Gleefully Scheme of Malevolent Things

Early in May, I got an email from Michelle of Red Adept Press. She wanted to know if I’d be interested in participating in the blog tour for Edward Lorn’s horror novel, Dastardly Bastard. I opened the Reviewer Pack and read less than three paragraphs of the novel before I replied with an enthusiastic “Yes!”  My job was to read the book, write a review, and post it on the 28th of June – today! At this point, I can say three things with certainty:

1. Michelle  is awesome, organized, and friendly!

2. Dastardly Bastard should be on your To Read list. Now.

3. There is a giveaway with tons of cool stuff you can win! To enter, all you need to do is follow this link and scroll down to the Rafflecopter form. Like the Bastard’s Facebook page to unlock more options to earn raffle points!

Gleefully Scheme: My Review of Dastardly Bastard

Memory is emotional shrapnel. If you’re lucky, it causes only occasional discomfort. If you’re unlucky, a fragment breaks loose, tearing and damaging.

The characters in Edward Lorn’s novel, Dastardly Bastard, are haunted by memory.  Mark is a photojournalist, tormented by the deaths he has photographed. Donald is an author, who lost his beautiful girlfriend to an act of random violence.  Lyle has lost his father to illness. Jaleel has lost his job, and his mind. Justine has lost her grandmother, Nana Penance, but gained the love of her life, Trevor.

All of them are going to Waverly Chasm for a guided trail hike. They aren’t alone. Something in the chasm feeds off of the emotional energy generated by reliving bad memories.  Something in the chasm can create alternate realities, trapping people in their darkest memories. One by one, the thickening malevolence separates the hikers, eventually taking Trevor from Justine.

That was the bastard’s first mistake.

The second was letting Justine inside the darkness, because she isn’t going to loose the man she loves. Neither her own personal hell nor twisted visions of her Nana will keep her from Trevor.  Justine brings the fight to the darkness, and in the process learns the connection between the evil in the chasm, a boy’s soul trapped there, and her own abilities.

Dastardly Bastard does not want for either action or creepiness, and Lorn manages to include plenty of both with unique verve. If that’s all Dastardly Bastard did, it would be a good book. Lorn takes things farther, though, by writing characters so very human, so very fallible, that you can’t help but connect to the human drama.

Dastardly Bastard isn’t good: it’s very good.

In fact, my only complaint is a nitpick that boils down to personal preference. In one pivotal scene, a monstrous amalgam of hikers is used as a weapon against two of the characters. In comparison to the horrifying nature of being confronted with their own bad memories, the amalgam-monster feels less intense, and therefore less compelling. My preference would have been to nix the amalgam-monster, and yet Lorn puts the incident to such good use, I’m inclined to point out, again, my nitpick says more about how I like to be scared than about any true weakness in the book itself. In fact, there’s a laugh-out-loud mix up between “mouses” and “houses” that makes the amalgam-monster scene one of my favorite in the book.  Go on, get the book – you know you want to know what in the world I’m talking about here!

Memory is a dastardly bastard, but it is also our connection to how we became who we are. Lorn examines the damage memories do, but the point of Dastardly Bastard is that no matter how bad a memory is, there are other, good memories from which we can draw strength. If you enjoy your adventure stories spiked with darkness, then you don’t want to miss Edward Lorn’s Dastardly Bastard.

You’ll never see guided hiking trails the same again!

Bastard! Links!

Dastardly Blog Tour Page  –> Giveaway! Twitter follows unlock extra points!

Buy it on Amazon!

Buy it on Amazon, UK style!

Buy it on B&N!

Buy it on Smashwords!

Lorn! Contact!

Ruminating On:  (Lorn’s Blog) or on Twitter as @EdwardLorn!

26 thoughts on “Gleefully Scheme of Malevolent Things

  1. This was a great review! I’m halfway through the book right now and amazed at how Edward Lorn can make me laugh out loud one moment and goosebumps raise the next.


    • I think you’ll like this one, Marie. There is a lot more to it than I got into in the review because I was trying to be reasonable with word count and not spoil all the goodies Lorn packed into DB. Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate that a lot!!


    • Thank you for the compliment. I enjoy writing reviews. My goal this year is to write a review for every book I read. I don’t post them all on the blog, but I do put them over at Goodreads. It is my way of participating in the reader community… and keeping in review-writing shape for when I get formal requests for them!


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  3. Thank you, everyone, for your support. This has been an amazing journey so far and I couldn’t be happier with how well “Dastardly Bastard” is being received.

    A special thanks to Aniko Carmean for joining the blog tour. I’m glad you enjoyed the book so much! 😉



  4. Sounds very interesting. I’ve read the first section as well back when Michelle approached me (I’ll be hosting Edward for an interview on 7/13). I also was pretty well hooked by the excerpt I received and will look forward to picking up the rest of the book.

    Hope you are having a good week.

    Paul D. Dail A horror writer’s not necessarily horrific blog


    • It’s a good week so far, Paul. I took Monday and Tuesday off of work – and the office is closed tomorrow! I’m trying (with a capital TRYING!) to revise my WIP….

      I’m looking forward to your interview with Edward. I really like him. I was thrilled when I realized you and I are both part of the promotional effort for Dastardly Bastard. 🙂

      Hope all is well!


  5. Pingback: Author Interview: Seven Questions with Horror Writer Edward Lorn | Paul D. Dail


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