The thrill of the unknown is a big part of what makes reading horror so much fun. Whether it’s the unknown thing lurking around our closet, people disappearing from a specific location for an unknown reason, or even undiscovered horrors just waiting to be found, this fear of not knowing is a primal instinct deeply rooted in our brains. Author James Michael Rice exploits this fear with his latest novel, Pray for Darkness. And while the concept of his story might sound simple, there’s much more going on than what might appear on the surface.
If you are not familiar with Pray for Darkness, here is the plot synopsis:
The Amazon Jungle. Early explorers called it the Green Hell, and for good reason. Consisting of more than a billion acres of untamed wilderness, the Amazon is a place of fragile beauty… and unspeakable danger. When Ben Sawyer and his friends embark on an adventure tour in a remote section of the jungle, they plan on having the trip of a lifetime. But when their riverboat captain is murdered, leaving them stranded, their dream vacation rapidly tailspins into a nightmarish battle for survival. Something sinister has been watching them, stalking them under cover of darkness. Something that will not allow them to leave the jungle alive…
I love stories that are based in places like the Amazon. This is based partly on the fact I’ve never been there myself, and partly because there’s so much about places like it that we still don’t understand. Locations like this can remind us as a species that we might not necessarily know all that we think we do.
Pray for Darkness is well written and flows at a smooth pace for the most part. The beginning starts off a bit slow for me, but it doesn’t take long before the pace picks up and things start to happen. And when the crap hits the proverbial fan, the book takes off with a boom and never lets up.
The characters are believable and fleshed out to the point of realism. I’m glad to see typical stereotypes in stories like this, as they actually tend to add a level of credibility to the story. Seems like horror books and movies with certain archetypes in them are more enjoyable to me for some reason. Maybe it’s because some of the more asinine characters eventually get their just desserts.
The storyline of Pray for Darkness is inventive and original, a nice trek into the darkness of mankind’s limited understanding of planet Earth. I will not divulge anything that is not mentioned in the synopsis so as not to ruin the surprise, but I will state I love concepts like this. Rice is a talented and imaginative storyteller, and I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.
Pray for Darkness is a great book, and I recommend giving it a look. With a riveting plot and inventive concepts, this is one novel horror fans will want to snatch up soon. It is available now in a variety of formats.