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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2016 Sinister Grin Press (P)2019 Craig Shaeffer

What listeners say about Children of the Dark

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great narrator, fun coming-of-age/monster story

I received a free copy of the audiobook from the audiobook narrator in exchange for an honest review.

The narrator, Matt Godfrey, is hands down one of my favorite audiobook narrators. His voice is interesting and captivating. I could, and frequently do, listen to him speak for hours on end. This book was no exception. My only *complaint* (if you can call it that) is that sometimes he uses the same or similar voice for several characters, but honestly, that's not much of a criticism in my book because having unique voices for EVERY character in a book with a lot of characters is HARD. Godfrey's performances are always good. He could read from a phone book and I'd be hooked. But enough gushing about the narrator.

This was my first Jonathan Janz book, and while I wasn't blown away by it, I enjoyed it quite a bit anyways. I tend to like my horror more on the literary or cerebral side, and I often find books about monstrous creatures to be a bit... I dunno if "boring" is the right word, but it's the closest I can come to right now. There's nothing wrong with books about monsters; they're just less interesting to me than other types of horror. For me, the story should ALWAYS come first. For example, the best ghost stories aren't about the ghosts themselves but about the people who are haunted by them.

Ostensibly, that's also what creature books are "about" as well, but sometimes the human characters are little more than fodder for the big, bad, "scary" monster. That's a bit of how I felt about CHILDREN OF THE DARK, though I think Janz handled that with much more finesse than a lot of horror writers out there. I also tend to enjoy coming-of-age stories (Stephen King's IT is one of my favorite books), and I think it worked well in this case.

Overall, I liked the story of CHILDREN OF THE DARK, and I'm looking forward to reading more of Janz's work. This book wasn't groundbreaking or even all that "original" (a term I dislike using because it feels like a cop-out of providing more substantial criticism), but it used the tropes it relied on in several fun, interesting ways, and it managed to successfully blend two types of monsters (serial killers and wendigo-esque cannibals) that otherwise might not mesh well together.

Overall, I think if you're looking for something fun to read (or listen to), I hope you'll give this book a try.

21 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I never review, but...

Outstanding book and narration. One of the best I've listened to in quite sometime, and I listen everyday. sometimes 2-3 books finished per week. I never leave reviews. No time. In this case I made an exception. The book is worth a credit, a discounted price, the full price, or a goat. Whatever you consider the most valuable. I paid for the book. I'm not obligated to review. I took the time. Take that for what it is. Bravo to the Author and Narrator.

20 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Unoriginal and ham fisted

Cringe worthy writing and plot that went nowhere led me to give up about 8 hours in.

9 people found this helpful

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Excellent story, performance and characters!

This was a awesome story to listen to! The plot might take a little bit of time to get going but damn the author did a great job at world building and at the characters backstory without boring you at all. The horror elements are very well done and the author doesn't hold back on the violence and the gore elements, which I love! But it's not over the top and the characters are not invincible Mary Sue's either. There are some eye rolling cliché moments and some terrible decisions made by certain side characters but they only happen may be 2 or 3 times throughout the entire story. Which is very damn good for a story of this length! I won't spoil the story at all but just know the characters are extremely well written and the story is deeply engaging and the horror aspect makes it even more amazing. I am looking forward to more books from this author and narrator combo. I am very well pleased I found this amazing horror story after I been so disappointed in some of the very top recommendations in the horror category. There are some highly rated, garbage horror books out there that you need to stay away from! Unless you enjoy the methodical torture of being slowly bored to death. So ignore those highly pretentious, extremely over rated, arthouse style horror books and take a chance on this wonderful gem of a horror story!

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Levels & levels of horror!

Children of the Dark
By: Jonathan Janz
Narrated by: Matt Godfrey
This book has so many different levels of horror! Just when I thought I have listed all the horrors in this book, I remember other ways this book uses horror! Great characters, the good ones are good and the bad ones, well, I wanted to throw away my morals and choke someone! The world building is great, I could picture the town and the hollows and more! Very little time in the book to get bored, something tense or terrifying is usually going on or you know might happen soon. That anticipated soon comes true but always unpredictable, never what you expected. This was a great horror book!
Narration is excellent!

6 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

If you enjoy Stephen King, you'll like this book.

Engaging storyline. I listened to this selection in only, two sessions...binge listening, if that's a term. Lol. I'm wondering if there's a second installment in the works? (Which is exactly where a good book should leave the reader, once they've finished it.) Also, the chosen performer did a nice job portraying multiple characters.

10 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fabulous!

I was very skeptical at first but it is a great read. It kept myself and my teens on edge and wanting more. I watched an interview with Jonathan this weekend and he is phenomenal. What we need, is a sequel. Several new fans.

4 people found this helpful

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loved it!

Horror plus a little humor. Great characters. Narration made it even better! Moving on to read another of his books. this was my 1st!

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great listen!!

Great premise, story flows and keeps you wanting more. Thoroughly enjoyed this book and hope there will be a continuation.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I live in Lafayette INDIANA

This is a great book and I hope, can hardly wait for the next book. I hope there is a continuation! I want to know what happens to these characters. I live in Shadeland Indiana. This so cool😀

3 people found this helpful