Darkness from Beyond (Nocturnia Book 1) – by Stefano Lanciotti – Review

A fantastic book. I have not read the original Italian but after reading this fantastic translation I want to learn the language real bad! The opening scene gives you an eerie feeling, a premonition of what is about to come, something rarely seen in novels these days:

“The incense is slowly burning, releasing a sweet and persistent fragrance. The candlelights are flickering in response to a gust of wind that penetrated the room through invisible cracks. The man, standing in the middle of the circle, is raising his hands, but his eyes are still focused on the worn out pages of the ancient tome that is sitting on the lectern before him. He is chanting a song in a language that was not intended for the human voice. Even the sharpness of the offbeat rhythm is unfit to be heard. However, the man is alone and no one can hear him since the rest of the world is confined to the outside.”

The characters in it are multi-dimensional (for the most part), again something rarely found in novels of fantasy genre. The life of the characters is anything but rosy; the author does not shy away from offering some gritty insight into their life, “Their marriage had begun to fall to pieces after Aileen’s death; when she was still just a little two-pound bundle, a cancer took her away.” The dialogs fit the characters and their situations well although they were nothing outstanding. However, occasionally I found hidden gems like these in the dialogs, where on one end the words send a chill down your spine and at the same time, are also humorous:

“Yesterday, I felt a presence,” he said, hoping the strategy would work. “Someone, with an enormous Dark Power, was near us.”

The dark world of Nocturnia slowly sucks you, the reader, in, without you even realizing it. The strange, hunting, dark and eerie atmosphere suits the ebook well and I can guarantee you that this ebook and its characters would continue to haunt you even after you are done reading it (no kidding). Initially I thought that it must be a kids’ ebook but after reading it I would say that an adult can enjoy it equally well.

The only bad things about this ebook are: excessive use of italics, and secondly, I felt that the font used is not suitable for those with poor eyesight. I don’t know what font was used by the author, but I would suggest him Times New Roman for his next ebook.

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