Author: R. Queen
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Source: NetGalley ebook
A comic book in novel form, Darkchylde is based on the comic series of the same name. It is dark, twisted and addictive as it follows Ariel Chylde as the barrier between her life and her nightmares starts to crumble.
The idea behind this novel is scary but the plot does lack a little. The novel is very much about the visuals and the characters and while there is a plot, it does not have quite the same impact as the rest of the novel. The progression happens in stages and there were moments I had to re-read because they happened too quickly. While some parts were predictable, I thought the reveals were done beautifully and had me on the edge of my seat, even where I had guessed what would happen.
As I said above, the characters form a primary part of this novel and by characters, I mean Ariel, Perry and Miss Happy. While there are other characters such as Jack and Gladys, these are the three which stay in mind and really bring the novel to life. I could picture Ariel so clearly from the moment she is introduced and her transformation in the novel is quite incredible. You can really sense what she is feeling and the fear she finds herself in. Miss Happy is the perfect balance. Where Ariel is afraid, Miss Happy is cool-headed and it is she who is the most important in Ariel’s development and an insanely cool character in her own right. Opposite these, Perry is the grounding, the reader’s own connection in the novel. The three of them combined make a very powerful combination of characters and it really hooked me in. Unfortunately, the other characters did not get quite as much development and I did struggle to care for the casualties that do occur in this book.
Darkchylde takes place in two worlds – ours and in Ariel’s nightmares. While I found it difficult to visualise the setting in this world, the nightmare world was all too real. This made the horror come across quite strongly and you really got the sense that something terrible was occurring. I did struggle to understand the movement from one world to the other, but the rest of the mythology was fascinating, and decidedly creepy.
Darkchylde is the perfect book to read this autumn. It is dark, thrilling and reads like a comic book – it is very easy to see the images being written and the lyrical writing helped with visualising the events and places. The characters had me cheering for them and reading with trepidation with all they get put through. There is a lot going on, however and some parts did not quite work for me. Still, I have no idea what could possibly happen next in Ariel’s story and I’m dying to find out. Not to mention, that cover is brilliant.