Wednesday 17 August 2016

REVIEW: Matt Darst - Freaks Anon

Genre: Horror / Everything
Publisher: Grand Mal Press/Outside of a Dog Publishing
Publication Date: 29th Feb 2016
Pages: 294


A copy of Freaks Anon was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the author, Matt Darst, in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is published by Grand Mal Press/Outside of a Dog Publishing.

Matt Darst is a name I have seen floating around the world of social media for a while now. The cover for Freaks Anon kept appearing on my news feeds. An intriguing cover, one that had me interested but I just never got around to investigating any further. Until, a mutual friend suggested I should give it a read. He very highly recommended it and suggested that because all proceeds from the book were going to charity that it deserved a bit of highlighting.

I have discovered that whenever this mutual friend suggests books to me again, I am going to drop everything and pick up whatever he suggests.

This is what I thought of Freaks Anon.

It’s been a while; it’s BOGOF day! (Buy One Get One Free for those not in the know)


Don’t waste your time reading my drivel below. Just go buy this masterpiece and give some well needed cash to charity and feel good about yourself. Or don’t buy it and feel very, very bad about yourself!


Centurion is on the hunt. He is trying to track down a mysterious girl that seems to be connected with the death of his young sidekick, Henry. The police seem to have no clues, but Centurion nearly has her.

Chee and her father, Marcus are continuously moving towns. Chee thinks it’s because of his job. Marcus knows different. She can never understand how a lot of her friends seem to die tragic, unexplained deaths.

Following an ancient tradition started in the 1700’s, a secret government organisation uses individuals with special powers to hunt down other people with special powers that would be commonly known as witches. Some people think that this is to rid the world of these supposed demons but others know the true purpose of the hunt.

Centurion and Chee are on a collision course. No one knows what the outcome will be. No one knows what the freaks are capable of.

Where to start with this little gem? I usually start with the characters but to be honest I could just write about them for the entire review. They were superb. Every single one of them.

Centurion is the main man. He knows something is going on. He knows that these deaths are not tragic accidents. He knows there is sorcery afoot. His real name is Larry but through circumstances, he calls himself Centurion. He doesn’t really believe he has super powers but the persona must be maintained. This man is such a gent. He has every good quality a man should have. Chee has powers that she doesn’t even know about. In many ways she is an innocent child but in others, she is a very powerful woman. Her dad Marcus is man torn between doing what is right and loving his daughter. His loyalties are a bit misguided but deep down he is a decent man.

Others that come into the story would be Chee’s friends, Astrid and Kim. These two girls have powers also. They know they have them but they don’t use them against anyone. Getting wrapped up in the world of Chee and Marcus was the last thing they had in mind but deal with what is thrown at them in a very strong and mature way. Holly is a journalist. A typically untrustworthy journalist that has had a huge effect on Centurion’s past life. She has a lot to answer for. Just when you think she is coming good, she acts like a journalist again. Nigel Crown is a rock star nearing the end of his career. Through circumstances, or drink he is approached by a wise old spirit hell bent on dragging him into the story.

On the evil side of things, you have Smith and Mansfield. Can’t give you much info on these two other than the fact that Smith also has powers. He seems good at the start but you soon learn he isn’t. Mansfield is just despicable. Not giving any more on him.

The plot? Centurion is trying to find the killers of his young sidekick, Henry. He comes up against all sorts of things in his quest. That’s it. Anything else would spoil this wondrous journey for you.

Trying to put this into a specific genre is, for me, impossible. It could be horror. It could be superhero like any Marvel comic. It could be a thriller. It could be a crime book. It could be a paranormal story. It could be a monster story. To get a little bit of insight into what it actually is then take a little bit of each of the above elements and shove them in a jar. Put the lid on it and give a good shake and then pull the lid off and empty it. What is now on the table in front of you is what this book is all about.

A perfect mixture of wonderful excitement and tension and thrills and laughs and cry’s and scares, whoo hoo’s and boos. This is one of the most wonderful rides I have had in reading a book in a long long time.

So what is the writing like? Have you not guessed? Matt Darst has written it all in this book. His characters are so unassuming and gentle but scary at the same time. They have powers and abilities that make them special and unbelievable but you can envisage everything about them being one hundred percent real. You can imagine people like this walking the streets beside you or sitting in a café opposite you and you would never know.

Free flowing. Perfectly paced from start to finish. Fast when it needs to be and slow when it has to be. Imaginative. Exhilarating. Thrilling. Fun. Scary in parts. This book really has it all.

One thing I love about books like this is the fact you get the history part of it. It starts in the 1700’s giving you an insight into the origins of the story. As it progresses, it jumps back and forwards in time explaining little details and pulling together different pieces of the story perfectly to knit them all together and give you a very satisfying overall picture of a centuries old evil and supernatural power that could very well be among us today. Who knows?

This story will make you a believer.

To summarise: no words. Just buy it.

General rating:

★★★★★ absolutely superb!

Everything else rating:

★★★★★ absolutely superb!

If you would like to help support Confessions of a Reviewer, then please consider using the links below to buy Freaks Anon or any other books from Matt. This not only supports me but also lets me know how many people actually like to buy books after reading my reviews.


Book Synopsis:

Collection notices. Disapproving looks. Sleeping in a van. Life’s hard for wannabe superhero. Things get harder still when Centurion’s sidekick, Henry, dies.

The police say Henry’s death was an accident. Centurion knows better. Henry’s death is part of a bigger pattern. Someone’s murdering children, kids with extraordinary psychic and physical abilities, across the South and Midwest.

He needs to find the killer fast. In Chicago, his prime suspect has already set her sights on friends Astrid and Kim. But these teens aren’t like anything he’s ever seen. They’re special. Like Henry.

Centurion will face spies, monsters, and the ultimate evil: the Chicago auto pound. If he doesn’t watch out, he might just find he’s the one in need of saving.

Freaks Anon is a paranormal superhero tale. Included with the novel is the dystopian short story Monument. All proceeds from the sale of Freaks Anon will be donated to Stand Up to Cancer.

All proceeds from the sale of this Freaks Anon will be donated to Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C). Private donations can be made at

Matt Darst’s childhood addiction to reading took a turn for the worst when he started writing…for fun. His experimentation with notebooks (a classic gateway) led to dabbling with typewriters. Soon he was hitting the hard stuff: word processors.

After law school, he decided to straighten out his life. He went cold turkey. He got a responsible job, a place in Chicago, and a dog. He surrounded himself with all the trappings of a normal life. Still…

Pen and pad call to Matt late at night, cooing his name, telling him to take another hit of fiction. Sometimes, when he’s weak, he heeds the siren call of the drug. He wakes from each blackout amid reams of freshly written pages, pages that have seemingly written themselves.

And for more about Matt, visit his site or find him on social media:

Website – Facebook – Twitter – Goodreads – Amazon Page

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