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Reviewed by Stephanie Chapman for Readers' Favorite
Darkness: A Collection of Stories contains six individual tales. Dubhghlas Kraus composes a definition of darkness before starting the stories. In his definition, he states darkness isn’t just a lack of light. It is caused by fear, hate, loss of love, and even vengeance. The contents are short tales that include distinct characters and vivid descriptions meant to evoke an emotional response. The Lost Woman is the first story involving a popular campground’s last summer of operations. On vacation, a couple reminisces on their previous trips and the friendliness of the people they encountered. Meanwhile, a violent criminal has managed to escape from captivity with the assistance of family and friends. The group has taken up residence in a dilapidated farmhouse three quarters of a mile from the campgrounds. This could easily be a novella, as it comprises half of the book. The following stories are not as long, but are compelling as well.
Dubhghlas Kraus was capable of making me feel the emotions of the people in every story. I hated the criminals as much as everyone else did. I empathized with the loss of family members in several of the stories. The explanation at the beginning of Darkness was enlightening and something that I have revisited many times. Everyone has something they hold deep within themselves that they try to repress. Typically, I don’t view people as inherently bad. In various stories, the lack of remorse exhibited how darkness was the predominant characteristic. There are stories that show happy times that don’t end in death or loss. Every story is complete, with vivid details that allowed me to connect with and see the views of every person. I recommend this book to young adult readers that are interested in short stories that ask: “What would I do if I were facing the same instance?” This is an exemplary collection of short stories that unequivocally deserves a perfect 5-star rating.