Tuesday, February 22, 2011

End Times

by Rio Youers
Publisher PS Publishing, September 2010

With End Times, Youers delivers a tour-de-force that chills the blood, raises the pulse, plucks our emotional strings, and weaves the reader into the story with a unique voice that pushes the envelope of dark fiction. Youers does not follow trends. Nor does he rely on blood and guts to scare the reader. For the author, a scare just won’t do. Due to this, many readers give thanks. This is why his work grabs you and won’t let go, resonating long after you finish. His characters are real people that we can actually identify with, and most importantly, we care about them. Their emotions become our own. Dare I say you may even shed a tear… I know I sure did. That said; make no mistake, End Times is a very dark novel, indeed.

We find Scott Hennessey (A.K.A. Scott No Fingers) a scarred, yet triumphant man. Scott used to be a heroin addict that dropped out of school and lived on the streets, doing anything he could for another hit. He rose above and carved out a career for himself with the local newspaper despite all odds. Actually, Scott used to be a lot of things… until an old friend calls him with a warning that becomes his last words: Mia Floats Softly is back.

Scott’s memory is vague. The voice on the phone seems so familiar, but he can’t place it. And rightly so; after rising above a past best forgotten, Scott scrambles to make sense of the warning. He can feel Mia’s pull. It’s as palpable as his past, and once again, his veins crave the demon that shadowed that part of his life. But this is the least of his worries. His friends are dying and Mia Floats Softly has only just begun—her eyes set on the biggest prize: Scott Hennessey. The long and painful journey takes him around England—where he finds Mia’s mark on everybody she consumes—to the Dakota’s of America. Scott must find the answers before Mia finds him.

With End Times, we find the author in rare form. Told in a non-linear fashion, the story whisks us away into a world as real and dark as our own. What truly makes this novel shine, however, is the imagination behind it. Arthur Machen, Neil Gaiman, Clive Barker, and a host of other authors come to mind. Rarely has the melding of reality and fantasy been mixed so well that it captivates those who delve into Scott’s world and accompany him on his heart-wrenching journey. Once again, Youers proves to be one of the most formidable story tellers of our time.

Reviewed by, Ben Eads

Buy it here.

Ben Eads is a dark fiction author of short stories and longer fiction. His work tends to represent modern horror coupled with what he likes to call: “Imagination-tickling elements”. Ben is also a huge fan of dark fiction and dark movies. At the age of ten he wrote his first story. Taking writing seriously in early 2008, Ben Eads has published numerous short dark fiction stories in various magazines, anthologies, and E-Zines.

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