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Book Review: The Gathering Dark by Andrew Ian Dodge

The adventures of the Sage of Wales and his companions continue in this collection of tales by Andrew Ian Dodge. This 239 page book includes three short stories as well as a short novel by this noted Mythos inspired author.

This book has been chosen to kick off the new review section here at the Temple of Dagon. Andrew has been a part of the community here for a good while now and we are very proud to have him, as well as very excited for this release. Although you will find a quote from me on the back of the book, and a mention of this site, it is my intention to give a fully unbiased review of this work.

Details

Starting off, the twelve chapter short novel ‘The Gathering Dark’ takes up about two thirds of the book. It could have easily been released by itself as quite a lot takes place, and getting the three short stories after it feels like a bonus to the reader. Without taking too much away from the storylines, a bit of information is given below on the tales.

The back of the book gives a short description of this story – “The Sage must help his friend Reginald Wiggenbottom discover strength out of legend in order to save his unborn son from a nasty conspiracy.” For those who have not read any work by Andrew before, this story gives a lot of background information on the characters. It also explains how they work together when needed to save the world from forces that have existed for thousands of years. They are major protectors of mankind in an age where even the worshippers of ancient evils use technology to reach their sinister goals. While modern technology certainly plays a large part in the stories, there still remains the ever-present backdrop of Mythos lore which helps to give the work its high recognition in Lovecraftian fiction.

In ‘Torqing Care of Business’, the first short story in the collection, a man by the name of Mr. Allit seeks the Sage’s advice after getting himself in a rather bothersome situation. He comes into possession of a magical artifact, passed down from his ancestors, and the unexpected happens when he finds himself in danger.

The second tale, ‘A Fine Line’, is the story of an unknown character posting very dangerous stories on a website. If his work is continued, many individuals will learn a lot more than they need to. Information that has only been known to a few people each century, if fallen into the wrong hands, could be catastrophic. The Sage, with the help of his online contacts, must track down this anonymous poster before it is too late. An unexpected turn of events causes their plans to change however.

In the final short story of the collection, ‘Infidels Needed’, the help of the Sage is once again, albeit reluctantly, requested. Apparently a certain religious group is attempting to summon up a deity that would be looked down upon by other members of their religion. At least until this ancient evil destroys them all if successfully brought up. Our characters end up taking matters into their own hands for the good of the world, and to the anger of certain gods.

Conclusion

Fans of the Cthulhu Mythos and/or Andrew’s unique writing style will most certainly enjoy this collection. His stories blend the perfect mixture of modern day fiction with Lovecraftian elements to create his own universe throughout the pages. Too many modern authors consider Mythos fiction to simply mean the inclusion of various entities and objects. There is no lack of a Lovecraftian feel to Andrew’s work and you will find many of these same elements are present, yet the real reason he is a good Mythos author is rather his ability to give his characters great depth and to invent original storylines, and a fashion a style all his own.

You can currently purchase ‘The Gathering Dark’ from the PDH Publishers website at http://www.phdpublishers.com/TGD.html

If you would like to read more work from Andrew, several of his stories can be found in the ‘Featured Writers’ section of this site.

You can also visit his blog at http://www.andrewiandodge.com

Title: The Gathering Dark
Author: Andrew Ian Dodge
Publisher: PDH Publishers
ISBN: 0-9759859-1-4
Date: 2004

This entry was posted on Saturday, February 5th, 2005 at 5:59 pm and is filed under Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

 

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