Feb 21

The Dark Communion by Joey Ruff


 ”An unmissable read worthy of any library and certainly one to keep and read over and over again..”


Meet Joey Ruff and his new book The Dark Communion. I was fortunate enough to be asked to review this one. What can I say? At first glance it sounds like a good read. Jono Swyftt is a hunter, a predator and his prey are those nasties you grow out of believing in when you start to grow up and realise about the real-life nasties. You know those monsters you grew out of believing about? You know– Orcs, Goblins, Trolls and such– well they exist in this world created by Joey Ruff. Jono meets them and dispatches them with relative ease– he’s a gun expert, an ex-cop and a priest. Supernatural beings beware! In this brand new novel, Joey Ruff has created a book that is nothing less than a rollicking action-packed journey from page one.


The Dark Communion opens with a preview story– rather like a TV show. Jono Swyftt is searching for a young girl called Julie Easter who has gone missing. To me, this book reads like an episode of The Shield– the reader feels like they are there as Joey Ruff writes with incredible skill in the first person. Jono is led to a disused and rundown house on the wrong side of town. What will he find inside? All I am going to tell you is that Joey had me riveted from the get-go with this one. I was up all night turning pages to find out what would happen next. What does happen next?


With Joey’s law enforcement background, The Dark Communion is technically brilliant. The history of weapons is touched upon, ammunition, and his own personal knowledge of weaponry shines through. This makes it great for a European like myself to sit and immerse myself in a book that really does idolise the gun. However, just as gun-mad as Jono Swyftt is, Joey created a second character called ‘Ape’ (otherwise known as Terry Towers) who doesn’t use guns at all. The name ‘Ape’ should be explained. Jono calls Terry ‘Ape’ because of his impressive size and strength. ‘Ape’ gave the book a balance that said to me, “I thought of all the bases,” and it works very well. Traditional action and gun toting action are two different things and work together very well in this book. The nasties sometimes need a kick up the ass to get them to give up.


About the nasties! There are Orcs, Goblins, creatures of the night, and the kind of thing you would never want to meet in a dark alley–that is, unless you had a Glock to back you up! Joey writes with great description about the monsters his characters run across. These monsters aren’t created to do anything other than roar, be mean and get killed by Jono. I found it a relief to read a book that just pounded out action in this way.


What about the writing style? In the first person, you feel as though you are actually there. I began edging around as I enjoyed the action. The Dark Communion is a very addictive read in that way. You are immersed into the world of a hunter and as a reader the action is very easy to follow. This is one of those books you pull yourself away from and realise you read fifty pages without even realising it. The dialogue is traditional hardman fare including quips and one-liners, but is intelligent enough not to end up as an Arnie picture. Events, guns, creatures, and backstory are explained as though Jono Swyftt is talking to you over a beer at the local bar.


Overall, I think for a reader looking for a story–a really entertaining, action packed, immersing story– this is one to pick up. It isn’t overbearingly intellectual; it doesn’t give you insight into your past or present; it won’t save your marriage; but it will entertain you! Well done, Joey! This one is a stomper! Jono ain’t bloody cheap… but the price of this book is! Buy it now!

By Nick Wale

Read an interview with Joey on Novel Ideas here!

2 pings

  1. The Dark Communion has arrived! Nick Wale Chats to Joey Ruff | Novel Ideas

    [...] In my review of The Dark Communion, I tried to put a lot of emphasis on how action-packed this book is. Did you [...]

  2. An interview with Novel Ideas | joey ruff

    [...] In my review of The Dark Communion, I tried to put a lot of emphasis on how action-packed this book is. Did you [...]

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