For a brief moment when I got this book, I thought Dark City 2 was a collection of horror stories. So it was an unexpected treat to find it was anything but and so much more. This collection combines stories that are decidedly macabre (Till Death), suspenseful (Strong Chemistry), fiendish (Death Dealer) and most of all disturbing. The stories contain many surprises and twists. What's really cool about Dark City 2 is how familiar Malaysian scenes are ordinary things are creepily skewed. . . Reading Dark City 2 is like spinning a wheel of good fortune in that you're never sure what's coming next.
Geraldine Jeremiah, Galaxie
With 17 stories, there is something for everyone looking for a taste of the macabre and plenty for anyone who enjoys a wicked sense of humour.
A perplexing page-turning read for those dark, stormy and rainy nights.Most of all, it is a terrific book for bite-sized samples of styles from our local authors.
New Straits Times
I . . . turned to the first story “Strong Chemistry” by Xeus. Three pages into the story I went “Wow! This is bloody good!”. . . . I couldn’t resist reading Xeus’s second tale – “Signature Spa”. I was set adrift by the scents of essential oils and I could almost feel the soothing treatments as the oils permeated my skin. I could guess, with trembling delight, at what was going to happen – it was like watching a car crash in slow motion. But the gourmet twist was a surprise. For me, it’s “Paradise Revisited” in 2008!
"Comprising 17 short stories, this Malaysian publication aims to send shivers up your spine, keep you guessing and leave you begging for more. "
"...Will leave you at the edge of your seat as every story has a twist."
The Edge Financial Daily
"In this sequel to the twisty, terror ride that was the original Dark City, 17 disturbing new tales of murder and debauchery, some of which strike quite close to home, are revealed.
From the claustrophobic tomb of Strong Chemistry, the perils of banking (All in a Day's Work), to the ultimate punishment for gamblers (The Penalty) and the calculated payback for murder (Zero Sum), 15 writers (including the Sun's very own Bissme S.) flex their creative storytelling abilities to tease and tantalise the reader.
My favourite story in the collection is Till Death (Lou Joon Yee), which is black humour at its best when a married couple's fantasy of killing one another takes an unusual twist. On another level, the story also shows the damage a poisonous atmosphere at home can wreak on its inhabitants.
Dark City 2 proves that there are good Malaysian short-story writers out there with an eye for detail and a love of the macabre."
"I read Dark City 2 in three hours. Most of the stories are exciting and unpredictable in their own way but two of my favourites are Xeus’s Signature Spa and Chua Kok Yee’s The Penalty. It so happened that my 16 year-old like these two stories too. "
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"Why you should read this book: It's really good, that's why. Xeus has tapped into urban paranoia and everyday life in KL to produce situations that will leave you uneasy, yet are not too fantastic to be brushed aside as merely unrealistic. Particularly poignant and haunting is Trashcan Child, which looks at a current disturbing trend and fuses it with a heart as big as the Twin Towers. We won’t spoil it for you; but one read of this, and you’ll be bound to shed a tear or two." The Malay Mail “While unmistakably Malaysian in setting, the author draws on tortured minds common to all cultures. “The Scarlet Woman” is a funny, bittersweet, and ultimately Oedipal coming-of age story. Even more disturbing is “The Maid”, only superficially about low-paid immigrant workers. “Monster” involves a spoiled, badly behaved child who receives comeuppance that can only have been described by someone who’s spent some time dwelling on such children. The author...is a master storyteller, with a fine insight into the human condition. This is one of the best fiction books to come out of Asia in 2006.”
www.malaysiaoasis.com “….Wow, what a read (Dark City) turned out to be….each (story) contains that oh-so-important a twist that turns everything you’ve read so far on its head." Borneo Post "...Scratches the soft underbelly of Malaysian life to reveal a seething mass of barely concealed dread....Each (story) contains a twist....a couple are utterly shocking. My favourite is 'The Resistance'...This remarkable story has all the elements of a suspense thriller.....The secret weapon revelation in the end (though it is not explicitly stated) is, pardon the pun, a real killer....This is the KL you fear to imagine."The Sun
“…An entertaining and creditable collection.....All 12 tales harbour suspense and surprises along the way and a particularly vicious twist at the end. See if you can spot it coming.” The Star (1) "Murder, sin, sex - a startling, gripping read with striking twists and turns from a dance macabre!" Tunku Halim, author of ‘The Vermillion Eye’
"Who says the short story is dead? Xeus has concocted a rich broth of a collection in Dark City. These stories are the stuff of everyday life, all written in her inimitable style and with a clarity that is both visual and visceral at the same time. She exposes the murkiness that lurks beneath life's apparent ordinariness." Eric Forbes, Editor, MPH Publishing “My favourite stories from Dark City are The Scarlet Woman, The Six Million Dollar Man, and Coup of the Century. They had especially ironic twists in them that I enjoyed immensely…..detailed writing is obviously Xeus’s forte.” The New Straits Times
“Laced with local superstition, anecdotes and spiked with twists and deception, Dark City turns out to be a maze of intrigue that will set you off in a labyrinth of bizarre dimensions.”FHM
“Each tale opens with a disturbing can of worms…..Psychotic, The Six Million Dollar Man and The Resistance are sensational and thought-provoking…..a fun read with plenty of thrills to keep you engaged.”Galaxie
“…..Will entertain and keep you turning the pages.” Quill “….A portrayal of what happens when you merge paranoia with everyday life. If horror stories are your cup of tea, be sure to grab a copy of this book.”Borders
“Dark City opens up our city's Pandora box of ills. Each tale unfurls what could well be a scene lifted from your own neighbour's backyard. Get a taste of horror, suspense, terror and always, the bizarre twists, all in the comfort of your armchair." Yvonne Lee, author of ‘The Sky is Crazy’
“Packed with surprises and unexpected twists…Each story centres on different themes, providing a glimpse into all things Malaysian. You would want to slap the author on the back for the candid misleads. Each story is unique without a clue on how the next story would go….Dark City…is unconventional and unpredictable. Definitely a worthwhile purchase.”
Yvonne Foong, author of ‘I’m not Sick, Just a Bit Unwell’
“Xeus is an adept writer, weaving the darker elements of society, serial killers, the dangers of a woman walking alone at night, to greed, lust and their five accompanying sins with great effect...
...I did have my personal favourites and these are “Psychotic” – never mess with a lady with a big bag, “One if by Land” where a prisoner finds that his sure-fire way out of jail only leads to another sort of internment, and even though I knew how it would end, “Coup of the Century”. Now, you’ll just have to get the book to see if you agree with me.”
The Star (2)
General Books List! And there's that No.2 position in the Humanities MPH list. Still haven't figured what's in the humanities section yet.