The Dark Net
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 Details

TitleThe Dark Net
Author
FormatHardcover
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 1st, 2017
PublisherHoughton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN0544750330
ISBN-139780544750333
Number of pages272 pages
Rating
GenreHorror, Fiction, Thriller, Contemporary

The Dark Net Review

  • Paul
    May 24, 2017
    thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this book.Whoever wrote the synopsis for this novel may have done it a disservice as it was not what I expected. Within the first half there is a paragraph or two that has a cyberpunk flavor and seems to follow said synopsis, but on the whole the first half of this novel is dominated by more traditional Percy plot devices. In other words good old fashioned supernatural elements with a hint of creepiness.Percy having matured and mastered his thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this book.Whoever wrote the synopsis for this novel may have done it a disservice as it was not what I expected. Within the first half there is a paragraph or two that has a cyberpunk flavor and seems to follow said synopsis, but on the whole the first half of this novel is dominated by more traditional Percy plot devices. In other words good old fashioned supernatural elements with a hint of creepiness.Percy having matured and mastered his plotting, however steers the narrative back towards a techno thriller path. All in all the result is a suspenseful, exciting and entertaining read. The prose flows with self confidence but without cockiness and Percy whose characterizations may be his Achilles heel populated this title with memorable people.Highly recommended if you can ignore or skip the summary and just dive in looking for a well paced story.
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  • Blair
    July 2, 2017
    Reading this book was like riding a somewhat shoddy rollercoaster. You get on, and at first it's exciting, but after a while you realise it's similar to one you rode a while ago, and that one wasn't very good. Then you decide that, since you can't get off the thing, you may as well try to enjoy it anyway. And in the end, although it's not a great experience, you have to admit that you had a certain amount of fun.The Dark Net reminded me why I usually avoid this type of lurid fantasy-horror: to m Reading this book was like riding a somewhat shoddy rollercoaster. You get on, and at first it's exciting, but after a while you realise it's similar to one you rode a while ago, and that one wasn't very good. Then you decide that, since you can't get off the thing, you may as well try to enjoy it anyway. And in the end, although it's not a great experience, you have to admit that you had a certain amount of fun.The Dark Net reminded me why I usually avoid this type of lurid fantasy-horror: to me it feels like the trashiest of trash, more intellectually bankrupt than a whole pile of identikit thrillers and chick lit. Books like this inevitably hook me at the start, when they're all about atmosphere and creepiness and establishing character, but when they begin their slide into the ludicrous, my interest wanes. That said, there's something inescapably compelling about such over-the-top tales, and as you might doggedly watch a daft horror film through to the end (while rolling your eyes at every new, ridiculous development) I did want to finish it.In this particular case, gigantic hellhounds, possessed serial killers and a Portland secretly riven by turf wars between keepers of the 'Light' and 'Dark' are all thrown into the mix well before the dark net demons of the title make an appearance. (In fact, the blurb is kind of misleading – the dark net element becomes crucial in the last act, but prior to that, most of what happens has nothing much to do with the internet. The protagonist is a woman whose defining characteristic is that she's a technophobe who can barely send an email.) In a style that seems to be typical of the genre, actions are very kinetic in this book. Nobody ever presses or opens anything, they 'punch', 'snap' and 'thumb'; nobody ever writes, they 'scratch down notes' – a persistent detail that makes it sound like all the characters are using cheap fountain pens.I hoped this novel would fulfil my cravings for clever, subtle digital horror, something like Alexander Weinstein's Children of the New World or Luke Kennard's The Transition with a little more of a horror edge. I've read some good short stories on this theme: 'Feature Development for Social Networking' by Benjamin Rosenbaum, 'The Game' by Joanne Harris, 'Friends' by Richard Crompton and (as mentioned in my newsletter) an episode of the podcast The Magnus Archives titled 'Binary'. But this has more in common with the likes of Joe Hill's NOS4R2, David Wong's John Dies at the End, and Grady Hendrix's Horrorstör – which is to say that it's entertaining, but too far-fetched and blood-spattered for my taste. This would have been a two-star book, but a couple of things bumped it up for me towards the end: 1) there wasn't any romance in it, despite a fairly obvious pairing – kudos for that – and 2) I loved the epilogue.I received an advance review copy of The Dark Net from the publisher through Edelweiss.TinyLetter | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr
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  • Zuky the BookBum
    July 29, 2017
    I really enjoyed this one! Review to come soon.
  • Anmiryam
    January 31, 2017
    I wouldn't call this terrifying, but it was very good entertainment. A good mash up of techno thriller and supernatural thriller with a nod to zombie novels. Dryly humorous in it's knowing use of horror and comic books narrative structures. Glad to have stepped outside my comfort zone to read this one.
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  • Nancy
    July 26, 2017
    I am torn between a 3.5 and 4 stars for this book. The book was a fast read for me and held my interest through out and the ending was good but there could have been more character development. The book is only 272 pages so character development isn't going to be as extensive. So besides that the story is interesting. If you like a pure techno-thriller and not a fan of the supernatural then this book might not be for you. The story is unique with the use of the ancient demons and technology to w I am torn between a 3.5 and 4 stars for this book. The book was a fast read for me and held my interest through out and the ending was good but there could have been more character development. The book is only 272 pages so character development isn't going to be as extensive. So besides that the story is interesting. If you like a pure techno-thriller and not a fan of the supernatural then this book might not be for you. The story is unique with the use of the ancient demons and technology to wreak havoc on the world. Good versus evil. There are good guys in the world that have a special ability to see the darkness of evil. This unlikely crew needs to stop a virus from spreading and taking over the world and the human race. Overall a pretty fast paced book with a mix of mystery, horror and sci-fi. I received an advanced copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Liz Barnsley
    July 19, 2017
    Cleverly horrific. Full review to follow in a featured post near to publication.
  • Laura
    March 10, 2017
    This wasn't really the book I expected, but it's not the book's fault. And it was fast-paced and entertaining enough in the end. But I expected a dark techno-thriller and instead got an everything-including-the-kitchen-sink set of elements wrapped up into a messy thriller that didn't seem certain about what it wanted to be.
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  • Natasha
    April 17, 2017
    Less of a horror and more of a thriller. It did get creepy sometimes but it was more entertaining. Great dry humour
  • Chitra Iyer
    August 1, 2017
    The Dark Net by Benjamin Percy, releasing today, is a cyber thriller that is sure to send shivers down your spine. Although the summary suggested an internet underworld, I found it moving more towards Horror/Occult genre. But nevertheless, the book is too thrilling to put down.Lela is a journalist in Portland who takes her work seriously and doesn't feel the need to update herself with technological improvements that surround her. Her sister, Cheryl, and niece, Hannah, are the only family she ha The Dark Net by Benjamin Percy, releasing today, is a cyber thriller that is sure to send shivers down your spine. Although the summary suggested an internet underworld, I found it moving more towards Horror/Occult genre. But nevertheless, the book is too thrilling to put down.Lela is a journalist in Portland who takes her work seriously and doesn't feel the need to update herself with technological improvements that surround her. Her sister, Cheryl, and niece, Hannah, are the only family she has. The book begins with Hannah being fitted with a prosthetic pair of glasses that will help her see. Although Lela promises Cheryl and Hannah to celebrate together that evening, Lela is caught up with a mysterious discovery that threatens her life. Meanwhile, Hannah experiences an episode with the dark 'shadows' and is saved in the nick of time by Cheryl . But something has changed. Hannah gets sicker by the minute and as Lela digs deeper into the mystery, she correlates the incidents and is horrified when the truth is revealed. Meanwhile, the dark net is being set up for Zero Day when the city of Portland is due to be attacked for evil to find its realm in the form of an apocalypse.I know the summary reads vague but that is the point exactly. I don't want to give out too much information but will only say that the book is a heady mix of a thriller and horror. The book begins with a digital nightmare in the making but gravitates towards the Occult genre later on. There are gruesome scenes and spine chilling moments that keep the reader on edge. The narrative is clean, with short sentences and directness. The story is well paced and challenging. The characters of the plot are sketched adequately. There is no time wasted in detailed character or background descriptions and I like the approach. The book is a thriller through and is exactly the way a book of this genre should be. To the point. Like I mentioned, there are some scary moments in the story that make us think twice about how vulnerable our digital lives are. Nevertheless, The Dark Net is a fantastic and thrilling read. I would definitely recommend this if you want to enjoy a scary techno thriller.*** This book was sent to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. ***
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  • Meg
    June 29, 2017
    Holy hell, what did I just read?? Twelve year old Hannah has been fitted with a device called Mirage that's very Geordi La Forge, and when she sees through it, she can detect auras around certain people that she wasn't able to see before. From that moment forward, the story just gets weirder and weirder. Hannah's technophobic aunt, Lela, is a reporter who is always chasing after the next story. Lela once interviewed a guy named Mike Juniper for a lead, and Mike Juniper is a former child evangeli Holy hell, what did I just read?? Twelve year old Hannah has been fitted with a device called Mirage that's very Geordi La Forge, and when she sees through it, she can detect auras around certain people that she wasn't able to see before. From that moment forward, the story just gets weirder and weirder. Hannah's technophobic aunt, Lela, is a reporter who is always chasing after the next story. Lela once interviewed a guy named Mike Juniper for a lead, and Mike Juniper is a former child evangelist who has a host of weapons in his homeless shelter's basement to ward off attacks from demons. The demons of the near future don't possess people like they used to. Everything, including possession, has gone digital.Benjamin Percy's The Dark Net is a demonic techno-thriller that makes you think about all of the information we willingly or inadvertently give to the all-knowing Internet. With the widespread hackings of consumer data over the last few years, with our constant life updates and thoughts on various social media platforms, one has to wonder what's being done with all of that information. We're being reduced from DNA to ones and zeroes. Our lives, our life data, is collected, traded, and sold by users of the dark net, and ultimately is used against us in the end.I don't want to give too much of the plot away, but I thought that the dark net used in demonic practices and zombie apocalypses was a fascinating twist. It's not something you often think about in our digitally infatuated age. It's not something we can escape at this point, so how are you going go guard your data, your privacy, and quite literally your life? The Dark Net is a creepy thriller that riffs on horror and zombie tropes, and it'll make you think twice about the information age.Thank you to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Netgalley for a review copy! All opinions are my own.
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  • Minx -The Genre Minx Book Reviews
    July 13, 2017
    I am going to split the difference and go with 3.5 starsThe 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 I am going to split the difference and go with 3.5 starsThe 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.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.Find this review and more at The Genre Minx Book Reviews
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  • Rachel
    February 9, 2017
    I've been a fan of Benjamin Percy's novels since a co-worker insisted I borrow his ARC of Red Moon, but The Dark Net might be my favorite yet. Percy's prose has gotten tighter, his plotting sharper, and it all pays off in this suspenseful, demonic technothriller. More supernatural than I anticipated, The Dark Net blends classic demonic horror (there was at least one Latin joke, which is always a hit with me) and almost-cyberpunk realism in such a way that made it very unsettling to be reading th I've been a fan of Benjamin Percy's novels since a co-worker insisted I borrow his ARC of Red Moon, but The Dark Net might be my favorite yet. Percy's prose has gotten tighter, his plotting sharper, and it all pays off in this suspenseful, demonic technothriller. More supernatural than I anticipated, The Dark Net blends classic demonic horror (there was at least one Latin joke, which is always a hit with me) and almost-cyberpunk realism in such a way that made it very unsettling to be reading the book on a tablet, but I couldn't bear to put it down and stop reading.(Also, as a bookseller, my heart goes out to those poor Powell's booksellers in this novel's fictional Portland that have to clean up after this.)
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  • Josh
    June 3, 2017
    The Dark Net is a mixture of tech-fi and horror that reads like a thriller. The premise; an undercurrent of evil existing in the bowels of the internet (the ‘dark net’) controlled by ancient demons who have long plagued mankind through manipulation and corruption has risen to the surface to watch the world burn. Separately these elements work very well, together – not so much. The book reads as if the author had a bunch of cool ideas he wanted to incorporate into a novel but didn’t have the hear The Dark Net is a mixture of tech-fi and horror that reads like a thriller. The premise; an undercurrent of evil existing in the bowels of the internet (the ‘dark net’) controlled by ancient demons who have long plagued mankind through manipulation and corruption has risen to the surface to watch the world burn. Separately these elements work very well, together – not so much. The book reads as if the author had a bunch of cool ideas he wanted to incorporate into a novel but didn’t have the heart to edit out any. Adding to this soupy mix of horror, gore, and the internet is a piece of cutting edge technology which essentially cures blindness, opening new visual and spiritual worlds for the users – the Mirage. This element in itself, coupled with the tech-fi components would’ve laid the foundation for a solid story.*SPOILER WARNING*Oddly it was the ending of the book which saved it for me. Lela, the journalist technophobe evolves into this kick-butt character who in the epilogue, along with her niece Hannah, hunts down demons across the globe in human form with the help of the dark net – albeit a lighter shade of darkness used for good. This kind of story has legs for a sequel; more action orientated with a splash of tech-fi.The Dark Net is an ‘ok’ read which could’ve been much better had it not come across as suffering an identity crisis.My rating: 3/5 stars.
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  • Mary Slosson
    July 18, 2017
    A fun book for Portland/Pacific Northwest readers. There are some fun scenes set in Powell's City of Books. The protagonist Lela is a writer with the Oregonian and there are local Portland landmarks featured throughout the book.Readers, be advised though. Whoever wrote the blurb that appears on Goodreads and elsewhere, well... I'm not sure they actually read the book. It's tangentially about the Dark Net and the dangers of technology and anonymity, but really its mostly a horror-lite supernatura A fun book for Portland/Pacific Northwest readers. There are some fun scenes set in Powell's City of Books. The protagonist Lela is a writer with the Oregonian and there are local Portland landmarks featured throughout the book.Readers, be advised though. Whoever wrote the blurb that appears on Goodreads and elsewhere, well... I'm not sure they actually read the book. It's tangentially about the Dark Net and the dangers of technology and anonymity, but really its mostly a horror-lite supernatural book that feels a lot more like the TV show Grimm than it does a techno-thriller. There are demons and hounds from hell and a a crow-man. It's not that serious of a book. Great, fun, quick read, especially for folks familiar with Portland.
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  • Monica Fumarolo
    July 26, 2017
    *ARC provided by the publisher at ALA 2017 - thank you! This in no way impacted my opinions of this book.*I'm not usually one for horror novels, or so I thought. In this book, Benjamin Percy takes readers on a techno-thriller in which demons are among us by way of the Internet. The spooky tale was fast paced and left me guessing (and squirming) over and over.
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  • Donna Foster
    June 23, 2017
    Inventive and a little creepy with barely an original soul left at the ending.
  • Mark Smith-briggs
    June 11, 2017
    Benjamin Percy’s new thriller is an interesting mash of technological thriller and supernatural monster genres that nails the take off but fails to stick the landing.An urban tale of demons, back alleys and computer hackers it’s an intriguing premise that starts with a strong air of mystery but falters as a more familiar demon hunter story emerges.Percy makes good use of the urban setting but many of the character’s voices are discernible from the others while the plot struggles to keep up its s Benjamin Percy’s new thriller is an interesting mash of technological thriller and supernatural monster genres that nails the take off but fails to stick the landing.An urban tale of demons, back alleys and computer hackers it’s an intriguing premise that starts with a strong air of mystery but falters as a more familiar demon hunter story emerges.Percy makes good use of the urban setting but many of the character’s voices are discernible from the others while the plot struggles to keep up its strong pace.It’s an interesting idea that falters somewhat in its execution.
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  • Nikol Gordon
    February 8, 2017
    I was really excited to read this after meeting Benjamin Percy at ALA Atlanta and hearing all about it. (I can still hear his voice as I read it...he really needs to do his own audio books FYI), anyway it was not what I expected. This was more than just a suspenseful novel about the dark net. This included supernatural workings, sci-fi, and suspense. However, if this is tagged as YA, I would have to disagree. Maybe upper level YA. I overheard someone say they would let there 12 year old son read I was really excited to read this after meeting Benjamin Percy at ALA Atlanta and hearing all about it. (I can still hear his voice as I read it...he really needs to do his own audio books FYI), anyway it was not what I expected. This was more than just a suspenseful novel about the dark net. This included supernatural workings, sci-fi, and suspense. However, if this is tagged as YA, I would have to disagree. Maybe upper level YA. I overheard someone say they would let there 12 year old son read this...maybe I am a little more protective of my kids, but I would hold off a little longer just because of the use of certain words (doesn't the use of the "F-word" twice in a movie get an R rating??), slight references to sex, and the violence. Although, I suppose, most kids see all this stuff on TV everyday. All in all I did enjoy the story and the writing style.
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  • Angie Pfeiffer-Senft
    July 20, 2017
    Imagine a world that is completely dependent (obsessed? focused? infatuated?) with media. Whether it be computers, iPhone, YouTube, texts, TV, etc. On average, a person looks at their phone 8 times an hour. A possession would be effortless.Percy introduces a new possession- not “The Exorcist”, no zombies, because pft, zombies at this point are overrated. No, no. Demons. Demons hiding in the dark (bare with me!) Demons interlaced in the Dark Net- the uncovered black market of the world wide web. Imagine a world that is completely dependent (obsessed? focused? infatuated?) with media. Whether it be computers, iPhone, YouTube, texts, TV, etc. On average, a person looks at their phone 8 times an hour. A possession would be effortless.Percy introduces a new possession- not “The Exorcist”, no zombies, because pft, zombies at this point are overrated. No, no. Demons. Demons hiding in the dark (bare with me!) Demons interlaced in the Dark Net- the uncovered black market of the world wide web. It’s here that anonymous monsters roam; human trafficking, drugs, illegal movies and music, all without leaving your home. With a code, and just one look at a device, a demon can take possession and control you.Thankfully, with a lot of dark, comes a little light. Throughout time, there has (and always will be) a light that balances the dark. People that are “on the spectrum”; be it mediums, or people who recognize a shadow that may not belong. Readers are introduced to one of them right in the prologue of the book. Hannah; a teenager who has gradually become blind due to retinitis pigmentosa. Because this was an accelerated case with no cure, Hannah was offered an experimental treatment. Mirage fits like a virtual reality visor. Video images are captured by a camera and delivered to the eye by electrical impulses. Being in the dark for years has made Hannah dependent on other senses, so when she starts seeing images with a black veil attached to them, she’s confused.Others in the book report the truth; in different ways of course. There’s Lela, Hannah’s aunt, who writes for the newspaper office. Lela’s first big story was of Jeremy Tusk, a serial killer at the Rue apartments. Tusk was an avid collector of rare books inked in blood and bound in human flesh. What most did not see at the time, was that Tusk was just a husk; a shell of a human inhabited by a demon.The Rue apartments is what centers around this story. Tusk was not the building’s only problem. The history goes back to the mid 1800’s, when 10 lumbermen were found dead. All of them were “naked, some hung from trees by their intestines, others laid in mud, limbs cut off and mixed up sewn in the wrong places or the wrong body”. Legends of 5 shadow people who take “bites out of the sun until there is no light left.” From there, during the construction of the building 3 laborers died from a steel beam collapsing. A girl disappeared from her bedroom in the middle of the night, never to return. A fire swarmed the building killing three families. A maintenance man hung himself. A husband killed his wife and then himself. Evil lurks here. The building IS evil.Mike Juniper was a light that was consumed by darkness. Years ago, Mike was Timmy Milton. A normal 6 year old boy playing in the lake, until a canoe smacked him on the back of the head rendering him unconscious. Upon waking up he kept telling his parents what they wanted to hear: yes, I saw Jesus. There was a light. The book “Heavenly Visitors” was based on the lies Timmy told his parents, which led to a “tour” of sorts to congregation and “laying of hands” circles. There is a common thread in every single gathering: a figure in the crowd that no one else could see. A figure that appeared at the bottom of his bed.The figure left a mark on him leaving cancer. Timmy turned down chemo, changed his name, took all of his money and donated on a cross country trip leaving him in Portland with a woman who can see the dark and extracted it out of him.This misshapen crew is the key to drawing out the darkness and destroying it.I cannot even begin to tell you how absolutely spellbinding Percy’s writing is. The prologue is too eloquently written to make you put the book down, and with each turn of the page the excitement builds. With each character introduction, and backstory, and main story line, there is never a dull moment.I will admit, going from the prologue right into the story, I was unsure how everything was going to tie together. Towards the end, Percy wraps up the story like a neatly wrapped Christmas package, bow included. My ONLY complaint, was that the story built to an apex, and then flat lined. Don’t get me wrong, the story line was clear, I see exactly where it went (is going?) Maybe I became greedy, and just didn’t want to give up this book, and the end was a bit of a let down. But can you blame me? When you read a REALLY good book, it’s natural to not want to let go.End result, I may have to add Benjamin Percy to my “authors to watch” list, for the prose alone.
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  • Cheyenne
    July 4, 2017
    The Dark Net is an interesting and difficult-to-classify book. At first, it feels like a technology-themed contemporary, but after a few chapters, it becomes apparent that there are also paranormal things going on. In the end, I think I'd call it a paranormal techno-thriller; it felt like it was trying to be horror, but the execution left a little to be desired.I think the characters were this book's biggest asset. It featured a fairly wide range of personalities, and there were points when the The Dark Net is an interesting and difficult-to-classify book. At first, it feels like a technology-themed contemporary, but after a few chapters, it becomes apparent that there are also paranormal things going on. In the end, I think I'd call it a paranormal techno-thriller; it felt like it was trying to be horror, but the execution left a little to be desired.I think the characters were this book's biggest asset. It featured a fairly wide range of personalities, and there were points when the dialogue hummed with a witty energy that I loved (granted, this wasn't constant). Even the idea of the plot (demonic entities using technology to gain power over people in this new, technology-dependent era) worked pretty well for me. However, a lot of the book (especially in the second half) felt like the author wrote it to establish a certain aesthetic rather than because there was any real reason for it. For example, there is a point where one of the characters (view spoiler)[ gets electrocuted and becomes an entity that exists only within technology (hide spoiler)]. However, the book didn't offer a clear explanation for why the "death" occurred. Also, the depiction of existing within technology didn't seem to have anything to do with that technology; for the most part, it felt like the author just used those scenes as an excuse to bring classic horror elements (such as a haunted house, bats, skeletons, etc.) into the story. In general, I just wanted the book to follow a central line of logic, but most of the events, especially the paranormal stuff, didn't get a satisfactory explanation. Toward the end, the timeline of the book also becomes a little bit confusing. One notable part that I remember is the aforementioned scene where the character goes into the world of technology. In this scene, the entire cast of main characters is present. In a following chapter, one of the main characters is out on his own, bombing a building, but in the following chapter, we're back in the previous scene and they haven't split up to do the bombing yet. Nothing was really gained from presenting these events out of order except confusion.As far as the writing itself, this book was written in a somewhat confused mix of past and present tense. I will disclose here that I am somewhat biased in that I am typically annoyed when books are written in the present tense. I like and am used to the past tense, so when I notice present tense verbs, it throws me out of the story and I automatically assume it was a mistake for a minute until I remember that the whole thing has been written that way. Well, with The Dark Net, it's not all written that way. In certain places, the book goes back to narrate new scenes in previously-occurring events, and instead of narrating everything the same, these chapters are primarily past tense. The switching tenses only served to throw me further out of the story.Aside from the tenses, the writing was not bad. Benjamin Percy made the stylistic choice to use frequent sentence fragments in his narrative, which I am not personally fond of (I'm a bit of a grammar nazi), but it's clear from his writing that he does know his way around the English language. None of the grammar errors in the book felt accidental, except for a few typos, which were to be expected since I was reading an ARC copy. In general, I enjoyed this book and think Benjamin Percy has a lot of promise as a writer, but I need books that are a little less sloppily put together.
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  • Sam (Clues and Reviews)
    July 31, 2017
    When I first stumbled across The Dark Net by Benjamin Percy on a list of summer releases, it jumped right up to the top of my TBR pile and became one of my most anticipated reads for August. After reading a few other novels that discussed the dark net and the secret underbelly of the web, I couldn’t wait to dive into this one and creep myself out reading about this anonymous and criminal arena. This book ended up being 100% completely different from what I was expecting.The novel follows several When I first stumbled across The Dark Net by Benjamin Percy on a list of summer releases, it jumped right up to the top of my TBR pile and became one of my most anticipated reads for August. After reading a few other novels that discussed the dark net and the secret underbelly of the web, I couldn’t wait to dive into this one and creep myself out reading about this anonymous and criminal arena. This book ended up being 100% completely different from what I was expecting.The novel follows several characters: a young girl, Hannah, who is blind. She is being fitted for a high-tech visual prosthetic that is supposed to help her see. There is a journalist, Lela, who stumbles across a dark story that should have been kept hidden. There is Mike Juniper, a man who runs a homeless shelter to try and make up for the sins of his past and Derek, a hacker. This random array of people comes together to try and fight literal demons that are hiding within the web. Marketed as a horror novel, I was completely shocked to find out this one read more like paranormal sci-fi; I didn’t expect actual demons (who appear sometimes are dark orbs and other times in physical manifestations) to be plaguing these characters. The first place my mind jumped to was that episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer where the demon is using the school’s computers to manipulate students and try to gain power (anyone else remember that one?). Now, just because this one was completely not was I was expecting, didn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it. This one did have an Ania Ahlborn vibe; sort of that manipulation and the walk of the fine line between paranormal and realism. It also sort of reminded me of The Twelve by Justin Cronin. The Dark Net had that ominous tone; it felt like something was always lurking around the corner or that doom was approaching. I was thoroughly entertained throughout as I watched all of these mismatched characters come together and I felt like Percy did a great job at creating their connections. Fast paced and addictive, it didn’t take me long to fly through the pages and it had several spine-chilling moments that I relished in; there was a particular moment on page 144 that had me creeped right out. Overall, I feel like whoever wrote the synopsis of this book did it a disservice and I feel like there will be several readers who will feel mislead, but, if you are able to get around that and read this novel for what it is: which is deliciously addictive and creepy fun, then I would say you will enjoy it!
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  • Lou
    July 31, 2017
    PortlandThe RueThe Weary TravelerUndertown incorporatedThe MirageSpectrumApertureZero dayTrojanSkullsRelicsBlood BankLock and KeyHuman remainsThe shadowsRitualsThe Red PriestSpiritual warfareHitchhikerChestonClovenBabsJuniperSarinLelaCherylHannahHemingwayEyes wide shutExorcistThe strainMr robotThe matrixThe ringSixth senseYou seen all these and then you will be prepared for this tale.This author upon the page has created something that may bleed into the world, a take over of sorts, la Porte del PortlandThe RueThe Weary TravelerUndertown incorporatedThe MirageSpectrumApertureZero dayTrojanSkullsRelicsBlood BankLock and KeyHuman remainsThe shadowsRitualsThe Red PriestSpiritual warfareHitchhikerChestonClovenBabsJuniperSarinLelaCherylHannahHemingwayEyes wide shutExorcistThe strainMr robotThe matrixThe ringSixth senseYou seen all these and then you will be prepared for this tale.This author upon the page has created something that may bleed into the world, a take over of sorts, la Porte dell'inferno unleashed.Midway, the momentum, the author, has you in his vice, and in a triage of thrill, horror and mystery, the sum of all fears contained within, many layers of darkness contained within these pages.There are two hearts that are memorable within, Hannah a young special girl and Hemingway a courageous floppy-eared German Shepherd.It's fall, and in Portland, October 31st is fast approaching with echoes of Dan Brown and Stephen king, Benjamin Percy, the author, has really delivered a great supernatural tale of urban legends, just be rooting for the good guys whomsoever they may be.Please roll out the tv or movie adaptions screenwriters and directors."Cyberspace was a whirling codex, a living infinite.""Right now there are thousands of transmissions streaming through our bodies. Emails, phone calls, text messages, Wi-Fi and radio and television signals. Right now there are billions of particles of dark matter swirling through this very room, millions of bacteria creeping across her hand, and she can’t see any of it. Right now there are thousands of smells that her dog perceives and she does not. Is it that much of a reach to believe that other forces might surround her? Not anymore. Not after what she has witnessed. This isn’t about chasing a story anymore. The story has found her. She is living the story. She is the story. Letters on a page don’t matter. Deadlines mean nothing. For the first time in a long time, she feels a singularity of focus. She isn’t researching old files and she isn’t dreaming up future headlines. She is firmly lodged in the blurred-edge present, where she is being hunted and her sister and niece are in danger because of it."Read Interview from 2013 with the author @ http://more2read.com/review/interview-with-benjamin-percy/
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  • Kasandra
    June 10, 2017
    Thanks Goodreads, for the win in a Goodreads First Reads Giveaway! This was so good: fast-paced, smart, intriguing, and tremendously entertaining. I suppose it's appropriate to label it horror, though it's not the sort of horror to give one nightmares. Perhaps because of the fast pace and the style of the writing, it seems tailor-made for television or movie material, and hence, to me at least, not truly terrifying or horrific. But Percy has a talent for description that verges on the poetic, hi Thanks Goodreads, for the win in a Goodreads First Reads Giveaway! This was so good: fast-paced, smart, intriguing, and tremendously entertaining. I suppose it's appropriate to label it horror, though it's not the sort of horror to give one nightmares. Perhaps because of the fast pace and the style of the writing, it seems tailor-made for television or movie material, and hence, to me at least, not truly terrifying or horrific. But Percy has a talent for description that verges on the poetic, his characters are fantastic, and his ability to write about technology makes this more believable than it otherwise would have been. The concept of code infecting humans, possessing them, is the same that King used in End of Watch, but King is 69 and Percy is 38. The difference in their abilities to write convincing horror based on modern technological fears and vulnerabilities is enormous. King is a master, no doubt, and I really enjoyed the whole trilogy that ended with End of Watch, but this book feels more like what he was trying to achieve. Though it pulls from the typically cliched trope of evil signifiers and symbols, it still manages to be original. A wild ride.My biggest pet peeve/complaint where I popped out of the story (spoiler!?): the incident at Powell's. Really, you're going to have a heroine escape death in a famous commercial location, leaving behind chaos and toppled shelves and books everywhere, and yet the ever-so-helpful intelligent old friendly guy in rare books is still gonna welcome you back with open arms to answer your occult questions, AND you won't ever hear a word about damages or get banned from the store? Okay. Yeah. This is the sort of loose plot end that drives me crazy about thrillers and horror novels. Rant over. The book is still pretty great.
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  • Bobbie Stanley
    August 1, 2017
    I have a real love/hate relationship with this book. So let's talk about what I love first... I love the idea of this story. The concept is real, terrifying, and certainly enough to keep me interested throughout the book. I've looked at some other reviews where readers weren't particularly impressed with the work, but that seems to be based on the idea that it's similar to Percy's other works. Since this is the first I've read of his writing, I can't make that claim. So I'm going with my earlier I have a real love/hate relationship with this book. So let's talk about what I love first... I love the idea of this story. The concept is real, terrifying, and certainly enough to keep me interested throughout the book. I've looked at some other reviews where readers weren't particularly impressed with the work, but that seems to be based on the idea that it's similar to Percy's other works. Since this is the first I've read of his writing, I can't make that claim. So I'm going with my earlier claim. The concept is interesting and I love following the creepy elements and trying to answer questions before the characters answer them for me. What I didn't super love about this book was the fact that it was written in present tense. I have a really hard time with fiction written in present tense and I'm not really sure why. It feels unnatural somehow to me and it makes it harder for me to grasp characters and plot lines. I also didn't really connect with the primary characters from the start of the book. There was some definite pushing myself to keep reading and hoping it improved as I did. Obviously, it wasn't enough to completely put me off the work and I did enjoy the book overall. I think it would've been an easier and more satisfying read in a different format. This was an interesting first experience with the author, but I think I like his style. I'm definitely going to give his work another try in the future.
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  • Trisha Perry
    July 15, 2017
    The dark net is a place for people to go to stay anonymous and still do their illegal and illicit deeds on a far corner of the web, a spot so deep you can't be traced or found, but now there are even shadier creatures lurking there, literally. There is a small group that stands in their way of dominating present day Portland, fifteen year old Hannah, her Aunt Lela, Juniper, and Derek, in a very real struggle for the dark and the light.When I first read about the book I thought it was all compute The dark net is a place for people to go to stay anonymous and still do their illegal and illicit deeds on a far corner of the web, a spot so deep you can't be traced or found, but now there are even shadier creatures lurking there, literally. There is a small group that stands in their way of dominating present day Portland, fifteen year old Hannah, her Aunt Lela, Juniper, and Derek, in a very real struggle for the dark and the light.When I first read about the book I thought it was all computers, I have to tell you right now it is not. So if you are not the tech savvy, all computer, code in the book, kind of lover, than you will love this book. This book is more about the fight between the light and the dark, a age old tale with a very new spin on it and that is fresh. I really enjoyed this book with the strong characters and thought out plot, it keeps you wanting to read on well past your bedtime.
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  • Sarah
    July 7, 2017
    Thanks to Netgalley for an ARC of this book!Deadlands and Red Moon were both 5 star reads for me so it pains me to give this a mere three stars but I must. This book had a LOT going on. Cyber thriller, new technology, serial killers, and loads of supernatural elements. I agree with the other reviews that the summary of this book doesn't really do it justice. I guess I just wished I knew more about what was going on while it was happening if that makes any sense. The plot moves so quickly (which Thanks to Netgalley for an ARC of this book!Deadlands and Red Moon were both 5 star reads for me so it pains me to give this a mere three stars but I must. This book had a LOT going on. Cyber thriller, new technology, serial killers, and loads of supernatural elements. I agree with the other reviews that the summary of this book doesn't really do it justice. I guess I just wished I knew more about what was going on while it was happening if that makes any sense. The plot moves so quickly (which is great) that I didn't feel like I really have a handle on the story until halfway through.Oh and I guess I forgot how gruesome Percy's books are? I remember some violence and gore in his other two but this one takes it to a new level. Fair warning!
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  • Danielle Turchiano
    July 15, 2017
    Reminiscent of Stephen King's "The Cell" in its stance on technology and how it can be used to turn people into zombie-like killers. However, a main difference (other than the type of technology used-- here anything with a screen, with King, strictly cell phones) is the majority of this book takes place before the "inciting incident" that changes the characters' world as we know it. We spend more time with some characters than others, even though the book sets up multiple narrators in the openin Reminiscent of Stephen King's "The Cell" in its stance on technology and how it can be used to turn people into zombie-like killers. However, a main difference (other than the type of technology used-- here anything with a screen, with King, strictly cell phones) is the majority of this book takes place before the "inciting incident" that changes the characters' world as we know it. We spend more time with some characters than others, even though the book sets up multiple narrators in the opening paragraphs. Well-written and nicely detailed, there is a lot to like here, though admittedly I didn't expect it to dive so far into the supernatural as it does. I was personally hoping for a tale of the evil people do period, not the evil people do when possessed by literal demons.
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  • Marika Charalambous
    August 1, 2017
    The book is quite an interesting read and nothing at all like I was expective, even (or especially) after reading some of the reviews here on Goodreads. You really need to read the book to see what the author wants to convey.The writing flows easily on the page and the suspense is there all the time. The book really transcends several genres, not deciding to stick to any in particular for a very long time. Thankfully I enjoy reading all the genres it touched (techno-thriller, horror, supernatura The book is quite an interesting read and nothing at all like I was expective, even (or especially) after reading some of the reviews here on Goodreads. You really need to read the book to see what the author wants to convey.The writing flows easily on the page and the suspense is there all the time. The book really transcends several genres, not deciding to stick to any in particular for a very long time. Thankfully I enjoy reading all the genres it touched (techno-thriller, horror, supernatural thriller), so I found The Dark Net an enjoyable read throughout.Full review at https://mysterysequels.com/dark-net-b...
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  • Sherri Lewis
    July 29, 2017
    *** I received an advanced e-copy from Net Galley in exchange for my honest reviewThe dark net exists, although most have never gone there. Bad things, things that are illegal and immoral exist there, so is it any wonder demons exist there as well? In a fast-paced ride that will keep you on the edge of your seat, read about the heroes of this story.... Hannah, Lela, Derek and Mike, as they work together to defeat the evil that is lurking out there under the guise of the dark net. This is the per *** I received an advanced e-copy from Net Galley in exchange for my honest reviewThe dark net exists, although most have never gone there. Bad things, things that are illegal and immoral exist there, so is it any wonder demons exist there as well? In a fast-paced ride that will keep you on the edge of your seat, read about the heroes of this story.... Hannah, Lela, Derek and Mike, as they work together to defeat the evil that is lurking out there under the guise of the dark net. This is the perfect read for fans of Dean Koontz and Stephen King.
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  • Paula Lyle
    July 18, 2017
    I thought this was going to be a tech novel, but this is horror through and through. And it is c-r-e-e-p-y! The hounds, the animals, the dark streets - there is a lot of good stuff. Unfortunately red computer screens are not scary and every time we go back to that, the story slows. The story feels a little unfinished, with a gap before an epilogue which leaves a lot unanswered. Still lots to enjoy and a fun read.I received an ARC from NetGalley.
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