Dusk by Tim Lebbon is a work of Dark Fantasy. I am hit and miss with reading this particular genre and whilst Dusk is a good read, for me it suffers a little from being too descriptive. Lebbon certainly creates vivid images through his storytelling, but at times there is alittle too much of this. The start of the book does exactly what is required with any story. It opens dramatically, gruesomely in this case, and leaves the reader with many questions, all of which are tied together pretty well by the book’s end. The characterisation throughout the novel is solid. There isn’t an endless stream of nothing characters that do little for the plot. Yes, some get more time to shine than others, but in general they are all well-rounded and interesting, and, let’s be honest, they need to be in a book this size!
Dusk is very dark and gritty. Without magic there is little hope. The violence is bloody and the innocent are despatched with regularity. I like the idea of the land dying due to the fact that the magic is now gone. Very cool. It has probably been done before, but not in anything I have read and I really enjoyed it. As for the characters: Kosar (the thief) and Hope (whore/witch) are the two standouts for me, even if Kosar is a little bit cliché. Farmboy, Rafe, is a little disappointing, especially as the whole narrative revolves around him. I never felt as if I fully connected with him for some reason and that is a shame. The Red Monks are VERY cool, reminiscent of the wraith from The Lord of the Rings, similarly they seek to find and destroy Rafe, preventing him from fulfilling his destiny. There is a lot to like about this novel, mostly due to the world Lebbon has created. The guy truly has a fantastic imagination.
Dusk is a re-release by Tim Lebbon. In a recent newsletter I read that he chose not to make any changes to the story, so no new edits, it reads as was originally intended. I can’t help but think that a little tightening up here and there and this could easily have been a 5 star read. Earlier this year I read Relics by Time Lebbon and it is absolutely superb, destined to be one of my top reads in 2017. As it stands with this novel, Dusk is very solid and a book that I would recommend to fans of dark fantasy and Grimdark fiction.
3 1/2 decapitations from the Grim Reader.
Pick up a copy from here.