From Darkness Won and Psycho

From Darkness Won by Jill Williamson

I enjoyed this series more than I have any other so called “Christian” speculative fiction. The characters grew, were interesting, and everything wrapped up into a nice happy ending. Things weren’t happy-go-lucky for all the good guys and the bad guys were pretty evil.
I have just a few complaints:
1) The lack of major deaths of anyone we really cared about left me feeling bored with the last book. I never really felt like anyone was in danger. And when one person did die, it was convenient not heartbreaking. The author had no problem putting her characters in dangerous situations and even wounding her main character, but after multiple battles with no death, I was no longer engaged emotionally.
2) Lead Female was less annoying than book two but still very annoying. She constantly disobeyed orders, even in the middle of a battle, and out shown all males present . . . right. Her escapades were crazier than the hero’s most of the time. I found her decisions to be unrealistic and made me want to bob her over the head half the time.
Overall, I enjoyed the first book a lot, and the other two are okay. I enjoyed the story enough to finish it and be engaged through the whole thing. I would recommend it for any teen to read, especially if they enjoy fantasy.

Psycho by Robert Bloch

I read this book in about two hours a few days after watching the movie. One way or the other the ending is going to be spoiled…so pick your poison: Movie or Book.

The book was a quick read, and for its genre, pretty clean. It doesn’t go into a lot of the gore or sexuality present in most “serial killer” type thrillers. While it is gory and does deal with some sexuality, they are mentioned but not soaked in. This would be a good book for a “newbie” in the serial killer criminology world because it would let you get your toes wet without dumping you in the deep end. As far as my own research goes, this is a nice, cleaned up version of the real Ed Gein case. It leaves out much that they found in his house of horrors, but still uses him as a basic template for Norman Bates.

The book is creepy, interesting, has a good ending and isn’t overly sexualized or gory though those things are present. The book, or the movie, would be a good start before, say, jumping in with Silence of the Lambs to see if this is a genre that interests you.

If you’re looking for something with more details about how the Detectives deal with serial Killers, the actually psychology of serial killers from the law enforcement side, this book won’t be as interesting. It is a very “layman’s” version.
Still fun and creepy.


6 thoughts on “From Darkness Won and Psycho

  1. Ahh, the Blood of Kings trilogy is one of my favorites!! And I had some of the same feelings about the female protagonist…she annoyed me sometimes. I don’t tend to wish characters dead, though! Haha. Although I agree, there wasn’t a sense of dire danger to the end of the books because I didn’t expect anyone to die. Hmm. It makes me wonder about my own books. I don’t ever tend to kill characters. It just never occurs to me. I should think that over more carefully!

    • It was pretty good over all! I enjoyed it quite a bit. I tend to be pretty sensitive about characters dying. (I think I tend to analyze death scenes.) In Blood of Kings, Achan kept getting into some pretty bad scrapes and he was constantly wounded, but after that happened several times and neither he, nor any of his companions suffered psychologically or died, I stopped feeling like there was any real danger. Think about LOTR: Tolkien kills off Gandalf and Borimir in the first book. Dang! Talk about making the reader nervous every time some is in danger. He then kills off Theoden and wounds Faramir and Eyown (sp?) badly enough to pull them off the battle field. Lastly, he never really heals Frodo. I don’t think a story has to have a major character die to be good, but you do have to find ways to show me that all they’ve been through cost them something. Happy endings come at a cost. Even Christianity: Christ dies. Old Testament saints all die without seeing the promise fulfilled. New Testament apostles are martyred and we all battle sin our whole lives. None of us escape unscathed.
      Did I warn you about this rant??
      Anyway, just some of my own thoughts on character death. LOL

      • I like your rant! 😀 And I agree…victory comes at a cost. Happy endings come at a cost. And I agree, there wasn’t a lot of psychological impact to the characters in Blood of Kings, not to mention the lack of death. I do try to show genuine impact on my characters, and there ARE costs. And minor characters die sometimes. I just don’t ever consider killing a major character. I guess it’s partly because I’m afraid readers will hate me for it! 😛 I need to get over that…

            • Haha! I know that feeling. I have fans who freak out about who I’m going to kill and one who worries every time I read any Stephen king. This same fan sent me a loving “hate text” when she finished my first rough draft of my fairy tale. My mom hsd to stop reading my stories cause she said they made her cry. She told me that in my second book she kept thinking I’d never do this one thing to a character and then I did it. Lol. You really don’t want to live in my worlds.

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