Monday, May 9, 2011

Today I'm going to try my hand at writing a book review. Ladies and Gentlemen I present to you "The Curse of Kali" by Guido Henkel.

Curse of Kali is the latest in an ongoing series by Mr. Henkel concerning a ghosthunter named Jason Dark and his assistant Siu Lin. Each can be read in order or as a stand alone adventure. They are what used to be know as penny dreadfuls. Don't let the name deceive you, dreadful is not the adjective I would use at all.

Each of the Jason Dark tales are novellas that run about 24,000 words or roughly 40 pages. I enjoy short stories and novellas as much, and sometimes more, than I enjoy novel length works. You can read them in one sitting oftentimes. The short length might be a turn off for some, but really at the price this book is set at, $.99, it's a steal.

Lets get to the good stuff. The Jason Dark series is set in Victorian England in Whitechapel, a la Sherlock Holmes, and Mr. Henkel really captures the feel of the Holmes era books nicely. You can see the fog rolling in off the river and the gas lights casting a yellow glow over rain slicked streets. In this particular case a wealthy man is murdered by what appears to be a statue of Kali that has come to life. Inspector Lestrade of Scotland Yard calls in both Mr. Holmes himself and Jason Dark to aid in the investigation.

I absolutely loved the buddy cop relationship that Dark and Siu Lin have. Siu Lin seems to be an homage to the penny dreadful, pulp fiction stories of yesterday. An asian sidekick with extordinary matial arts prowess. She is also fun to read about. Jason Dark himself is a ghosthunter who deals with supernatural mysteries similar to how Mr. Holmes handles more earthly ones. Speaking of Holmes, I would have liked to see him more in this story. He makes a brief cameo, but more use of him could have been made.

Curse of Kali made me want to go collect the rest of the series beginning with Demon's Night. If you are a fan of Sherlock Holmes, supernatural mysteries, and Supernatural the show, you owe it to yourself to at least check this series out.

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