From the back of the book:
Occult detective John Constantine has seen his share of strange things in his career, but nothing could prepare him for the horrors of… reality television. “Haunted Mansion” is currently the hottest show on TV, but when the macabre house actually starts attacking the contestants, Constantine is hired to be the ultimate mole. Locked inside with a cast of wannabe-celebrities, his every move being monitored by a deadly figure from his past, Constantine must figure out who (or what) is pulling the strings before he gets cancelled – permanently.
This was surprisingly good.
John Constantine. I had no idea who John Constantine is before reading this. After my experience with Batman: Arkham Asylum, I may have shied away from this one had I realized that John Contsantine is part of the DC Universe. This character is part of the Justice League Dark, who (according to Wikipedia) take care of “situations deemed unfit for the traditional Justice League.”
So we have a darker hero who fights supernatural enemies? Interesting…
In all honesty, this was a much better introduction to the DC Universe than Arkham Asylum was, even though we didn’t really get to know any of the really popular characters. Instead, it gave a feeling of the universe as a whole, and gave a character that I can follow through other stories that will then lead to a different introduction to both Batman and Superman. It leads for better familiarity and comfort in such an overwhelming universe.
John is a very appealing hero because of how flawed he is. The fact that we get introduced to him and discover so quickly that so many people hate him… it’s just so intriguing to know who he is and why people feel so strongly about him.
It’s also extremely appealing that even though he does work in the occult, he relies so much more on regular human being skills like observation and logic.
We don’t really get to know any of the secondary characters well – the housemates are interesting but we don’t get to see enough of them for them to be anything more than a way to move the plot forward. The two main evil guys didn’t seem to have too much personality – in fact, I had a hard time distinguishing the two of them when reading the story.
Dark Entries started out very similar to Cabin in the Woods, except much darker and rather scarier. It surprised me by the turn it took half way through, in a great way. I didn’t expect what was going on in (or outside) of the house, and I like that the ending was rather open to interpretation. Well, it either was open to interpretation or I just didn’t fully understand how it ended.
The Bottom Line
I’ll definitely be looking forward to reading more stories about John Constantine.
I suppose I ought to also mention that this is the first thing that I’ve read by Ian Rankin. Don’t look at me like that. I don’t read mysteries normally. But I enjoyed this enough to consider picking up one of his non-graphic novels.