Darren Humphries writes mainly in the humorous fantasy genre but he has a dark side that I would love him to cultivate!
First a dark one - Stormwreck
Link to Amazon.com Stormwreck
My review -
Darren Humphries is best known for his funny fantasy books but looking through his titles this one leapt out as being something very different. I liked the product description so I bought it. I am SO glad I did. It is a supernatural thriller, serious, clever, exciting - I can't praise it enough. It's fast paced and by 40% I was on the edge of my chair, biting my fingers! By 50% it felt like the climax had been reached. I wondered how he could keep the tension up for the second half of the book. He didn't. He increased it, ratcheted it up gradually. What a story!
This is certainly far from the author's usual genre but I sincerely hope he will take this direction again. He has hidden depths. Don't continue to hide them Mr Humphries - lets have more of your serious, dark side!
An Orc Not Like Others
Link to Amazon.com An Orc Not Like Others
This is an extremely thoughtful piece of work by Darren Humphries. The orc of the title is one of a species created in Orc Farms to kill and be killed in wars instigated by others. They are considered to be effectively animals and treated like slaves. A major war has recently finished and the orc Balrek is fending for himself. He is taken captive by a mage and there we begin to see that there is more to him than a fierce and stupid fighting animal. His own intelligence comes to the fore and this brings us up with a wonderful adventure story as he helps a princess to regain her position in her city kingdom.
Darren Humphries can do so much more than science fiction and humour (though you should keep your eye out for The Clean Dozen!). His writing here, though simple in places (Balrek's original speech and mode of thought) is extremely powerful. The treatment of one species by another in this book is very thought provoking. It reminded me so much of what I have read about white people's treatment of black Africans. Perhaps I am so aware of this as I live near the Wilberforce House museum and have seen and read about how our fellow man was treated as an animal. Fortunately not everyone feels that Balrek is an 'it' or a pet. He is a wonderful, brave and resourceful creation and I really would enjoy reading more about him.
New York City Legend
Link to Amazon.com New York City Legend
My review -
This book was a true fantasy and a delightful idea, well executed. Magic exist still in the heart of New York (I think it exists in some form everywhere if you have the right outlook) and is endangered by hard-nosed businessmen engaging in shady deals. It is said that, for evil to thrive, it is only necessary for good men to do nothing. Ben Darkly is a good man and he is not prepared to stand back and see something wonderful destroyed without a fight.
The plot is active, engaging and in places, quite tense. I was gripped by the book and enjoyed it very much. No-one with a heart could do otherwise.
This is non-fiction. It's the powerful telling of the event and the aftermath of his wife's sudden death at the age of 39.
Goodnight Dear. The Unsentimental Diary of a Bereaved Husband
Link to Amazon.com Goodnight Dear. The Unsentimental Diary of a Bereaved Husband
My review -
How can you do anything as trivial as award stars to the true story of a family's loss of a young, talented wife and mother? This is, as the title states, an unsentimental, very factual account of a sudden death and the way it devastated the lives of author Darren Humphries and his two young children. Ambulance and Police log details are interspersed with accounts of how thoughtful friends brought milk and teabags, the details of putting up relatives from far away, the potential over-running of funeral services. All this is interlaced with some beautiful kind words from friends which really spotlight the 'Golden Girl' they all knew.
Death is something we all face but the sudden, unexpected death of a young person is the nightmare we all fear. Darren Humphries has faced it and tells us his story. His concerns now are obviously for his children. I hope that the telling of his story has helped him as it will surely help all who read it.
This book should be considered essential reading.
Darren Humphries' blog