Monday 6 August 2012

Review: The Darkest Corners by Barry Hutchison (Invisible Fiends)

The concluding part of this darkly funny, horror series Darren Shan called 'deliciously nightmarish'.

Kyle is a bit of a problem child. He won’t do what his dad tells him. But that’s because his dad wants Kyle to unleash the scuttling, screaming, killer creatures of the Darkest Corners and bring about the end of the world. Now might be a good time to rebel…

I know that Barry Hutchison has been rather nervous about the release of The Darkest Corners, the sixth and concluding book in his brilliant Invisible Fiends series. This previous five books in the series have garnered such fantastic reviews that I think Barry felt under pressure to make sure that the series was finished off in style, and in a way that would please the many, many fans that have enjoyed the series so much. Having read this final book I am happy to report that it is a superb end to the series, and Barry can heave a well-deserved sigh of relief. This book was waiting for me when I got back from watching an Olympic event, and I subsequently dropped everything, made myself comfortable on the sofa, and didn't do anything else until I had finished it in that single sitting.

At the end of The Beast, the fifth book in the series, Barry dropped a couple of massive bombshells which left his readers more than a little gobsmacked, and demonstrated that he was not afraid to kill off characters or make game changing revelations. As such, we go into The Darkest Corners really not knowing which of the key characters will survive, or if Kyle will be able to thwart the heinous plans of his depraved father. This makes every turn of the page something of a strain on the old nerves, and some readers might be nervous wrecks by the time they reach the all important denouement.

Aside from that I don't want to tell you much more about this book as I don't want to spoil anything for you. If, like me you are a fan of the series then I very much doubt that you will be disappointed with the events and the final outcome. Kyle has grown so much as a character over the course of the story, from the boy who was scared of a bump in the dark (rightly so with hindsight, considering what made that bump), and as each book has come and gone we have seen him grow into someone who we really believe could save the world from the monsters that he sees out of the hospital windows in that repeated prologue. Following the events that occurred in The Beast Kyle is pretty much left with very little to lose, and yet this has spurred him on even further to make sure his father is taken down for good. However, knowing his character we are constantly asking whether he will have the killer instinct when the final moment comes.

Invisible Fiends has been one of my favourite series of the past few years, and when I eventually give up blogging, and have a little more time to re-read favourite books then I will definitely be re-reading this series back-to-back. I feel I should thank Barry Hutchison for creating this brilliant series. Way back when I first reviewed Raggy Maggie I stated that I felt that Caddie was one of the greatest creations in children's horror literature. Since then we have had Crowmaster and Doc Mortis, and when you add Mr Mumbles to the list you have a stunning array of monsters that will live long in the memories (and maybe nightmares) of anyone who reads these books.

My thanks go to the lovely people at HarperCollins for sending me a copy to review (but I'm still waiting impatiently for those Invisible Fiends action figures to be produced).


  1. I had such hope that this series would come to the US, but so far it hasn't. Maybe I'll try to contact HarperCollins again. Mr. Mumbles was great, but it's the only one I've been able to get.

  2. Very interesting review of the horror file "Darkest Corners". Thanks for sharing this useful information with us. I'm sharing with you another review of the terrifying film "End of the World. I hope this will entertain you a lot.