T.W. Brown's Reviews > Comes the Dark

Comes the Dark by Patrick D'Orazio
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Sep 09, 2011

really liked it
Read in September, 2010

Patrick D'Orazio's "Comes the Dark" is one of the newer novel releases from The Library of The Living Dead. We in the genre of zombie fiction are a rather close knit community. We suffer from a rather high school-esque syndrome of cliques. So let me put it on the table, Patrick has reviewed some of my work very positively and has submitted to my anthologies over at May December Publications. Well, I'm not dealing with Patrick. I am reviewing a book by Mr. D'Orazio.

Comes the Dark announces itself as the first of a trilogy. I will say honestly that the first half of the book seemed very standard. We meet Jeff Blaine; he is discovering that his wife and children were attacked while he was out searching for food. I didn't feel sadness as I read. Instead, it was a sense of numbness. The grief-card has been overplayed in our genre at times.

I did feel the streams of action to be a bit confusing and hard to follow at times. But I always feel criticism and praise must go hand in hand. All praise is disingenuous while all criticism is mean and pointless. So, my criticism is simple, the action scenes get a little muddled and there was one instance where supplies were being loaded into the van while it was surrounded. Having read some of Mr. D'Orazio's work I have high expectations, that's why I have no doubt that his sequels will only get better.

There, that's out of the way. You may think I didn't like the book by what I've said up to this point. You would be wrong. There is a story building here that will have me adding the next title to my shopping cart the day it is released. But? But?

Yes, I've withheld my praise until now because, like Mr. D'Orazio's Comes the Dark, if you don't push past the beginning, you will miss the good stuff. When Jeff Blaine meets a young woman after escaping his house, I held my breath. I actually read a story where the central character was going on about just losing his beloved wife, fought through a hellish zombie escape to retrieve a necklace that was a gift from her, rescued a woman at the scene and had sex with her with the dead corpses still littering the room.

Bravo! Mr. D'Orazio. What a spectacular relationship dynamic between the two central figures. Their interactions are realistic and very well done. And an excellent job is done establishing the personalities of not just the main character(s), but also those he brings in as supporting cast. D'Orazio takes his time letting you get to know these people, preventing them from just being names on a page. Each one gets established with a genuine identity. The two-dimensional, generic characters that tend to dot the zombie landscape is not a problem here.

Comes the Dark is a worthy read. The descriptive ability of Mr. D'Orazio plays against him early on, but levels off and finally is able to showcase the talent of a man known for short stories as an up-and-coming name to watch in the novel realm. I anxiously await the next entry in the series and applaud the cliffhanger ending.
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