My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - 3 days
Pages - 352
Publisher - Flame Tree Press
Source - Bought
Blurb from Goodreads
Ten writers are selected for a summer-long writing retreat with the most celebrated and reclusive author in the world. Their host is the legendary Roderick Wells. Handsome, enigmatic, and fiendishly talented, Wells promises to teach his pupils about writing, about magic, about the untapped potential that each of them possesses. Most of all, he plans to teach them about the darkness in their hearts.
The writers think they are signing up for a chance at riches and literary prestige. But they are really entering the twisted imagination of a deranged genius, a lethal contest pitting them against one another in a struggle for their sanity and their lives. They have entered into Roderick Wells’s most brilliant and horrible creation...The Dark Game.
Ten writers are selected (invite only) to go to one of the most successful but recluse authors mansion/private grounds. They are under strict instructions, secrecy to get there, no phones but the prize, one of them will have ultimate success just like one lucky author who won before. Fame, riches, success, the challenges will be grueling, the demands far more than any of them could imagine but it will be worth it right?
Roderick Wells is the man of the moment, older author, been around a long time and keeps away from the world so all of these authors cannot wait to get started. Wells can be rude, abrupt but he is an old man and amazing at his craft. The authors note his older appearance and signs of ailing health but the longer they spend the more they notice changes.
We hear from the individual authors and they show sides of their personalities and motives/hopes for personal gains than what they present infront of the group. They are not the nicest of people and those we do like we hear more about as the book goes on, they all have something in their past and or struggles with their writing.
As one by one authors *drop out* of the competition the others, at least some, start to question their absence/disappearance. The book gets dark quite quickly and horrors come from the pages to terrorize the authors and us readers. We get a story within a story as Well's pushes them to create stories that push their abilities and tap into darker/raw talent. The staff and house have creepy tones and whilst it is a completely different story it gave me an echo of that movie with Vincent Price where they have to stay/survive overnight to win the cash. This is over the summer rather than overnight and instead of a creepy house the things in here are far darker and dangerous. I think this is my 2nd or 3rd book by this author (I even have a wee bookmark of him to go with it) I have another one or two on my tbrm and look forward to reading them. Creepy, dark, shocking and absolutely of the things that go bump in the night although for Janz horror things they don't always wait for the nighttime, 4/5 for me.