Author: Ashley Meggitt
Publication Date: October 14, 2020
Length: 241 pages
Read Date(s): July 11, 2021 – July 13, 2021
Purchase Link: mybook.to/TheDarkChorus
Oblivio salvationem Angelis opperitur: Oblivion awaits the Angel’s salvation
The Boy can see lost souls.
He has never questioned the fact that he can see them. He thinks of them as the Dark Chorus. When he sets out to restore the soul of his dead mother it becomes clear that his ability comes from within him. It is a force that he cannot ignore – the last shard of the shattered soul of an angel.
To be restored to the kingdom of light, the shard must be cleansed of the evil that infects it – but this requires the corrupt souls of the living!
With the help from Makka, a psychotically violent young man full of hate, and Vee, an abused young woman full of pain, the Boy begins to kill.
Psychiatrist Dr Eve Rhodes is seconded to assist the police investigation into the Boy’s apparently random ritualistic killings. As the investigation gathers pace, a pattern emerges. When Eve pulls at the thread from an article in an old psychology journal, what might otherwise have seemed to her a terrible psychotic delusion now feels all too real…
Will the Boy succeed in restoring the angel’s soul to the light? Can Eve stop him, or will she be lost to realm of the Dark Chorus?
***I received a copy of the book from Blackthorn Book Tours, but I read the book via Kindle Unlimited to support the author with my page reads. My review consists of my honest assessment and opinions about the book.***
This book is not my usual read, but I was intrigued by the synopsis. It seemed like it blended horror, supernatural fantasy, and police procedural into a pretty epic story. While it did do that quite well, the book also displayed a deep understanding of psychology and left me thinking critically about my views on the psyche and the soul.
The story was incredibly dark, which I guess was to be expected given it followed a group of children who commit ritualistic murders. The writing style complemented the tone of the story perfectly, and the author did a superb job of using his words to create an aura that felt creepy and menacing. The pace of the book was steady throughout, and I was hooked from the first chapter to the last. The plot was fascinating, and I loved how the line was elegantly straddled between the fantasy elements being psychosis or the potential presence of an additional dimension most people cannot see. There were some times where the plot and lore felt a bit confusing and others where things seemed to happen just because they had to in order for the story to move forward (characters being in the perfect place at the perfect time multiple times without a good explanation). However, the way it all came together in the end made me forgive any misgivings I had along the way.
The character work was the highlight of this book. The main protagonist, the boy, was delightfully creepy to read. He maintained a childlike innocence throughout the story that was at odds with the cruelty and brutality of his actions, which made reading his thoughts incredibly unnerving. The other two children, Vee and Makka, each had intricate background stories of pain and loss, much like the boy, and the motivations and arcs of their characters were compelling to read. The protagonists were so well-developed that I found myself rooting for them more and more as the story went on despite the fact they were brutally murdering people. My only complaint about the characters would be that the antagonists did not receive the same level of nuance as the protagonists, but in a way that makes sense as we were seeing them through the eyes of the boy.
The psychological themes in this story really made me think about the complexity of human nature. The book explores many thought-provoking questions: Do people exist who are truly evil? Are there some people who are beyond redemption, and, if so, what does it take to get to that point? Does doing something bad for good reasons absolve someone of the horrific nature of the action itself? Are the mind and the soul the same entity, separate, or connected in some way? I especially loved how the author described the interplay between the mind and soul. It was truly beautiful to imagine. The boy’s journey in the book also illustrated the importance of human connection to psychological health as he continually grows in his ability to empathize as he gets closer to Vee and Makka, which made him feel much more human as the story progressed.
Overall, the book was compelling to read and gripped me from beginning to end. It was shockingly dark and touched on topics that are not for the faint of heart. I never expected to be wanting cold-blooded killers to succeed, but by the end, I was firmly in their corner. I recommend the book to anyone who enjoys horror, dark supernatural fantasy, or, especially, stories about murder (there is a lot of murder in this book).
About the Author
Ashley Meggitt lives near Cambridge, UK, with his wife Jane. He left school to join a psychedelic rock band when he realised that sex, drugs, and rock and roll was a thing. Subsequently he went back to education and became head of IT for a Cambridge University college. In recent years Ashley has retrained in psychology and is now an associate lecturer in sports psychology. He is studying for his PhD.
Ashley writes when not studying, playing his guitar, or coaching triathletes.