The Dark Chorus by Ashley Meggitt
Horror novels are not my natural ‘go to’ genre – but I do like a well written book. I had heard so many good things about The Dark Chorus by Ashley Meggitt that curiosity got the better of me and I decided to read it, to form my own opinion. I was not disappointed.
Oblivio salvationem Angelis opperitur
Oblivion awaits the Angel’s salvation
The Boy can see lost souls.
He has never questioned the fact that he can see them. He thinks of them as the Dark Chorus. When he sets out to restore the soul of his dead mother it becomes clear that his ability comes from within him. It is a force that he cannot ignore – the last shard of the shattered soul of an angel.
To be restored to the kingdom of light, the shard must be cleansed of the evil that infects it – but this requires the corrupt souls of the living!
With the help from Makka, a psychotically violent young man full of hate, and Vee, an abused young woman full of pain, the Boy begins to kill.
Psychiatrist Dr Eve Rhodes is seconded to assist the police investigation into the Boy’s apparently random ritualistic killings. As the investigation gathers pace, a pattern emerges. When Eve pulls at the thread from an article in an old psychology journal, what might otherwise have seemed to her a terrible psychotic delusion now feels all too real…
Will the Boy succeed in restoring the angel’s soul to the light? Can Eve stop him, or will she be lost to realm of the Dark Chorus?
The style and sophistication of Meggitt’s style of writing is a delight. The story is original and gripping. I am so glad I read this book.
The Dark Chorus tells of a boy, able to release trapped souls and the author, through his depiction of the boy in first person, managed an incredible achievement. The boy is innocent and experienced, curious and centred.
The story tells of his misery that he could not let his dying mother ‘go’. He blames himself for the fact that her soul did not become free upon her death, but joined the ranks of the dark chorus which is made up of other rapped souls. He can hear their chaotic calls and they haunt him. As a result of this, the boy collects them and works towards setting them free. The premise of the story is complicated because dark souls must be collected to cleanse the shards of the soul of a fallen angel therefore the more corrupt the soul, the better. The author requires his readers to concentrate from the very beginning, and it is worth doing so. As soon as I discovered what the Dark Chorus was, I was hooked. The writing is glorious: the story fascinating: the characters beautifully drawn. Also, this author is clever, for example he teases his readers by contrasting dark descriptions of action in the novel with the boy’s love of tea and fruit.
It is the strength of the boy and his determination that drives the plot by introducing other themes. These include paedophilia, domestic violence, inequality and old age. This is a dark tale (as reflected by the title) that is not for the faint hearted, but it is also a moving book that left me with a feeling unresolved melancholy. This is because of the boy’s yearning for the mother he lost and his need to hold on to her.
I would be careful to whom I recommended this novel because it would not suit the faint of heart. Having said that, I have already recommended it to two friends, both of whom were gripped by it. I thoroughly enjoyed The Dark Chorus by Ashley Meggitt and this is an easy 5* review.
Ashley Meggitt lives near Cambridge, UK, with his wife Jane. He left school to join a psychedelic rock band when he realised that sex, drugs, and rock and roll was a thing. Subsequently he went back to education and became head of IT for a Cambridge University College. In recent years Ashley has retrained in psychology and is now an associate lecturer in sports psychology. He is studying for his PhD. He also holds an MA in Creative Writing. The Dark Chorus is his debut novel.