Kari's Reviews > Darkness on the Edge of Town

Darkness on the Edge of Town by Brian Keene
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's review
Apr 23, 2010

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Read in April, 2010

From my blog:


Robbie and Christy are a young couple living in the small town of Walden, Virginia. He's a pizza delivery guy, she works in a local new-age gift shop. They live together in a small apartment building along with their neighbors, Russ (he's smart, divorced, and into astronomy) and Cranston (an ex-hippie liberal in his early 60's). They all enjoy their occasional alcohol and marijuana and mostly tend to keep to themselves.

One morning the residents of Walden wake up and discover that the rest of the world seems to be gone. Darkness is everywhere. There is no electricity, radio, tv, or phone signals. On the edge of town, there is an intense, impenetrable darkness; a darkness that almost seems alive with sounds and voices calling out to the residents of Walden. Whevenever anyone gets too close to this edge of darkness, bad things happen. Those who attempt to leave Walden are met with an unknown fate. Only their terrifying screams are heard. Then, they do not come back. The darkness has strange effects on the people of Walden, who quickly turn to looting, robbery, beatings, rape, and even murder. Everyone soon discovers that the darkness is bringing out the worst in them; they find themselves thinking and eventually doing evil things.

And, then there's Dez. He's the local crazy homeless guy. Most people either ignore him or treat him badly and call him names. But, he may just be the one person in town who actually knows why this darkness is happening.

Robbie decides that not knowing what is happening is the worst part. He comes up with a plan to try and unite some of the townspeople and learn more about the darkness. But, things don't go well with this plan. Robbie, Russ, and Cranston retreat back to their homes and decide that they should all stay put for awhile. As the darkness continues, the madness of the townspeople continues to increase. Robbie, Christie, Russ, and Cranston all find that their moods and urges are being influenced by the darkness. The least little trigger sets them off, and on more than one occasion, they find themselves filled with an urge to kill each other.

This book was very easy to get into and I did think it was scary. Obviously, this story has some sort of supernatural component to it. What was really scary to me was how quickly people in the town turned to violence and crime when faced with a disaster (i.e. no light, electricity, phones, dwindling food supplies, etc.). Robbie, Christy, and their friends became prisoners in their own town, and then, when the violence escalated so much, they became prisoners in their own homes; afraid to venture out into the streets. I won't give away the ending, but, it wasn't the ending I was expecting. Overall, I enjoyed the story and would like to check out another of this author's books.

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