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  • Writer's pictureDean Asquith

The Book of Baku by R.L. Boyle Review

Writer: R.L. Boyle

Publisher: Titan Books

Publish Date: Out Now!

Pages: 305

Reviewed By: Dean Asquith

My Rating: 🏹🏹🏹🏹🏹


Sean hasn’t spoken a word since he was put into care. When he is sent to live with his grandad, a retired author and total stranger, Sean suddenly finds himself living an affluent life, nothing like the estate he grew up in, where gangs run the streets and violence is around every corner.

Sean embraces a new world of drawing, sculpting and reading his grandad’s stories. But his grandad has secrets in his past. As his grandad retreats to the shed, buried at the end of his treasured garden, The Baku emerges.

The Baku is ancient, a creature that feeds on our fears, and it corrupts everything it touches. Plagued by nightmares, with darkness spreading through the house, Sean must confront his fears to free himself and his grandad from the grip of the Baku.

My Opinion

A nightmare inducing book that is perfect for this time of year!

The Book of Baku is an absolute triumph in the world of horror stories. R.L. Boyle has created a nightmarishly evil entity that is set to haunt your dreams alongside it’s demonic counterparts.

Sean, as main characters go, is fantastic. During the read I really felt a deep connection with him. As a result I felt the pain inflicted upon him, the dread that surrounded him and the happy memories that flooded his mind. Sean’s story is fraught with hardship, untapped talent and kind-heartedness. This is possibly what makes him a target for the Baku!

R.L. Boyle is a new author to me and in general I really struggle with new authors, some writing styles can fail to capture me and keep me interested but this is something that Boyle did not have an issue with. I read the first ‘chapter’ and I was hooked. Visions of an overcast dreary England formed in my mind, instantly forming an attachment to the story being a proud Englishman myself. The ideas of the Dulwood estate were notions that I could totally understand as I have known of many of these kinds of places in my life. I was able to envision the friend circle that Sean kept and the ‘gangs’ that plagued the estate. I was also able to store in my mind a majestic house in which Sean’s grandad lived, full of the décor that adorned my house when I was little. I pictured the beautiful library and the plentiful garden. With all this in my mind the scene was set and my infatuation with the story began. All this is testament to Boyle’s artistry and spectacular storytelling.

The horrors you will endure whilst reading this book will have goosebumps forming on your arms and chills running up and down your spine. The descriptive prowess of Boyle renders the reader a trembling husk of their former selves. These are all massive plus points for any good horror novel, the very least you want is to be scared of turning off the lights and checking those shadows in the peripheral of your vision. From a mirror eyed man to a deranged clown, there is guaranteed to be something in this novel to give you the heebie-jeebies.

Cutting away from the review for a moment, whilst writing this, I asked Siri how to spell heebie-jeebies and all she kept repeatedly saying was “eleven”. Naturally I was a bit confused but also curious. I turn to day 11 in The Book of Baku and no word of a lie, day 11 describes a nightmare that the Baku has consumed. These opening pages follow the nightmare of Mandy Simpson. Now me and Mandy share a common fear…clowns. Tell me this isn’t freaky. I am not making this up, it actually happened and my wife witnessed it first hand! *physically shivers*

Returning to my review, I wanted to make a special note aimed at the final few chapters of the book. Stop reading as you could consider these mild spoilers, skip this paragraph and you’ll be safe. The way the story begins to twist and turn back on its beginnings is incredibly written. I was totally ready for a horror story stock ending, but that didn’t happen. R.L. Boyle pulled a power slide to a totally different direction that was massively unexpected. Just as I was ready to feel like my review would be an average to good rating, I was propelled into the realms of exceptional, the family aspects and the revelations about the truth of Sean’s upbringing turned the story on its head that was so scary in itself, I am truly impressed.

I urge any horror novel fan to read this book. As a matter of fact, avid book readers of any genre will enjoy this absolutely splendid story. Packed full of heartfelt family love and deeply ingrained horror, you are sure to enjoy this book so much! I am definitely looking forward to reading more of R.L. Boyle’s works.

Remember…don’t feed the Baku.

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