Jason Dark, Ghosthunter is fearless and resourceful. Together with Siu Lin, a petite martial arts expert whose parents were killed by demon, Dark works to find and destroy evil. Set in Victorian London, this series by Guido Henkel is written in "dime novel" style, heralding a return to a clever concept. At around 54 pages on my Sony reader, each installment can stand alone or be read as part of the whole series.
I love this retro concept. There's something to be said for sitting down to read 54 pages and knowing that you're getting an entire story in that time. You'll have the stage set, go on an adventure, and get some closure, all within those few pages. Each installment has Jason and Siu Lin battling a different form of evil, and I found I really enjoyed some more than others. For example, of the ones I read, I liked "Ghosts Templar" the best and "The Blood Witch" the least. Something about "Ghosts of Templar" resonated more with my own particular preferences. A tome that brings ghosts to life to avenge their persecutors is something I can get into more than a witch who needs a blood sacrifice every year to retain her youth and beauty. Someone else may have found "The Blood Witch" to be perfectly in line with her horror preferences. That is the beauty of this series- the ability to pick and choose the adventures which may appeal most, or read them all.
The writing style and setting evoke a retro feel as well. Sensational and over-the-top, as the dime novels were prone to be, you truly take an adventure with Dark and Siu Lin. The author sets the mood quite nicely. I can almost see the dark streets and foggy atmosphere, and imagine Jack the Ripper - or likely something even worse- waiting just around the corner. Jason and Siu Lin are perfectly complementary to one another, each with different skills that allow them to work in harmony. Sometimes I got to read a little more about what Jason was thinking than I would have liked- I would have preferred his actions and dialogue with Siu Lin to have taken care of those explanations in a way that folded seamlessly into the storyline. Stylistically, the phrasing and dialogue was fitting to the time period, but it also made it more difficult for me to really engage. The entire feel was almost "campy" to me, fairly predictable with serendipitous plot points, but I think that's part of what made it fun to read. I was never fully engrossed in the stories, but I did find them really interesting. The format and the storylines would make these books perfect for a weekly series on something like the Sci-Fi channel.
Overall, I give the series 3.5 /5 stars. I think those with a particular affinity for this type of gothic horror will love the experience.
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Volume 1-5 available on Smashwords, Set available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble