May 7, 2018 at 5:00 pm (Reads) (, , )

duskDusk by Ron Dee


I would have expected the Dell/Abyss books to start dwindling in quality over time. I wouldn’t have expected that to happen with their third book, but here we are. Dusk is a terrible novel, with nothing to redeem it.

Abyss was known for two things — original ideas, and cutting-edge stories. Dusk is a typical vampire novel, and the only thing that could be considered cutting-edge would be how much sex it contains. I’m no prude, but I expect the sex in a story to be relevant; in Dusk, it’s excessive. It’s there just to show that the author can do it, and it reads like it was written for thirteen-year-old boys. In fact, it reads like it was written by one.

What’s also unfortunate about this book is how it portrays its women and minority characters. Women are oversexed (even before the vampirism), and the black characters are frequently called “niggers”. Dee uses this term to show how terrible some characters are, but it still felt like he was using the term just because he could. Joe Lansdale uses the word in his Hap & Leonard books, but it’s used with more subtlety. Hell, that scene with Alan Tudyk in the Jackie Robinson biopic used the word with more subtlety than Dee does here.

That the Abyss line survived beyond this book is a shock to me. That the Abyss line even agreed to publish this book is a shock to me. The plot is pedestrian, the characterization is weak to nonexistent, and it relies far too much on telling to be engaging. That I’ve read this before, and had no recollection of anything from it is telling. Fans of Richard Laymon might like what Dee does here (sex and violence just for the sake of sex and violence), but beyond that, I don’t know what the target audience is for this book. It’s one of the worst books I’ve ever read.

Started: February 28, 2018
Finished: March 3, 2018

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