The web is a great, big scary place and Benjamin Percy takes it to a whole new level. In his book, The Dark Net, he takes evil and mixes it with technology. The Dark Net is like the black market and deepest, darkest hole in the interwebs. It is used to pirate music and movies to trafficking drugs, stolen goods, people, and everything in between. Now, evil lives in this techno underground.
The novel revolves around a cast of characters, including 12-year-old Hannah, who is fitted with Mirage, a technological breakthrough curing her blindness, and her investigative reporter aunt Lela. Then there’s Mike Juniper, a one time child evangelist who now runs a homeless shelter with an arsenal of weapons in the basement, and Derek, a hacker who believes himself to be a soldier of the internet. These characters join up to fight The Dark Net and stop the pending apocalypse.
Technology has been used many times as a plot device for horror. In the first few chapters when reading about the techno cult, I thought about the Buffy episode where they uploaded a demon to the internet. This was a unique story that used the internet and technology and mixed it with demons and evil. Imagine that you could get possessed by just looking at your smartphone. This is what drew me into the story because it is relatable and is one of the reasons that I liked the book. Another thing that I liked was the prose. It has a comic-book quality to it, which makes sense since Ben Percy writes for DC’s Green Arrow and Teen Titans.
The characters fall a little flat, however. I finished reading the book back in June, but when I tried to recall the names of the characters for this review, I drew a blank. The character that I remembered the most was Lela the technophobic aunt. She seemed to have more character to her as the investigative reporter.
This did not keep the book from being a good read. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. The Dark Net is an entertaining read with a unique plot.