By: Michaelbrent Collings
A group of unsuspecting passengers are trapped along a commuter train seemingly chartered toward the very depths of hell. Will the diverse mixture of individuals realize their common bond and rise against adversity posed before them or will they ultimately succumb to the evil that lurks in the shadows around them?
Darkbound marks the fourth novel I’ve had the esteemed pleasure and honour of reading and reviewing for author Michaelbrent Collings. Each tale is more fluent and polished than the last, a true testament of a consummate professional forever honing his craft. His delicate use of foreshadow garnishes the suspense factor as characters are introduced a refreshing segue unto what may unfold next.
The terror meter is dialed up a notch in the plot as our main protagonist Jim stews over an argument he had with his wife and daughter. Freddy, a mysterious stranger becomes increasingly creepy brooding over a photo of his family enhancing the vulnerability setting we as the reader take for granted in an environment such as a subway. The primal fear within the darkness may be unleashed at any moment tweaking irrational phobias to very real horror in the unknown.
Collings reference to technological devices and mediums suspends a certain believability factor, making the plot more realistic. We buy into the story intrigued by the characters’ mannerisms and sociological behaviour. Perhaps Darkbound wouldn’t translate as well in a setting of the seventies or eighties which lures in a wider, younger audience.
A certain sense of innovation and creativity is deployed in the sheer design of formatting this tale. The chapters are presented in form of passenger fares counting down each as the train screams along the tracks towards each individual’s demise. We fixated on the pages, tearing through ravenously to see what unfolds next.
The death scenes are vivid, frightfully gory in their own right. If even the most cynical of horror fan is impervious to the chilling expose before them the depth of gut wrenching death will certainly present impact. The author’s exploration in each of the senses catering to touch, smell and even taste heightens the experience tenfold.
The contrast of characters is an effective expose of social psychology within a high stress environment. Confined places, excessive noise among others are each definitive components in aggression. It’s indicative in each character as the even the most reserved of protagonists begin to come completely undone at the seams.
A spell binding conclusion comes from out of nowhere that is hauntingly reminiscent of M. Night Shymalan or Alfred Hitchcock. A certifiable bone chiller, Darkbound is an excellent initiation into fear for any readers new to Michaelbrent Collings. For further information on additional titles from the author to www.michaelbrentcollings.com
Book Review: Darkbound – Author Michaelbrent Collings