Lords of Night has one of the coolest covers I’ve seen on a genre novel in years. Just look at that art. Brilliant. It’s a good thing the book itself lives up to the promise of its cover. Author Thom Brannan was unfamiliar to me before reading this, but I will most definitely check out future titles from him.
Mixing all manner of tropes and ideas into one surprisingly cohesive whole, Lords of Night mixes zombies, folklore, a fantasy-flavoured quest story and much more into a modern fantastical horror story which grips from start to finish. Brannan’s prose style takes a little getting used to, with a lot of use of fragments in the structure of the writing, but once you get into the swing of it, then you’re hooked.
Far from being your average zombie novel, Lords of Night works the undead into the plot in a manner which is far more original than a lot of other writers are capable of managing. A dark force has brought about a nightmarish new age, and our hero Jack -along with a unit of special forces troops – must journey to find an object which may aid humanity in its battle against its rapidly nearing end.
There’s a delightfully entertaining comic book aspect to the book, which helps the grim and relentlessly hellish plot gallop along as a pleasing speed. There’s a sense of scale and a sense of danger permeating the story, and you’re regularly reminded of exactly how much is at stake. The plot may actually be a little too chaotic for some readers’ tastes, with the book’s genre seeming to shift from chapter to chapter, at once a pure horror tale and then suddenly a fantasy-themed story with touches of science fiction.
Thankfully, they are styles which work well together in the hands of Brannan, who mixes ideas with a great deal of skill. Gripping and very entertaining, Lords of Night has its own narrative style which takes a little getting used to, but it ultimately a fantastic book which will appeal to both a horror and a fantasy audience.
Book Review: Lords of Night – Author Thom Brannan