Enter several worlds at your own risk as you decide which ones are real or your imagination. Within these separate worlds you will meet those who have the power to take lives at a whim, seek revenge on those that wronged people dear to someone or manipulate events in a game so deadly that only the players know or think they know the outcomes as each one creates his own version, own characters and their fates when a simple game and competition gets two players so caught up they are enveloped in what they created that certain doom might occur in reality from their imaginations in fiction.
We enter the game in the first scene that sets the tone and triggers the events and competitions that follow but in both the game and the plots created one man is constant: the ragman the manipulator as he creates the plots and content that each player will use to his advantage until well that still remains to be seen.
When a father sacrifices his life for his unworthy daughter so he says the game begins, the daughter rises and the Pale Rider creates the rules and we meet a dangerous foe whose task it is to take revenge on those that are members of the Black Horde. A dream would bring it into focus and Augury Paras is created but as what? Deadly as we get to know her as the story progresses, she holds her deadly sword called La Mia Morte the sword of death. Next we meet Llica who plays the lute at a bar and what happens to her when things get out of hand plays right into the hands of what Augury turns into when coming into this place and wanting a room but settling for one in the cellar. The Dancing Wench. Several men that frequent this place decided that they were going to have their way with her but little did they know that she would be ready for them and the end result you have to experience for yourself because what’s left of them is nothing but white ash that is made up of bones and their clothes left. What exactly does she do you won’t believe as someone else decides to take her own but this time the fate is quite different.
Hidden beneath the surface are characters that were created and manipulated by the players of the game. Of is this truly a game? We see Lliac go after a prey in a state that is different from that when she plays her lute and takes revenge on those that have defiled and demeaned her. Her mate is no different and between the two lives are lost and regrets are none.
In the real world we meet William Donovan a high school student hooked on Dark Creatures who falls prey to his own intensity towards this game that he is become addicted at all costs. We read and experience his version of what happens to these people in this downtrodden town, he is the Lord Protector and his characters are violent, greedy and cruel and then Doug Pittman is his competition but they don’t realize there are others out there doing the same. William created his wishes and instructions to continue the journey in Dark Creatures but when a dream that appears to really be a reality takes place and a voice is heard telling him that evil is out there and only he can decide to do something about it or not, the Ragman appears one last time and then it’s up to William to continue on or not as the Lord Protector so to speak he can change the events that preceded his dream, change the characters and their fate or maybe watch it unfold as the police come to his area and Doug Pittman is about to learn the fate of his family but does he already know? The descriptions of the towns in the game are barren lands, rot filled, high intense awful stenches and people whose goals are to take over the rest, making sure in one case the five clans that are the authority in Tanlegalle, manage to fulfill what is expected of them or shall I say their head leaders. Greed, power, defiance, control, and one is after a young girl that was his slave and other wants the La Mia Morte Sword as payment for bringing the slave.
Just when you think you know what is about to happen the author creates another diversion for the reader. Each character is another piece of the game being played by two teens named Janus f and Janus m and each one controlled one of the major characters Augury or Llica. As both Doug and William realize that their fates have been sealed and the town that they live in caught up in the Dark Creatures game, Doug who has committed atrocities and is known to himself and the law as Cannibal killing many and yet not getting caught and there is William who is caught in a web of his own with young Lily and is trying to figure out how he is going to explain what has happened to his parents or what he’s done. Committed to the game he and Doug think that they can reenter any time and use their primary piece to win. But when you realize that this whole thing and their scenes just might be the imagination of those two teens that have manipulated and created what has happened and now a third player Samuel is present, as both crafted their own anti-heroes as did William. Each town they enter is seen as old, decayed and the scene where Augury and Llica meet the goblin captain and have to escape their unholy and filthy city you wonder how much is real, how much is the real game and how much the author has created to get you the reader wondering what is next for those committed to finish this deadly game. Golden Llica and Augury have their own forms not quite human and not one as gifts given to them by the ragman. Paths were chosen, the Lord Protectors ultimate plan was not a good one and yet to depend on the actions of these two characters seemed reckless. Yet this was the course chosen before the Lord of Despair left the playing field voluntarily and the Lord of Protectors has not seen fit to change anything thinking the other , Lord of Despair would rewrite it. As we learn what the Lord Protector granted by Augury and Llica to continue but where will they finally wind up and will they continue to be major pieces in this game and if so whose? At the or last chapter before the Epilogue we learn and hear the final thoughts of Doug and we learn William’s mind flashed back to the previous night and his time with Lily and the name flashes on his screen making the reader wonder just what will happen to him next and if he was in way over his young head. The final epilogue will intrigue the reader wondering what is next for the players, why is the town of Millten and its population so easily manipulated and why are people watching and so drawn to what is supposed to be a simple game. What is next and what is the next part of the game and who will win: Dark Creatures is part one but the fame will change not only within the game board that has enveloped this town but for those who control it as well. Who joins the Januses and Samuel in this game of life and death: Author Tim Ahrens holds that secret and the names of the new players and their fates in his hand until we all get to read THE DARK CREATURES: THE GRAND GAME and hopefully find out. Fear, darkness, fact, dream, real or are we all a part of this game and we just do not know it? Author Tim Ahrens will keep you spellbound and in a trance you might think until he unveils that these Dark Creatures are not done with the characters or You !
Fran Lewis: just reviews
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