Touched by Darkness

Fiction - Horror
219 Pages
Reviewed on 11/11/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Touched by Darkness is a work of fiction in the horror, suspense, and paranormal drama subgenres and was penned by author Barb Shadow. Written for the adult reading audience, the work contains scenes of graphic violence and forms the fourth book in the From the Darkness series, though it can be read as a standalone. Parker Davies has been banished from his own life by a thieving demon, but he spies a way to end his purgatory when he encounters former paranormal investigator Amanda Harper. With new neighbors up to their own creepy goings-on, the last thing she needs is Parker’s problems, but they are coming her way all the same.

Author Barb Shadow weaves together a series of truly unfortunate events in this highly engaging tale of dark dealings, demons, and cries for help. One of my favorite characters had to be Tommy, who begins the novel as a typical trope of a ‘horror movie creepy child’, but develops in several surprising ways as the story plays out. Central figures Parker and Amanda had a really intriguing dynamic and bring out some interesting emotional parallels and clashes in one another, which adds realism to the supernatural scenarios they find themselves in and kept me invested in the novel’s action-packed race to its conclusion. I also enjoyed the dialogue immensely and found it useful for the exposition of the storyline rather than huge chunks of prose. Overall, I would certainly recommend Touched by Darkness to fans of the existing series, and new horror readers seeking to discover an author with a true talent for ghoulish storytelling.

JC Minnaar

Touched by Darkness by Barb Shadow starts off within cell 113A inside Aarondale Correctional Facility. Parker Davies serves his sentence for the murder of his best friend, Jack Barnes, to which he claims his innocence and places the blame on the paranormal. The story of 113A does not end there, however, as every inmate thereafter suffers similar fates: claims of objects flying around the cell, sudden temperature drops or being driven completely insane. Could every inmate simply be pulling the guards’ legs or is there truly something sinister afoot? On the other side of town, Amanda Harper opens her door to finally tidy up her garden. Battling to come to grips with the deaths of her brother, Brian, and close friend, Mabel, she is greeted by her new neighbors’ son, Tommy, who takes a particular interest in the dead…

Touched By Darkness is a gripping horror story perfect for 2021 and a strong reminder that demons don’t play by the rules. Intrigue, tension and dread are never far off as each chapter develops and we move deeper into the shadows. The dark and gritty tone is further cemented as the story travels from prison cells to cemeteries to a house filled with grim reaper figurines and porcelain doll paintings. I was often left wondering if I would be as cool, calm, and collected as Amanda if faced with the same situations. Barb Shadow kept me on edge throughout as Amanda continues the battle with the literal demons from her past. If Touched By Darkness was a movie it would be right up there with the likes of Insidious, Annabelle, and The Conjuring.

Nicholus Schroeder

Touched by Darkness by Barb Shadow is a horror story. Parker Davies, an inmate serving time at Aarondale Correctional Facility for a murder he didn’t commit, is found dead on his cell floor. His killer was the culprit behind his friend’s death, an evil entity known as Black. Parker was killed by the very same devil and now spends his eternity years later in the same cell as a ghost. Parker realizes that his influence in the human world has grown over the years, so he vows to destroy Black and send him back to the void. All he has to do is destroy Black’s Ouija board. Meanwhile, Amanda, another victim of Black, has put paranormal investigations behind her and now lives a relatively simple life. That is until Black reappears. Will Parker destroy Black’s Ouija board before he kills another? Will Amanda escape her tormentor once more? Or will Black consume them all?

A great book in the horror genre should make your skin crawl; it should make your hair stand on end and such books should make one reconsider a detour to the fridge late at night. Touched by Darkness ticked all the boxes for me. It made my skin crawl, made my heart skip a beat more than once, and it genuinely terrified me, especially later on in the plot. Barb Shadow really succeeded at ramping up the eerieness as the plot progressed. The latter half of this book was probably akin to watching Annabelle or Chucky late at night, alone, and during a thunderstorm. It is a terrifying and amazing work by the author. A beautifully written plot and one that I won’t be forgetting soon. All in all, Touched by Darkness was an amazing read and one that I have no problem recommending to horror lovers.