Title: Beyond Night | Author: Eric S. Brown, Steven L. Shrewsbury | Publisher: Crystal Lake Publishing | Pub. Date: 11/26/2018 | Pages: 386 | Genre: Creature Horror | Language: English | Triggers: Torture | Rating: 3 out of 5 | Source: ARC copy received from Crystal Lake Publishing
An Epic Fantasy tale of action, adventure, heroism, horror and sorcery…
Beyond Night is a Dark Fantasy Horror novel that pulls back the veil of nearly two thousand years of jaded history. Come trod in the bloody footprints left by monsters, soldiers and wizards and behold what lies hidden Beyond Night itself.
It’s Bigfoot War mixed with Lovecraftian horror on the edge of the Roman Empire.
How could Rome lose a Legion? What could’ve happened to blot out the existence of over five thousand men not only from history but the Earth itself?
As the Legion moves north to engage the forces of Pictdom, a dark horror emerges from the bowels of the Earth. Thought to be random attacks by hulking monsters, Decurion August soon learns a dire truth, that these bloody events are directed by opposing the wizards of the Picts. While one side assembles all tribes in a confederated army to battle the Legion, the other pulls these Greyman beasts from the depths of the Earth.
August fights not only these creatures and workers of magicks, but internal passions in the Legion itself.
Can he discover a way to survive the enormous bloodletting about to take place that will only serve to satisfy the wizards of Pictdom?
Beyond Night Review
Beyond Night is kind of a fifty-fifty review for me. I didn’t realize that Beyond Night was a creature horror (and that was totally my fault) and I don’t really get into monster fiction too much. So I tried not to rate Beyond Night too harshly in that aspect as someone who likes long-legged beastie stories might enjoy it more than I did. It was a quick read with an even pace to it. It gives you time to get to know the characters but still has lots of action packed scenes as well.
The historical details in Beyond Night were very interesting. However, there were some areas that felt a bit off. The character’s speech, along with the narration, sounded way too modern for the time period it was set in. I don’t know if this was done on purpose to make the characters more relatable or if they had trouble getting into older speech patterns. I don’t need it to be one hundred percent authentic but it should at least be close and sometimes it was very jarring. For instance, a Greek soldier uses modern British slang words. It pulls you out of the story.
There were also some oddly constructed sentences. I had to read a few of them over a couple of times to get what they were trying to say. There are also some strange conversations. I’m guessing they are anecdotes for the historical based figures but there is not any lead up or introduction or even narration to pinpoint it so it’s hard to tell and they just come off sounding strange and random.
I did like the ‘Coda’ chapter at the end talking about The Grey Man of Ben MacDhui. The Grey Man has always interested me as it seems at first to be a Bigfoot type of legend but there are elements that veer sharply from your typical Bigfoot tale. Such as the unreasoning panic people get while on the mountain in Scotland. There have also been reports of conversations with ‘something’ that people can never remember afterward. It’s a very interesting story in its own right and very easy to look up.
I’m not sorry I read Beyond Night but the above issues take you out of the story with a jerk. Maybe someone more interested in creature horror might be willing to overlook them but I couldn’t. I would also like to mention that these same issues seem to be present in the ARC and the finished copy.