Published 3 March 2015 by Dark Fuse
Number of pages: 264
My rating: ★ ★ It was OKAbout the author
"Six friends are returning home from a night out when they end up in a town called Stokes. They discover they are trapped there, as Stokes does not really exist. The actual town had burned to the ground more than fifty years ago. The Stokes they are in is a nightmare version of the former town, engineered by a deranged and undead mind, a supernatural machine of wrath that will destroy them one by one....unless they submit to its dominance and become living dolls."
Doll Face was my first taste of Tim Curran's twisted imagination. Having heard such good feedback about Curran's work and about this latest offering, I had high expectations, which unfortunately were not met.
I immediately found the premise of the book very reminiscent of A.R. Wise's "314 (Widowsfield Trilogy)", where six characters in a van also end up being trapped in a town that no longer exists dominated
by a mysterious entity, "the Skeleton Man". The first character to die is virtually the same in both works... unfortunately I simply could not escape the similarities...
However, whereas "314" has a multi-layered plot, spanning various time frames and well developed characters, Doll Face felt very one dimensional.
The time line was perfectly linear, and the events seemed to unfold in the space of a few hours.
We learn very little about its characters to even begin to care about them. I felt that the main entity was the only one to have been given some personality.
There were some good and very imaginative sections, especially in the last third of the book, where things turned very sexual, dark and twisted. However, the first two thirds felt quite repetitive, I found myself bored and I had to force myself to carry on reading.
I found the ending rushed, implausible (given the events that were being described), and overall predictable.
All considered, Doll Face gave me the feel of an old B-movie.
[ARC received via Netgalley]
Skin Medicine, Hive, Dead Sea, Resurrection, The Devil Next Door, and Biohazard, as well as the novella The Corpse King. His short stories have appeared in such magazines as City Slab, Flesh&Blood, Book of Dark Wisdom, and Inhuman, and anthologies such as Shivers IV, High Seas Cthulhu, and Vile Things.
For DarkFuse and its imprints, he has written the bestselling The Underdwelling, the Readers Choice-Nominated novella Fear Me, Puppet Graveyard as well as Long Black Coffin.
Find him on the web at: www.corpseking.com