Genre: MG/YA Psychological Horror
Recommended Age: 13+ (some scary moments)
A Dark Game is a romantic thriller about a high school boy being plagued by the sinister vendetta of Shamara Ringwood – his best friend’s girlfriend. Prologue “I don’t know!” he shouted through gritted teeth. The big man at the other side of the table winced, exhaling through his nose. The light hanging from the middle of the room was bright. Rick could feel the man’s glare piercing through his own and the dried blood on his upper lip became exceedingly bothersome. “Mr. October, you have a record. This has been going on since 10th grade at school. Breaking and entering, harassment, damage to property, invasion of priva –“ “Yeah, I get it!” “Some of these aren’t taken lightly. Not only that but you want me to believe that it was all in self-defence… all because of this one person -” “Girl.” “-this girl that is making your life hell?” “Well, I’m sitting here, am I not?” “This is hardly similar to hell, Mr October. Now, do you mind starting from the very beginning?” “I don’t feel like telling stories.” The man sighed again. “I can’t help you if you don’t make me understand…” “It’s not like you’ll believe me,” Rick sighed. “Try me,” The man said slowly and leaned forward in his chair. The sound of the metal chair’s feet screeched and echoed in the tiny room and the light seemed to sway as the man moved. Suddenly, it seemed as if a staring competition was about to ensue; and not a friendly one at that. The pressure started swelling. “It all started the day I met Shamara Ringwood.” – Amazon.com
Ever since I’ve watched Secret Window (yea that one with Johnny Depp in a random cabin in the woods) I’ve been hooked on psychological horrors. I have always loved being scared and this book scared me. The plot and pacing are excellent in this book. The main key in any horror or psychological horror book is the pacing and the plot. If either fail then in my opinion the book isn’t as good as it could be. The plot and pacing work well together and make for an unbelievably amazing book. The book is very well written and is very easy to understand as well. The characters are also very realistic and charming for the most part. While there is a wide array of characters in the book, the writer did an awesome job of keeping each personality unique. The twist in the book is a real twist and it makes the reader want to read the book a second time through!
The only issues I had with the book was that in the first read-through the reader can find the main character Rick to be a bit off and the amount of women drawn to him a bit unrealistic. It’s only when you successfully complete the book that you realize why it seemed the way it did and that you were supposed to feel that way towards. The only other issues I could possibly point out are that there is some formatting error in the book copy I have but that could be because of the way my nook read the file.
Verdict: HOLY COW I LOVE THIS BOOK! Seriously it is so good and it put me in the mood for Halloween! Not only was the book amazing, but it was inspirational in teaching the reader in how to deal with grief or traumatic events. The book is also from a guy’s perspective, which I have to give credit for because not a lot of books are from a guys perspective nowadays. Definitely one of my 2017 favorites and definitely a book you should check out if you want to be scared this Halloween season. I’ve already added the paperback copy of this book to my wishlist and I can’t wait to reread it at some point!