The Dark Verse Volume 1: From the Passages of Revenants
M. Amanuensis Sharkchild
227 pages $30.00 (HC) also available on Kindle for $9.99
Review by Kent Knopp-Schwyn
This is a very handsomely constructed book with a foil stamped faux leather cover, smythe sewn binding and beautiful end papers, thick paper stock and a clear text font. Whoever Mr. Sharkchild may actually be, he knows how to have a beautiful house constructed to hold his stories.
In regards to the content, this aims for Lovecraft Territory. While avoiding out and out pastiche, most of Sharkchild’s brief tales nestle comfortably alongside any Mythos tale. Cthulu or any of the Elder Gods are not specifically mentioned but in tales filled with cosmic horror and entities too unspeakable for humans to fathom, the reader understands these stories to fit into a Mythos mirror universe.
All 26 of the tales in The Dark Verse Volume 1 were first presented in audio format online and this shows. The author favors dense verbiage, highly descriptive passages, relatively modest plot action, plenty of adverbs, and a light touch on actual gore. Read from the printed page, the tales, while not generally interlinked, feel very similar one to another; reading a brief vignettes into Mr. Sharkchild’s Mythos related universe.
The Dark Verse Volume 1 does contain two truly standout stories – filled with enough plot, back story, and characterization to ultimately comprise multiple novellas or short story collections all on their own. The two stories are “The Changing Feyth” parts 1 and 2 which give the reader a new world with new rules, new characters, strong plots and a wealth of history and lore to explore. These two short narratives barely scratch the surface, giving the reader a small glimpse of this strange, haunting world and its very compelling characters. These tales make the entire volume worth at least the price of the Kindle version. For Lovecraft and Mythos fans, the hardcover copy would be a gorgeous addition to any collection.
[Editor’s Note: You can pick up a copy of Sharkchild’s The Dark Verse for only $22.95 in the book section of his website: Sharkchild’s Remains]