First published back in January of 2023, British author Guy Portman’s novel ‘Emergence’ formed the first book in the ‘Emergence’ trilogy featuring the young psychopath ‘Horatio’. The trilogy is itself a spinoff from the author’s original ‘Necropolis’ trilogy, which followed the character of Dyson Devereux (Horatio’s father).

For the best reading experience, the ‘Emergence’ trilogy books should be read after those from the ‘Necropolis’ trilogy.

DLS Synopsis:
Horatio Robinson is fourteen years old. His father disappeared years ago. He is now nothing more than a fond memory for Horatio.

Life at home isn’t exactly peaceful for the teenager. Horatio’s mother, Rakesha, has a new boyfriend who’s a complete imbecile. Everything about the man infuriates Horatio. His barefaced ignorance, his never-ending slobbish behaviour, his idiotic fool’s gold capped tooth that’s viewable every time the oaf opens his mouth to blabber another foolish point.

Outside of home life, school was going well. Horatio was top of each class. His grades consistently high. Of course, this caused some jealousy within his supposed peers. The most vocal of which coming from the acne-ridden bully, Dominic.

However, when the spotty-faced bully messes with Horatio’s radial symmetry school project, that’s one step too far. And before anyone can react, Horatio’s stabbed the boy in the hand with a pair of school scissors. A simple but effective punishment.

Unfortunately, the school governors don’t think so. They’re reaction to the incident is a knee-jerk reaction, not giving Horatio the benefit of his side of the story. The teenager is given an immediate suspension, which days later, is followed by Horatio’s expulsion from the school.

Now Horatio is left home alone, handling his own education until Rakesha can find a school that’ll take him in. Furthermore, he’s made to visit a psychiatrist each week to work on overcoming his issues with anger.

Of course, Rakesha’s new boyfriend, Brandon, is loving how much everyone’s turning on Horatio. At every opportunity, the idiot can’t help but stir things up that little bit more. Relishing in snide remarks and buffoonish put downs. The man’s an absolute oaf.

But Horatio’s not one to sit back and just accept imbeciles fucking everything up for him. He needs to act upon this spiralling situation. Set things straight again. Get his own back on those who have consistently wronged him. It would have to be humiliating for them. Something that will sort everything out once and for all.

Horatio Robinson has a plan…

DLS Review:
I have to confess; I absolutely loved the ‘Necropolis’ trilogy. The character of Dyson Devereux was a superbly depicted psychopath, full of charisma, dry wit, elegance, and razor-sharp intelligence. He was the absolute embodiment of a smooth and sophisticated psychopath. As such, following his wild plight within those preceding three books was nothing short of a darkly hilarious rollercoaster of a ride.

Now we have the first instalment in a new trilogy of books, set a short time after the last book in the ‘Necropolis’ series – ‘Golgotha’ (2019) – and following the life of Dyson’s teenaged son, Horatio Robinson. Of course, young Horatio shares many of his absent father’s traits. He’s smart, charming, and shares the same bone-dry sense of humour as his father. Also, he’s a complete and utter psychopath. The perfect concoction (once again).

As such, you can expect much of the same underlying vibe that was present within the ‘Necropolis’ series. A perfect blend between ‘American Psycho’ (1991) and ‘Dexter’ (2006 – 2013), with an abundance of dark humour poured into the mix.

Of course, with Horatio being a teenager, we have the whole teen coming-of-age angle going on. This isn’t a heavy aspect to the novel’s storyline, but instead more of a background premise. A sort of casting your mind back to those bygone days at school type of setting.

However, the overriding sentiment of the book is one of “fuck around and find out” in every single way, shape and form. It’s the absolute epitome of delivering comeuppance. A dish that’s best served cold and meticulously calculated. Something that, like father…like son, Horatio is an absolute genius at.

I guess now would be the best time to highlight that this really is a book for mature readers only. Portman brings in a veritable litany of darkly comical, but altogether adult themes. This is largely in respect of Horatio’s outlandishly audacious plot to get revenge and also to sort things out for his home life. In doing so, you learn a lot about the charming world of autoerotic asphyxiation!

The book is nothing short of a highly entertaining piece of wild psychological fiction, with the very darkest humour coursing through its veins throughout the vengeance-fuelled drama. The characterisation is magnificent. The pacing is fast, furious and constantly on point with the escalating momentum of this joyride through a psychopath’s mind.

As a whole, the book feels like the beginning of a new journey. The start of another maniacal adventure into the mind of quite frankly, the most loveable and likeable psychopath. This is another incredibly entertaining read from this outrageously talented and criminally underrated author.

The novel runs for a total of 173 pages.

© DLS Reviews

‘Necropolis’ instalments:

Emergence instalments:


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