The Mouth of The Dark by Tim Waggoner
Updated: Nov 15, 2020
Hello and welcome to today’s attempt of throwing words together in a desperate hope in that they make sense.
Todays book is the excellent “The Mouth of The Dark” by Tim Waggoner. I came across it when I discovered and perused the Flame Tree Press homepage, as I have read some of Tim Waggoner`s work before, it was an easy choice to buy this
book. The synopsis helped too!
The Mouth of The Dark: Jayce’s twenty-year-old daughter Emory is missing, lost in a dark, dangerous realm called Shadow that exists alongside our own reality. An enigmatic woman named Nicola guides Jayce through this bizarre world, and together they search for Emory, facing deadly dog-eaters, crazed killers, homicidal sex toys, and – worst of all – a monstrous being known as the Harvest Man. But no matter what Shadow throws at him, Jayce won’t stop. He’ll do whatever it takes to find his daughter, even if it means becoming a worse monster than the things that are trying to stop him.
First things first, I must admit the synopsis had me at homicidal sex toys, seriously! In my opinion there is not enough homicidal sex toys in horror (or any other genre for that matter!)
This book was a joy to read, I felt I needed some horror/dark fantasy right now, I have been reading a lot of crime and sci-fi lately. The world that Tim Waggoner has created here is deeply fascinating, a parallel Shadow world with massive worms that eat animals (and any people that are unfortunate to come in their way, I guess) and people just forget that the victims have ever existed. And whoever spends too much time in the Shadow becomes altered in some way or another, people with distorted features, extra limbs or other less obvious changes. It is a truly fascinating world that I would love to see more of.
The story starts from the first chapter right off with the disturbing weirdness of this world, there is no easing into, just jumps straight into it. From the get go you are treated to people trapped, forced to have unnatural beings growing out of them.
With some graphic sex scenes (helped with the before mentioned homicidal sex toy) and gratuitous violence, is this a story that lingers with you after you have read it!
You feel desperation from the protagonist Jayce in his search for his daughter (with the help of his ability to see the Shadow world), he is a well-developed character that grows quite a lot in the course of the story, mainly as he remembers more from his repressed memories from his childhood and adult life. With the help of the mysterious woman Nicola to guide him through the Shadow and his encounters with the madman Ohio pig, he is sent on a journey like no other.
The denizens in the Shadow are haunting and vivid, the eyeless doorman that identify people by their smell (some might smell like trouble). The tentacle fingered bartender. The anti-sexual toy sex shop owner with his lust enhancing wife. The countless Theron`s.
One of best is the Harvest Man, the description of him makes me think of a more aesthetically pleasing Flukeman(if that is even possible) from the X-files. He is the boogeyman of the Shadow word, the leveller when the balance between the real world and the shadow world becomes uneven.
The book is well written, not surprising since the author has well over 50 books written, 7 short story collections and countless short stories/novelettes/novellas. It reads quite often like a movie, the descriptions paint a vivid picture in one’s mind (please someone, make a movie or a miniseries).
So, if you are in the mood for some well written atmospheric horror/dark fantasy, then pick up a copy of “The Mouth of The Dark” and you will not be disappointed!
If you liked this book, then check out some of the other titles at Flame Tree Press, they do provide quality books. Otherwise you can try out Clive Barkers “Cabal” or another of Tim Waggoner`s releases the novella “Deep Like the River”.
Another Flame Tree Press release from Waggoner is “They Kill”, I unfortunately haven’t gotten my hands on it yet, but it looks very promising!
Notes on book:
Genre: Horror/Dark fantasy
Page number: 232
Publisher: Flame Tree Press
For more of Tim Waggoner`s work, go to:
For Flame Tree Press, go to: