Black Eyed Kids by Ian Rogers

If you’ve been following my reviews of Temporary Monsters and The Ash Angels by author Ian Rogers, you will know by now that I am a huge fan of his series so far.

After reading Black Eyed Kids, the 3rd chapbook in the Felix Renn series, I am unquestionably hooked.

Rogers continues to engage and intrigue with his trademark cross-over of the supernatural mystery, which is both a blessing and a curse. He draws you in with the characterization of title character Felix Renn, if only to get you just as hooked as I am…then uses your complacency to deliver you into the company of supernatural entities known as Black Eyed Kids.

Haven’t heard of BEKs before? They are said to approach individuals and ask for help. However, purported witnesses are said to feel an overwhelming sense of fear and dread when they realize the kids have “coal black” eyes.

Rogers may take this thread and run with it, but Black Eyed Kids doesn’t just fall into succession with his other tales. It offers more insight into this universe he has created, where laws, politics and international policy are part of the game, but are not necessarily successful in keeping what lurks in the Black Lands confined there.

When the woman Renn is called upon to follow turns up dead (in a gruesome manner, natch), another layer to the Black Lands is peeled away when the Black Eyed Kids make it known that they aren’t happy with the P.I. sniffing around.

The tale unfolds with Renn continuing to find out more about the elusive Black Lands, the dark dimension that exists alongside his own, and puzzling out how the Black Eyed Kids fit into that universe.

Rogers’ writing has a cinematic quality that is fully immersive. One can feel the terror of Renn when he first encounters the Black Eyed Kids.

“Looking at the boy and girl standing outside my car was like treading water in the middle of the ocean and seeing a pair of shark fins coming at me. The fear I felt was a physical thing – a stomach-dropping, skin-tightening terror that brought sweat out on my face, the back of my neck and under my arms. A voice in my head told me I was alone, all alone, utterly alone, no one would help me, no one could help me, I might as well give up, give it all up. I wanted to cry out but my voice was gone.”

When the kids come looking for him at his apartment and Renn watches the boy looking up at him on his apartment’s security camera feed, the boy’s grin is enough to make you throw the book across the room (or stuff it into the freezer for safe-keeping).

But in doing so, you would miss Rogers’ brilliant description of the little girl’s laughter “like listening to rats being tortured”, which plays as an unnerving soundtrack to a tale that continually amps up the tension the further you dive into it.

With nods to the urban legend of the BEK’s as well as a mention of the Mothman in this story, Rogers has created an interesting sub-legend that shows these seemingly innocent-looking kids not just as visitors but hunters in their own right.

To those both familiar with and not schooled in the urban legend of these so-called kids, this 3rd installment of the series, published by Burning Effigy, is a skin-crawlingly good treat that solidifies Rogers as a talent not to be missed.

If this sounds like your kind of story, be sure to head over to our Felix Renn Chapbook Giveaway, where you can win the entire 3-chapbook set of the Felix Renn series! The contest ends December 19, so there’s no time to waste!

Need a sneak peak of the story? Check out the review Dreadful Tales has put together, along with a short reading by Rogers at the recent Burning Effigy Event, An Evening With The Authors.



Have you read Black Eyed Kids or any of the other Felix Renn Chapbooks? Or have you ever had an encounter with Black Eyed Kids? Share your comments below!


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Hi fellow hopper,

    A great review, I must say; so much so, I’ll run right to Ian’s place and try to snag a copy of that great sounding book. Will se you around, and happy creepfest!


  2. Sorry, I meant Felix Renn’s site. It is the hour… my brains just shuts up. =)


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