REVIEW: Night of Demons | Tony Richards | EOS (Harper Collins)

Title: Night of Demons
Author: Tony Richards
Website of Author:
Website of Publisher:
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Publication date: 2009
ISBN 978-0-06-147467-5
Length: 390 pages
Format: Paperback
"Sponsored" Review Copy from : Author

Reviewer: Clayton Bye

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There’s a road that runs like a needle straight through the New England forest. On occasion, a traveler with the right mind set will find a turnpike just where they need it to be. If they can ignore the voices that swell up in their minds, the ones telling them to go back, that they shouldn’t be here, that danger will ensue, then these rare visitors will find a thriving city in a valley that can’t be seen from the main road.

This is Raine’s Landing, where those born here can never leave and where visitors find it almost impossible to stay. You see, the Landing is cursed. Centuries ago, the true Salem witches founded this place and hid it from human eyes. Some time later, an angry inhabitant, punished for certain crimes and burnt at the stake, cursed all of Raine’s Landing’s citizens and their future offspring: if she couldn’t leave the Landing, then no one else ever would.

This week is not going to be a good week in Raine’s Landing. A serial killer is on the run from Boston police. He needs a place to hide so badly, he's able to see the turn pike to Raine’s Landing. And because killing is all this madman is about, he immediately heads for the richest part of the city and his first victim of many. But this is a place of magic and the madman, Cornelius Hanlon, just happens to pick on one of the strongest adapts in the city during an incantation involving a terribly dangerous wand. Fast thinking and an evil mind makes for a quick end to the Sorcerer and a powerful friendship between Hanlon and the living wand.

Make way for the Apocalypse! And while it slowly begins to roll out, troubleshooter Ross Devries, and a handful of other interesting and unique characters do their best to keep Hanlon from destroying their town, or worse. But under the influence of the wand and endued with its power, Hanlon transforms from a serial killer, to a maker of demons and finally to the one of the four horsemen he brings to life—those harbingers of doom, the four horsemen of Revelations who signify the beginning of the end.

Tony Richards has packed a lot of entertainment into his dark fantasy, Night of Demons. Part crime novel and part horror, Richards manages a true fantasy—dragons, swords, magic and a whole town filled with magic-users. But he doesn’t stop there. By weaving this fantasy into a modern setting, Richards creates a story that isn’t quite urban fantasy nor quite swords and sorcery. He creates something unique. Harper Collins obviously rewarded him for his ingenuity.

I enjoyed Night of Demons. There was always enough going on to keep my mind occupied and my fingers turning pages looking for more. The only criticism I have is that for all the gruesome bloodshed, I never really felt uncomfortable. There was no fear factor for me. Is this because the author didn’t take the time to make sure I cared about the people who were killed? Possibly. I know he wanted me to care about Cassandra, Ross’ sidekick, but she wasn’t “onscreen” enough to make that happen. We’re told what she’s like but only get to see one real instance of this.

This flaw aside, Night of Demons is an interesting book full of unique characters like “The Little Girl” (who I will allow you to meet on your own). And in the real world, where I believe the fantasy genre is struggling, Tony Richards brings us something new that allows us to suspend our disbelief. Take that Harry Potter!

 Copyright © Clayton Clifford Bye

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