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The Dark Game

Fiction Without Frontiers
Narrated by: Josh Wichard
Length: 11 hrs and 52 mins
Categories: Fiction, Horror
4 out of 5 stars (17 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"Equal parts Lord of the Flies mixed with The Girl on the Train with a cast of unreliable and shifty personalities, this novel belongs with the best thrillers on the bookshelf and should be on yours, stat." (A.E. Siraki)

Ten writers are selected for a summer-long writing retreat with the most celebrated and reclusive author in the world. Their host is the legendary Roderick Wells. Handsome, enigmatic, and fiendishly talented, Wells promises to teach his pupils about writing, about magic, about the untapped potential that each of them possesses. Most of all, he plans to teach them about the darkness in their hearts. 

The writers think they are signing up for a chance at riches and literary prestige. But they are really entering the twisted imagination of a deranged genius, a lethal contest pitting them against one another in a struggle for their sanity and their lives. They have entered into Roderick Wells’s most brilliant and horrible creation. 

The Dark Game.  

Flame Tree Press is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launched in 2018, the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.

©2019 Flame Tree Publishing (P)2019 Flame Tree Publishing

What members say

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Wonderful

I am a bit of a sucker for this type of story—group of folks volunteering to go somewhere then being held captive amd fighting for survival. That said, I loved it and if you like these thpes of stories, you probably will, too!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Tortuously agonizing | STAY FAR AWAY!

I'm not sure where to begin because this book is that bad. I don't understand all the positive reviews. i really don't. This book was all over the place. Going from 1 character to another to another. So much so, that I couldn't keep track of which character did what. It got to the point where I didn't care anymore. Due to the positive reviews, I tried to push though but just couldn't do it. There was a point where I thought the book had to be getting towards the ending but realized I was only about 1/2 way through the book. I pushed on but just could not make it to the end. I told myself that everyone died and moved onto another book. I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND THIS BOOK! The narrator was pretty good.

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Great

Really enjoyed this. My first from Janz, but won't be my last. Great audio too.

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Loved it!

Couldn't stop listening! So disappointed it had to end. Can't wait for Mr. Janz's next book!

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A haunting game...

My fifth foray into the mind of Jonathan Janz was, as I've come to expect from this author, worth every penny.

We have a group of writers here called to a secret retreat by an eccentric author who, while not prolific, has won every award there is, not to mention fortune and adoring fame. The game is fairly simple: all the authors have to write something completely new and fresh, and it must be in the horror genre. Problem is, most of them aren't horror authors. Yet, with a guaranteed publishing contract with one of the Big 5 houses in New York, and a $3,000,000 prize, no one is eager to walk away.

But nothing is as it seems. As the bodies start piling up, and the remaining contestants start to piece together what's happening, all while dealing with haunting shame and guilt for their past sins, the eccentric host is slowly revealed to be something much more sinister than merely a condescending and cruel critic.

What can I say about Janz's writing I haven't before? I'm not sure I'm able to be fully original when speaking of his work since discovering him, so forgive me if I fall on a few tropes here. The man is, quite simply, one of the best in the business. And that's the God's honest truth. I've long been a fan of several names you'll find quite familiar: Stephen King, Clive Barker, Joe Hill, Robert McCammon, Dean Koontz, etc., etc. You know all those names and like me, are probably tired of hearing them all the time (though we all seem to run out and snatch up their latest releases...well, all but Koontz, but you get my point). Jonathan Janz is not only worthy of their company, he rises above them in many ways. His stories are always original, his characters always fully realized, and his prose always pitch-perfect. I could go on, but I'm no gusher (*radio from HQ squawks* "Chris Miller is a liar, over...").

One thing Janz has managed to do to me with all his work I've had the pleasure of devouring is make me squirm in my seat. Whether through descriptions of things which are horrifyingly painful or merely uncomfortable, or in many cases LITERALLY scaring (something very hard to do to me with a book), Janz knows how to use his pen to evoke feeling and emotion, and he does so effectively here. Seriously, TRY reading this or another of his books without moaning and shifting your seated position at least once due to what's on the page. I dare you.

So, should horror fans check out THE DARK GAME? What are you, an idiot? Of COURSE they should! Horror fans can't go wrong with him. Should NON-horror fans check him out? Again, your stupid is showing. Yes, EVERYONE, of ANY persuasion should check into his work. While it may be horror, this is not just buckets of gore and creepy shadows. This is a real story about real people thrust into a terrifying situation where the past that's been haunting you is finally catching up...and no one is safe from or immune to it. That's a human story ANYONE can connect with. And I encourage you to do so.

The narrator does an excellent job.

5/5 stars once more to Jonathan Janz for THE DARK GAME...it may be a trope for me to praise the man, but sometimes the tropes are true.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful