After the woman he’s hired to follow turns up dead, Felix discovers he has drawn the attention of the Black-Eyed Kids – supernatural entities so dark and mysterious that even the government’s elite Paranormal Intelligence Agency knows little about them.
As the bodies continue to pile up, Felix quickly discovers he has no one to turn to, and that it’s only a matter of time before the Black-Eyed Kids come calling on him.
|Published by:||Burning Effigy Press|
|Date:||September 2011 (chapbook)
November 2011 (second printing)
November 2012 (reprinted in SuperNOIRtural Tales)
Burning Effigy Press
“Black-Eyed Kids” is the third Felix Renn chapbook, and the longest one to date. In addition to blending the action from “Temporary Monsters” with the suspense of “The Ash Angels,” I see this story as providing a bridge between the shorter Felix Renn tales and the novels that I feel will define the series as a whole.
From a story point of view, I wanted to tell a story where Felix encounters something from the Black Lands that is truly unknown. I liked the idea that even though people have been living with the existence of the Black Lands for over sixty years, there are still plenty of things about that dark dimension that they don’t understand or even know about.
At the very least, I hope that readers enjoy BEKs as a creepy yarn about some freaky little kids.
“Good horror takes the familiar and makes it strange and embodies lingering fears, and this is certainly horror of the best kind. Rogers takes the image of innocence in our society, the child, and makes it something that evokes horror. He takes us into a realm of fear where even the most innocuous and normal thing can be an object of utter difference. And, he knows enough about fear to present his audience with the idea that sometimes people would rather die than live in continuing, ever-present fear. Fear of things is scary, but Fear itself is a terror that cannot be escaped from.”
Speculating Canada (Read the full review)
Rogers continues to engage and intrigue with his trademark cross-over of the supernatural mystery…. [his] writing has a cinematic quality that is fully immersive.
Bloody Bookish (Read the full review)
“The Black-Eyed Kids… are relatable in form but utterly terrifying in action and motivation, not to mention extremely violent, all of which, I think, makes them really frightening. We also get to meet another weird and original creature from the Black Lands, the blackwood, a carnivorous, spider-like tree, which shows up in one of the novella’s best set pieces.”
Nicholas Kaufmann (Read the full review.)
“Having read a lot, if not all, of Rogers’ work, I’d come to assume that I was going to mainly get style and content from this author. This novella proves that he’s not only capable of the above mentioned two things, but he’s also capable of setting you up for some truly intense scares. And good faith in the author, coupled with a vague sense of knowledge as to where the character is going, tells me that this is a trend that Rogers is going to set for the Black Lands novels. I’m stoked.”
Read the full review at DreadfulTales.com.
“This is a brilliant example of noir horror, chilling, thrilling, full of excellent dialogue, and a great cast of characters. Rogers has excelled in creating a truly chilling adversary in the Black Eyed Kids, these kids a creepy to the max.”
Read the full review at The Ginger Nuts of Horror
“Since first encountering Ian Rogers’s private investigator Felix Renn – and his run-ins with the mysterious Black Lands that lie bloody cheek-to-jowl with our own reality – I have been following each of his cases with avid interest. Now, in Black-Eyed Kids, Renn has met his most dangerous challenge yet. Truly, this is one of the most chilling horror stories I’ve read in years. Make that, that I’ve read period. By the time it’s done you’ll be looking over your shoulder for sweet little children with obsidian eyes. And more than that, you’ll be looking over your shoulder in the hopes of seeing the next Renn adventure sneaking up on you.”
– Jeffrey Thomas, author of Punktown
“With Black-Eyed Kids, Ian Rogers continues to raise the stake for his Felix Renn stories. … This time out, Renn finds himself confronted by a pair of sinister children whose power to evoke sheer, unbridled fear is just this side of irresistible. His efforts to understand their connection to a series of gruesome murders without winding up a (horribly mutilated) corpse, himself, form the backbone of this fast-moving, highly entertaining read. Renn’s encounters with supernatural monsters (especially a tree that’s every gardener’s worst nightmare) are as well-handled as ever, but it’s his interactions with monsters of the human variety that give this narrative its kick.”
– John Langan, author of Technicolor and Other Revelations