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review 2017-02-08 04:40
Among Prey - Alan Ryker
Among Prey - Alan Ryker

Character development, character development, character development. What Ryker is able to do in only 65 pages, most authors can't accomplish in 265 pages. Among Prey is told from multiple character's POV and you'd think that it would be distracting to the story. Au contraire, it adds richness and depth here, another testament to Ryker's storytelling prowess.



In Among Prey, we have Amber, a pill-popping worker at a build-a-doll store that meets Bobby, the 7-foot mentally handicapped behemoth that comes in one slow Wednesday morning. Where many people would be terrified at the silent hulking man, Amber takes a shine to him. That is until the day she realizes that the dolls Bobby has been building in her store look amazingly like the little girls that have been kidnapped in the area the past few months. The story wraps around itself nicely as we're introduced to Carol, Bobby's caregiving nurse and then Bobby's POV. This one is a pageturner, folks. The ending may be a bit abrupt for some, but it left me satisfied that I had read a well-crafted thriller. Loved it.




5 Bruised Doll Heads out of 5


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review 2014-03-28 00:00
Among Prey
Among Prey - Alan Ryker Among Prey - Alan Ryker Young girls are disappearing and suspicion has fall on the mentally incapacitated son of a wealthy power couple who has taken a recent interest in creating dolls that look alarmingly like the missing girls.

Ryker has put together an interesting short story with some unique ideas.

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review 2013-02-11 00:00
Among Prey - Alan Ryker Yet another great Darkfuse novella title. Best club out there. Gotta give props where they are deserved. I am just a member though, so I am just giving this information out to spread the news. Let's call it a public service announcement.

Alan Ryker is so close. Within a very short time he going to write a breakout novel. He is a well known secret among discerning dark fiction readers but that won't last. He is just too good.

This is the fourth book that I have read by Ryker. The first two were the Vampires of the Plains series which brought back the viscera and viciousness to the breed that has been missing since they were domesticated in the Twilight series. Even the cover is wickedly cool. After that I read The Hoard--one of the most original and discomforting books that I have read in years. That book literally makes you itch.

Now Ryker puts aside the horror and gives us a mystery told in a very original way. The story is told by four different characters in four separate, overlapping parts in third person omniscient perspective--which has the effect of slowly bringing the entire picture slowly into focus. Hitchcock would have really liked this story.

But it would just be a clever plot device if it weren't for the characters---and Ryker's hand contains all thirteen cards of that suit. From the damaged and chemically detached shop worker styling the hair of dolls, to the child trapped in the body of a seven foot tall monster of a man, to his self sacrificing nurse who truly cares for him, each character paints with different yet equally vibrant color.

If you have never read Alan Ryker before, then start here. You will definitely get a feel for his voice and skill. Beyond that, it is a hell of a good story and I am sure that you will be back for more.

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review 2013-02-10 00:00
Among Prey - Alan Ryker I was introduced to Alan Ryker through the DarkFuse Kindle club via his book The Hoard. What I liked most about that book were the characters. They were great, believable characters. So when DarkFuse sent me Among Prey, I thought I'd stop what I was reading at the time to fit this review in before the book's release date.

And I'm glad that I did.

My enjoyment of the characters in The Hoard is multiplied tenfold here. The story is told in four parts with the POV of four different characters. It is written in the third person, but each character comes off the page like a slap in the face, they're so real.

Amber is a doll maker for the more upper class of children. The dolls are custom made right there in the store, and the client, the child, has full control over how to create their doll. One day a 7 foot giant, Bobby, who has the mind of a small child comes in with his nurse. He makes a doll and then goes in once a week to make a new doll each time. This seems to make him happy, but Amber notices something wrong with the dolls the giant is creating.

Little girls are missing and their bodies, alive or dead, are never found. The dolls that Bobby makes looks just like the missing girls. they're even wearing what they were when they went missing.

It takes four characters to tell this story, and each one of them shine. My only problem is that an important character is introduced to the reader a little late and is therefore jarring. This could have been easily fixed with some edits, but it didn't really ruin the story for me.

Among Prey is more about the journey than it is the conclusion. Once you let the characters talk to you, letting the tell their story to its end, you'll be hypnotized and left wanting more.

Highly recommended! 4.5 stars and a new favorite.
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review 2013-02-10 00:00
Among Prey by Alan Ryker
Among Prey - Alan Ryker


A mentally challenged giant of a boy and his day nurse/caretaker. A build-your-own doll shop worker. A rich family. These are the main characters in this horror/mystery.

As always, Mr. Ryker compels the reader to feel empathy for his characters. The giant boy, Bobby, is off-putting and just well, BIG. He doesn't answer questions or talk at all, but you feel for him anyway.

The doll shop worker, despite being over medicated for her anxiety issues is able to deal with Bobby at his level as he comes in once a week to build a doll. But why is he making dolls with what looks like bruises and cuts on their skin? You will have to read it to find out.

This one wrapped itself around me and wouldn't let me go, much as I imagine Bobby could do with his big self. It was fun, it was mysterious, and it was told in such a way as to hold off the reveal until the very end. Loved it!

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