocence of youth in a coming of age tale that should surely make Stephen King smile.” – Dave, Beneath the Underground
“Jonathan Janz has written the next definitive coming-of-age horror novel that is sure to be mentioned alongside those that came before it. Be on the right side of history and read it now, before it becomes a classic.” –Patrick Lacey, author of A Debt to be Paid
Praise for Jonathan Janz
“Janz is the literary love child of Richard Laymon and Jack Ketchum (with a little Joe Lansdale DNA in the mix), with all the terror that implies. Try him out. You won’t be disappointed.”
-Pod of Horror
“One of the best writers in modern horror to come along in the last decade. Janz is one of my new favorites.” –Brian Keene, best-selling author
“It’s the best of its kind I’ve read in years, such that I’d call it ‘The Quintessential Haunted House Novel.’ You’ve taken the old school traditions of the form which readers want and then have injected modern style, characters, and macabre, hard-edged mayhem into the guts of the story. THAT’S the way to do it, my friend!”
-Author Edward Lee on House of Skin
“Jonathan Janz is one of the rare horror novelists who can touch your heart while chilling your spine. His work offers incisive characters, sharp dialogue, and more scares than a deserted graveyard after midnight. If you haven’t read his fiction, you’re missing out on one the best new voices in the genre.” –Tim Waggoner, multi-published author
“Fans of old-school splatterpunk horror–Janz cites Richard Laymon as an influence, and it shows–will find much to relish.” – Publishers Weekly on Savage Species