Synopsis: Hell on earth is only one click of a mouse away…
The Dark Net is real. An anonymous and often criminal arena that exists in the secret far reaches of the Web, some use it to manage Bitcoins, pirate movies and music, or traffic in drugs and stolen goods. And now an ancient darkness is gathering there as well. This force is threatening to spread virally into the real world unless it can be stopped by members of a ragtag crew:
Twelve-year-old Hannah — who has been fitted with the Mirage, a high-tech visual prosthetic to combat her blindness– wonders why she sees shadows surrounding some people.
Lela, a technophobic journalist, has stumbled upon a story nobody wants her to uncover.
Mike Juniper, a one-time child evangelist who suffers from personal and literal demons, has an arsenal of weapons stored in the basement of the homeless shelter he runs.
And Derek, a hacker with a cause, believes himself a soldier of the Internet, part of a cyber army akin to Anonymous.
They have no idea what the Dark Net really contains.
I really think that the synopsis for this book is not up to scratch! Although, yes, the synopsis is what initially drew me to this book, after reading it I can say that the book is WAY better than the synopsis would make you believe!
This book tackles the subject of good and evil, with references to demons and black magic… which I didn’t get at all from the synopsis! I was expecting this to have a much deeper involvement with the dark net, what’s on it and how it’s used. While yes, there is that to the book, it’s not necessarily it’s main focus.
To begin with, this lack of talk about the dark net actually made me hesitant about the book. I was expecting something so much different to what I was reading, I felt really disappointed. But, that feeling didn’t last for long. This is so unlike anything I’ve ever read before and that made everything about this book really exciting. Not to mention, this is a super clever book! It uses real life scenarios that we can all relate to, or at least know about, and explains it with a black magic twist.
For example, when talking about demon possession, it explains how small demons can take over and that causes a man to plow a lorry through a busy crowd, or a school shooting – a one off awful occasion in history. But when a big, strong demon comes along, it can posses not only a person, but a nation. It uses examples of the Holocaust and the Rwandan Genocide, which I thought was really smart!
Characters in this book were excellent, but there were quite a lot of them that we needed to get to know. Juniper was by far my favourite of the bunch, Sarin coming in at a close second. I loved that there was a strong, bad-ass female character who wasn’t irritating (Lela, I’m looking at you!).
As for the story, I will say that it feels a bit all over the place at times. It’s not difficult to wrap your head around but there are a lot of things pulled in to the story at different times and this sometimes got a bit manic. This is classed as a horror novel, and for me, there definitely were some creepy bits. The hounds especially made my skin crawl.
Overall, I ended up really loving this novel. It was short and sweet (although it almost took me a whole 7 days to read), and it was exciting, creepy and fast-paced! A great novel for anyone who likes a darker thriller. Lots of gruesome deaths and bad-ass characters.
Thanks to BookBridgr and Hodder & Stoughton for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.