Originally written back in 1991, can Jago live up to Newman’s brilliant Anno Dracula series, or should it be left on the book shelf?

AUTHOR: Kim Newman
P/BACK: 512 Pages
RRP: £8.99
ISBN: 978-1781164235

Paul, a young academic composing a thesis about the end of the world, and his girlfriend Hazel, a potter, have come to the tiny English village of Alder for the summer. Their idea of a rural retreat gradually sours as the laws of nature begin to break down around them. The village, swollen by an annual rock festival of cataclysmic proportions, prepares to reap a harvest of horror.

The story follows Paul who is working on a thesis and his potter girlfriend Hazel, who have come to the quaint village of Alder for the summer. Their lives are caught up in the upcoming rock festival and the strange goings on at the Agapemone Manor House where a weird cult led by the Jago of the little lives. What Paul and Hazel think will be a quiet summer soon turns into a nightmare as the whole village slowly starts to unravel due to a dark influence that will change all of their lives forever.

As a big fan of the Anno Dracula series I was really looking forward to this book. The prologue drew me in and I couldn’t wait to delve into the mystery surrounding the town. However about a third of the way through I found myself starting to struggle, nothing much was happening but I thought ‘give it time’. Half way through I still didn’t really have a clue what was going on or what the actual story was about, and found it very hard to keep reading. When I did eventually get to the end, I still felt like I didn’t really understand what story Newman was trying to write. Very little was explained, including the prologue which the events of were never mentioned again.  So whilst that part was very good, I have no idea how it was related to the rest of the story.

There were lots of different characters, which you are constantly flittering between, this sometimes meant it was hard to keep track of what was going on. I never felt like I connected with any of the characters including the main ones, so when horrible things happened I didn’t really care. So to answer my point from the beginning, I’m sorry to say that I honestly feel this story should have stayed on the shelf.

I have to say though that I will keep reading the Anno Dracula series, as this is a series of books that I have really enjoyed reading and am looking forward to the next one (see my review of Dracula Cha Cha Cha here for a book I would recommend). However, Jago all in all was a big disappointment.

Rating: 1/5
Reporter: Darkphoenix1701

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