Book Review: INK by Glenn Benest and Dale Pitman

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Title: INK
Author: Glenn Benest & Dale Pitman
Published: July 15th 2015
Publisher: Larry Czeronka Publishing
Genre: Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Length: 324 pages
Source: PDF from author

Book Blurb (via Goodreads):

His studio has become his refuge and his prison – a place of boundless imagination and lonely isolation. Brian Archer, creator of a series of successful graphic novels about a vengeful supernatural being called “The Highwayman,” has become a recluse after the adoration of a female fan turned to rage and violence.

But all that changes when he meets a renowned and beautiful illustrator, A.J. Hart, who carries emotional scars of her own. Their work together is fueled by the unrequited passion they share and a mysterious bottle of black ink that arrives one day at Brian’s doorstep.

The impossibly dark liquid has mystical properties, making their characters appear so real they eventually come to life, reigning terror on those who mean them harm and if not stopped—threatens to unleash an apocalypse on all mankind. Brian must break free of his self-imposed exile and solve the mystery that allowed these terrible creatures into the world.

My Thoughts

The blurb for this book sounded so promising that I was instantly hooked and felt like I needed to read this book so I could find out what happened. Although it didn’t work out the way I had thought it would, it was still a fantastic, interesting read that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Brian Archer is the acclaimed author of The Highwayman graphic novel series but ever since an incident with a crazed woman who turned into his stalker, Archer has been a recluse living in his apartment with his dog, Deke, and working on the latest instalment of the series. When he finally ventures out to a book signing, he meets the beautiful A.J. Hart, who helps him to escape his crushing anxiety and start coming out of his shell again. But their work together has dangerous undercurrents and their work is more alive than it seems.

I liked the idea behind this story, the magical ink that brings the characters of the graphic novel to life. I had expected it to happen early on and then the author having to battle a way to destroy his character again, that isn’t what happened though. What did happen was more of a love story than I had really wanted and for a while I almost set the book aside because of it, but then the action exploded and there was kidnapping, the crazy stalker was still lurking around, and constant threats.

The story is dark, a lot darker than I had anticipated, and I was taken by surprise a few times. Everything went to hell really quickly once the pace picked up and it never really slowed down again.

Archer’s constant battle with his anxieties and insecurities was well portrayed most of the time – how quickly he gets over it when he meets A.J. was a bit of an issue for me – and I felt that it worked so well with the way the events happened.

I had thought, at first, that there were too many little plots going on to really keep on top of things, but they all intertwined incredibly well and concluded brilliantly. The main thing that had gotten me intrigued in the story – the character from the graphic novel coming to life – was actually a very small part of the story, I felt, compared to the romance.

There were alternate chapters from the Highwayman’s point of view that I actually enjoyed more than the Archer chapters. I wish there had been a few more of them, but they complimented the main chapters well and helped to bring the character to life long before he entered the human world.

Overall, I really enjoyed this one. When the action kicked in, I flew through it, taken along for the crazy ride that Archer went on. The characters were all interesting people and I enjoyed their journeys throughout. This is a great read for fans of mysteries, paranormals, and action.

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About the Author

Glenn Benest lives in Glendale, California, along with his adorable puppy, Milton, so named after the renowned English poet. He’s an award-winning screenwriter and producer with seven produced feature and television movie credits. He has been a professional writer his entire career.

Glenn began to write screenplays and by the age of thirty wrote two films for acclaimed horror director Wes Craven.

Glenn and his writing partner Dale Pitman met in one of Mr. Benest’s screenwriting workshops and quickly discovered they shared a passion for comic books and the supernatural.

INK is their first novel.

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Dale Pitman was born in the shadows of the Burbank Studios, which is where his love of movies began. As a kid, Dale got to play hookey and sit in with his father, renowned “Wrecking Crew” guitarist, Bill Pitman, on studio sessions for record, T.V. and most memorably, movie calls like the James Bond flick Dr. No, where Dale fell for the art of cinema (and Ursula Andress, though not necessarily in that order).

Dale began writing short stories, school plays and sketch com-edy at an early age, and quickly became the “bard” of his East San Fernando Valley schools. He received an A.A. degree in Journalism at L.A. Pierce College, then after that moved to Lake Tahoe, where he graduated from “the school of hard knocks,” working as a bartender at a local casino.

Upon returning to Southern California, Dale studied film at L.A. Valley College and apprenticed briefly in editing at Ste-phen J. Cannell Studios. In need of a “steady gig,” Dale quit tending bar and obtained a real estate license.

In 2008, Dale returned to his first true love—film, not Ursula. He immersed himself in studying the craft of screenwriting with teachers David Freeman, Hal Croasman, Robert McKee, the late Blake Synder, and most notably, his mentor and writing partner, award-winning screenwriter Glenn M. Benest, where they discovered their mutual affinity for the works of Poe and Lovecraft.

Dale lives in Newport Beach, CA with the lovely Kelly O’Reilly and their feline accomplice, Casey, and will continue writing, most likely, until someone pries the keyboard out from under his cold, dead fingers . . . and beyond!

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