Writers Inspiring Change feature review: Dun an Doras: Yokai
Updated: Jan 27
Dun an Doras: Yokai, by Gemma Tarr, the 6th in this series, continues the bizarre folklore, fantasy, comedic horror about a group of cryptids who face their greatest challenge of all. A cryptid is a creature which folklore claims existed, but for which no substantial proof exists, including werewolves, banshees, mermaids, trolls and so on – and yet, this very group of monster hunters and killers, work together to face a creepy distortion, like a living wave that permeates the village, eventually, the whole world, and which this handful of dysfunctional and odd-ball set of creatures, must solve to the end of saving the world. As with the earlier books in this series, it’s filled with lots of fun, witty and often times, ponderous dialogue, with bloody and gutsy scenes where creepy crawly toothy things attack and rip people up or whatever. In this final book, the end is not anything one expects – in fact, it is a complete twist, and one that gives this series an honorable send off.
About Gemma Tarr
Reading is basically staring at slices of tree, risking a tree's last revenge, and hallucinating wildly. And I love it.
I have always loved reading and writing, penning short stories or long ones, writing bad poetry and staring at the sky wondering if anyone else is thinking what I'm thinking at the same time; the odds aren't great. (How did people learn you could eat an oyster and who stuck their hand in the first one thinking 'I can't wait to eat this sea bogey.'?)
As the years passed, I wrote more, I'd always been told in school that I had to learn to slow down my brain to meet my writing speed, that I had to stop thinking so much and why hadn't I just finished the quadratic equations yet. I always found it mildly unfair. Why shouldn't I love reading? I wasn't hurting anyone by devouring book after book, relishing getting a new book, speeding through another tale and smiling, content, as I closed the back cover.
Then I had 'The Problems'. I developed PTSD, anxiety and depression. Suddenly books didn't hold me anymore, I just wanted to die quietly in the corner and not bother anyone.
But one day, it hit me, books had been my escape for years, my rescuers, my friends and confidantes, why couldn't they now? Why couldn't I use the power being drained away by my mental health issues and make a whole new life.
Thus, Dun an Doras was born.
I refuse to die quietly, I refuse to let the fantasy genre die alone, remembered only by D&D players and kids. We would rise together, via mythology and legend, whipping past werewolves and banshees and settling in the wonderful world of togetherness.
Also, as we all know, these things do exist, they're just better at hiding than we thought!