Rating: 4.75 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Length: Novel

 

When Dante was a boy, he liked to chase butterflies. And he liked the silent boy he saw by the pond. The boy who could understand the butterflies and the boy with no name, so Dante gave him the name Havoc. Havoc was unlike anyone Dante had ever seen before and Havoc was his secret. Seasons passed and the boys grew and there was a spark and a kiss. Dante always told Havoc he would come back and every day Havoc waited and then Dante didn’t return for many months and that visit changed everything.

The people in the Dante’s town live in fear. Once a cycle, a monster known as the Jailor flies in with his black wings and snatches one of their own as a sacrifice. The monster is the same one that Dante used to call Havoc. There are townspeople that are ready to fight back and Dante is at the head of the resistance. Dante doesn’t care about his past with Havoc, he only wants Havoc dead. But Dante doesn’t know anything about where Havoc comes from and everything he thought he knew is wrong.

Havoc has never forgotten the betrayal he felt that day by the pond, but there may be other things that Havoc doesn’t remember and that could be the key to everything. The spark is still there between Havoc and Dante and they fear they may have to learn to trust each other, but the animosity between them is reaching the breaking point.

Everything I could possibly say about the storyline or the characters in this book is a spoiler, so I will keep to broad strokes that walk the edge with this review. Dark horror is not the type of book I seek out, but it is when Ariana Nash writes it, and this book does have elements of true horror.

The world that is built here is unlike others. Dante is from a small farming town and his visits to the pond as a child are Havoc’s greatest and only joy. As a child, Dante doesn’t think too much about Havoc’s differences and, as an adult, he wants to think his memory is unreliable. There is friendship and young love and then there is betrayal, the consequences of which changed lives dramatically.

The story of the village and the Jailor is laid out at a perfect pace as we try to make sense of where Havoc is and what his role is. Most of the story does not take place in the village, but in a darker, more sinister place that Havoc inhabits and Havoc is not in control of his own life. More of the story reveals itself to give parts of the picture and some of those pieces fit together and some are waiting to be revealed.

Throughout all of the darkness and terror, though, is the relationship between Dante and Havoc. They have every reason to hate each other, every reason to be enemies, and they want to cling to that, but they also want to trust each other and go back to their innocent days at the pond. There is so much that they both go through as they rise up to claim the life they should have had. My only hesitation with this book was the ending and part of the reveal given for Havoc. This is a scenario that is part of another Nash series and overall it’s been done so many times, I was disappointed that the storyline was moving in this familiar direction. There are also many unanswered questions about Havoc’s world and I would hope in book 2 some of this comes more into focus.

However, there is so much here to keep me intrigued and it’s been a while since I have been looking forwarding to the next book in a series so much. Dante’s End is book one of The Jailor series and it does a tremendous job with the foundations and the many intricate details of the world Dante and Havoc are forced to be in. There is a huge journey they have to take on, both physically and emotionally, and I am all in waiting for it to unfold.

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