First published back in November of 2023, British author Adrian Chamberlin’s long-awaited and eagerly anticipated novel ‘Fairlight’ unleashed a thick slab of dark Lovecraftian horror to the unsuspecting world.

Chamberlin also wrote a short story, within his ‘Fairlight’ mythos, entitled ‘Triskelions’ (2014) which the author made exclusively available for DLS Reviews. This short story can be read in full here. The short provides a glimpse into the horrors that await within his epic body horror mythos, and perfectly whets the appetite for what awaits in the novel’s pages.

DLS Synopsis:
An uncontrollable epidemic of self-harming had been sweeping the country. Teenagers all over Britain were inflicting wounds upon their own bodies. Cutting their flesh. Hurting themselves seemingly without provocation or reason.

Parents all over were deeply concerned with this new trend. The teenagers, largely keeping their self-harming a secret. Carving into their bodies and hiding the evidence from all around them.

Tony Collins knew all too well the pain and suffering such actions caused. His wife had suffered from such an illness. His beloved Becky had since passed away. The lasting trauma of the ordeal, still raw under Tony’s own skin.

And now his own fifteen-year-old daughter, Rachel, was following in the same path. He knew of her self-harm. The cuts she made to her own flesh. And it terrified him more than anything.

The village of Fairlight, nestled away in the Dorset harbour, has a mental health facility where professional carers look after these troubled teens. A last chance saloon for this self-destructive new breed of teenagers. Somewhere Tony hoped he might find help for Rachel. A small candle of hope in a vast abyss of cruel darkness.

However, Rachel Collins isn’t the only new face to arrive at the mental health facility. The actions of fifteen-year-old Callum Hughes during his own sister’s funeral, had drawn the spotlight of the media’s attention. A cocky teen who had sliced into the flesh of his own hands in front of the grieving attendees at the funeral, exposing something strange and otherworldly beneath the skin. A glimpse of something too terrifying to consider reality. The Presence lurking within.

A war is coming, and the Presence is marshalling its troops, centralising them, readying itself for its time to finally arrive. The human race is about to undergo a new stage in its evolution.

As midsummer approaches, the beginning of a new world is ripping its way into our existence. And the fight will take place here, in the quaint Dorset village of Fairlight.

The Children of the Evolution are preparing for the ultimate war. A war clawing its way forth from the inside. A fight for the survival of everyone…

DLS Review:
Over the years since I’ve known the author Adrian Chamberlin, he’s talked of his novel ‘Fairlight’ finally being finished, completed and let loose on the unsuspecting world. It’s a novel that’s been spoken of repeatedly, one which he’s poured his heart and soul into. Finally, the book which tells of this epic fight between the light and the dark has been finished and seen its rightful publication.

The novel contains so much of the author within its pages, it’s hard not to become completely enveloped in the complex tapestry of the world he’s created. A Lovecraftian horror, which mixes in the very darkest aspects of body horror to create something truly nightmarish.

This isn’t a light and easy read. There’s no colourful joviality to the horror unleashed within these pages. Instead, what we have is a dark and oppressive read which gradually infiltrates the very fibres of your being.

This unrelenting blanket of sinister bleakness seems to cling to everything within the tale. Even the quietly evolving relationship between Tony Collins and the alcohol-dependent schoolteacher, Karen Tyndall, is somehow cast in a shadow of cold melancholy.

There’s also a vast amount that takes place in this novel, which somehow stretches over just three horrifying days in the days leading to midsummer. You follow the lives of a relatively small cast of characters, each with their own roles to play in the unfolding story. Over the course of these three balmy summer days, you get to know the intricacies of these characters’ lives, their troubles and respective pasts. There’s hurt and pain in each, although despite everything faced and invariably still to come, still an unquenchable glimmer of hope.

Chamberlin has masterfully painted an evolving picture of something which speaks more of human nature and hope, than one of the utter gloom its fights against. There’s the beating heart of the author embedded behind every page. You witness it throughout the length and breadth of the book. Amidst all the otherworldly demons and dreamlike translocations which we witness through the story, we also have the purpose of those living through this near-hopeless plight. The human element. The life fighting for existence for more than just one’s own presence.

What Chamberlin has accomplished within this novel is nothing short of a triumph of monumentally evocative inter-dimensional horror, which spreads its three-grotesquely-taloned legs across a time longer than we could ever know. This is Lovecraftian-style mythos executed with the perfectionistic artistry of an author who has emersed himself in a dark genre which has called to him from the abyss.

As a final message, at the start of this in-depth review, I mentioned a short story which Chamberlin penned entitled ‘Triskelions’ (2014) which offers up a glimpse of the horrors contained within the ‘Fairlight’ mythos. However, it’s not just the mentions of the Triskelions themselves, nor even the strange Lovecraftian abominations these three-legged demons accompany, that connects the stories. There’s a darker existence at play here. The two drink from the same barnacle-encrusted inter-dimensional chalice. The same downtrodden, cloying bleakness is present in both. A looming horror that’s on the cusp of breaking through into our world. Trust me, read the short story, pay witness to the horrors brought upon Phil and Julia Cowley, and then buy this book and see how Tony Collins, his daughter, and those at the Fairlight Mental Health Facility fair when faced with the apocalyptic hell that awaits them.

The novel runs for a total of 439 pages.

© DLS Reviews


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