Queen of the Dark Things by C Robert Cargill 

Queen of the Dark ThingsA review by C J Dee

ISBN: 9780575130173
Format: Paperback, 406 pages
Publisher: Gollancz (Hachette)
Rating: Empty starEmpty starEmpty starEmpty starEmpty star 0 out of 5

This is less of a review and more of a token explanation.

I was given Queen of the Dark Things by Dark Matter’s managing editor, Nalini, because it looked like something I would enjoy. Upon reading the blurb, I agreed. I took the novel home with my lovely stack of books and there it sat as I worked through the pile.

Recently I reached Queen of the Dark Things in my TBR pile and settled in with a cup of tea (Earl Grey. Hot.) to read. Now, dear reader, you may notice that above the page count is listed at 406. I made it to page nine before I was told by Nalini to stop.

At page 4, I was disgusted by the phrase ‘grinning like a child molester’. Pages 4 and 5 baffled me by having a man who has just had both of his hands lopped off, with a chisel no less, and whose ‘gushing stumps’ had ‘blood spurting’ managed to not make a sound while this happened (‘he didn’t even blink’) and then meandered up to the gallows and managed a retort before having his ‘head swelling up like a cherry tomato’ from hanging. Why a cherry tomato?! Cherry tomatoes are tiny! Surely a full-size tomato would have been a better choice. A red balloon! Anything remotely closer to actual head size.

I am a pretty resilient horror reviewer. I love horror and can deal with gore. In fact, the more heebie jeebies, the better the rating. However, analogies involving child molesters followed by cherry tomato sized heads are where I draw the line.