The Dark Side Of The Room: Tyler Jones
Reviewed By Steve Stred
‘The Dark Side of the Room‘ is my second foray into Mr. Jones work, after reading the fantastically dark ‘Criterium‘ earlier in the year.
KR: You can read the Criterium Kendall Review HERE
It’s become apparent that Tyler loves to explore the darker avenues of the mind as well as the creepiness behind the noise in the middle of the night.
‘The Dark Side of the Room‘ was a bit of a surprise release, with not a lot of pre-release notice or build-up, so I was really intrigued to see what he’d conjured this time around. Tyler kindly made this release free for Kindle for the first week of its arrival, so I snagged it!
What I liked: The story is pretty simple. We follow an older woman named Betsy, who lives in a run-down apartment complex. She surrounds herself with her beloved cats as her family has all but deserted her and her mind is starting to do the same.
Tyler then begins to grow the intrigue by introducing an incredibly strange character to the mix. A new tenant who walks with a shuffle, reminiscent of three kids in a trench coat trying to sneak into a Rated R movie.
One thing I really loved was the psychological torment that seemed to be ravaging Betsy’s mind and having her question everything and everyone around her. Jones introduces other residents of the building, which range from a flamboyant male couple, to a legal aide woman. We get glimpses of how Betsy perceives these people versus how they really are, and that allows Jones to keep tugging the reader along with a ‘what’s real-what’s not’ narrative.
What I didn’t like: For me personally, I found not a lot happened for the first 60-65% of the story. We get some brief glimpses of oddness and even an intriguing scene involving a rodent, which I can’t describe more with preventing possible spoilers, but for the most part, the story follows Betsy wondering who this new tenant is.
It isn’t until the final quarter of the book that things escalate, actions occur that are horrific and the finale and epilogue tie things into together. This may or may not be too late for some readers. It’ll be individual taste as to whether they come along on the journey for the entirety or tap out earlier.
Why you should buy this: This is a really well done look at a psychological breakdown as well as a visceral take on ‘an entity.’ I want to leave that vague for those diving in, but Jones does craft a compelling story, one that had me wondering just what was happening and what was coming. I just wished it was a bit more sooner.
Overall, another great entry into Jones growing bibliography and one fans of dark fiction will enjoy.
The Dark Side Of The Room
For years, Betsy Lupino has lived alone in a rundown apartment. Alone except for the growing wall of darkness that slowly devours her thoughts and memories. When a mysterious stranger moves into the building, Betsy fears the worst–that all of the dark inside her head has escaped into the real world.
Steve Stred is the author of a number of novels, novellas and collections. He has appeared in anthologies with some of Horror’s heaviest hitters.
He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with his wife, son and their dog OJ.
You can follow Steve on Twitter @stevestred
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