The Dark Net by Benjamin Percy

Posted August 1, 2017 by Minx

This review is based on a complimentary book I received from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.

The Dark Net by Benjamin Percy The Dark Net by Benjamin Percy
Genres: Crime and suspense, Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, Science Fiction, Thriller, Urban Fantasy
Release Date: August 1, 2017
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format: ARC, E-book
Source: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Pages: 272
ISBN: 0544750330
Purchase at: Amazon Barnes & Noble Book Depository Google Play Kobo IndieBound
Minx's Rating:

Hell on earth is only one click of a mouse away…

The Dark Net is real. An anonymous and often criminal arena that exists in the secret far reaches of the Web, some use it to manage Bitcoins, pirate movies and music, or traffic in drugs and stolen goods. And now an ancient darkness is gathering there as well. This force is threatening to spread virally into the real world unless it can be stopped by members of a ragtag crew:

Twelve-year-old Hannah -- who has been fitted with the Mirage, a high-tech visual prosthetic to combat her blindness-- wonders why she sees shadows surrounding some people.

Lela, a technophobic journalist, has stumbled upon a story nobody wants her to uncover.

Mike Juniper, a one-time child evangelist who suffers from personal and literal demons, has an arsenal of weapons stored in the basement of the homeless shelter he runs.

And Derek, a hacker with a cause, believes himself a soldier of the Internet, part of a cyber army akin to Anonymous.

They have no idea what the Dark Net really contains.

Set in present-day Portland, The Dark Net is a cracked-mirror version of the digital nightmare we already live in, a timely and wildly imaginative techno-thriller about the evil that lurks in real and virtual spaces, and the power of a united few to fight back


The Dark Net is about the “what if’s” regarding the internet. What if the internet could be utilized for truly evil purposes and possession? What if there was a demonic select that had a location on Earth, specifically Portland, that they used for their ritualistic reasons? What if they were tired of the status quo and hatched a plan for worldwide domination?

If you ever considered any of those questions, or if that sounds interesting to you, then this is the book for you. Benjamin Percy write a story that crosses many genres and takes the suspense to an entirely different level. It gave me the unexpected and many times I couldn’t believe the plot points taking place. It was never what I expected and that was just lovely because it kept me on my toes.

While reading this story I kept imagining the scenes like they were film noir. Everything was dark, gritty, full of pessimism and menace. The writing was graphic, detailed and certainly sent a message to me as the reader. I love it when there are evil characters that just make me hate them and this book had it in spades. In fact, it did not make me hate them, it made me terrified of them.

I did have some issue with the story though. I felt that there were pieces of the story that could have been left out and it would have gone on just fine without it. There was narration that introduced characters but then I found myself waiting for them to come back into the story and sometimes by the time they came back I had already forgotten their importance. It just felt to me that there were too many pieces in this storyline and it became a tad confusing at points.

“So, you talk about crossing genres?” For me, it would be hard to specify a genre for The Dark Net. It has elements of science fiction, urban fantasy, crime, mystery, horror, zombies, religion, and thriller. If I had to choose a genre that most classifies this book it would be thriller. This plot was full of twists and turns, I swear some of those were corkscrew. What you think is going to happen will not and the ending was not what I expected but I really enjoyed it. Overall, this was a dark suspenseful read with writing that definitely left an impression and this will be an Author that I look forward to reading more from.

*Thank you to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for this eARC of The Dark Net*


About Benjamin Percy

Author Benjamin Percy

Benjamin Percy is the author of four novels, the most recent among them The Dark Net (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017). He is also the author of The Dead Lands (Grand Central/Hachette, 2015), Red Moon (Grand Central/Hachette, 2013) and The Wilding (Graywolf Press, 2010), as well as two books of short stories, Refresh, Refresh (Graywolf Press, 2007) and The Language of Elk (Grand Central/Hachette, 2012; Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2006).

His craft book — Thrill Me: Essays on Fiction — was published by Graywolf Press in 2016 and is now widely taught in creative writing classrooms.

He broke in to comics in 2014, with a two-issue Batman story arc for Detective Comics. He now writes the Green Arrow and Teen Titans series at DC Comics, and James Bond at Dynamite Entertainment.

His fiction and nonfiction have been read on National Public Radio, performed at Symphony Space, and published by Esquire, GQ, Time, Men’s Journal, Outside, The Wall Street Journal, The Paris Review, McSweeney’s, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, and Tin House.

His honors include a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Whiting Writers’ Award, two Pushcart Prizes, the Plimpton Prize, and inclusion in Best American Short Stories and Best American Comics. And his story “Refresh, Refresh” was included in 100 Years of the Best American Short Stories.

He is a member of the WGA screenwriters’ guild and has sold scripts to FOX and Starz. He currently has several film and TV projects in development.

He has taught at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

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