Book Review: The Damned
Dark Side II: Highway of Horror tour stop #1 with Andrew Pyper’s The Damned! Don’t forget to pick up tickets for the Elle Man Dark Side Event on March 13 at the Spoke Club in Toronto and meet authors Andrew Pyper and Nick Cutter! Tickets available at: VIPEVENTS.ElleCanada.com
ashley | Andrew Pyper has a way of bringing darkness to life. He did it with The Demonologist and he has done it again with The Damned. This time, that darkness lives in a sixteen year old girl name Ash, who tormented her family while alive and then even more so after she died.
I’ve read ghost stories and I’ve read stories about being haunted, but there’s just something so much more sinister in the way Ash haunts her twin brother Danny. No one wants to believe a sixteen year old can be capable of such evil, but Ash lives and breathes it and will stop at nothing to take it out on her brother. She refuses to let him find peace or happiness and is dead set on making him suffer like she has. This ghost story quickly turns into a demented mystery, as Danny delves into the depths of hell to try and solve his sister’s murder, which he hopes will put her to rest for good.
In a way that reminds me a bit of Chuck Palahniuk’s Damned, Pyper has created such vivid and visual representations of the After and the Underworld. Danny’s time there plays an integral part to his story and it wouldn’t have had as much of an impact if it weren’t for Pyper’s haunting imagery. A chaotic zoo, zombie-like deceased chasing after him, a red-eyed tiger on the hunt, there are so many frightening images laced in this book, and that’s not even touching on the things Ash does.
This was such an unsettling read; you really feel Danny’s fear and torment and the ways in which Ash reaches out to him from beyond are bone chilling. These concepts are scary enough, but Pyper makes them seem so very real, convincing you that this really can happen with every word that he writes, which is even scarier.
This is far more than a ghost murder mystery, though. It’s a story about how far a man will go and how much he will sacrifice to save the people he loves, which is a surprisingly uplifting message from an otherwise dark and sinister book.