Kirkus Reviews

Kirkus Reviews

Zmak sets a vampire romance in the California beach community in this offbeat debut New Adult thriller. … The story provides genuine depictions of the joy the characters take in surfing and the sea, and the tribulations of love, guilt, and loyalty. It’s all passionate, fun, and delightfully new. An entertaining and emotional novel in which blood is thicker than salt water.” — Kirkus Reviews

Read the full review: https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/tc-zmak/dark-surf/

Paul Goat Allen for BlueInk Review

“This debut novel is so good—so insanely audacious—I actually stood up and applauded when I finished reading it! Zmak reimagines the vampire mythos in classic California style. It’s the story of surfer dude Jake Ryder, who witnesses his friend Cody die while surfing at dusk, the victim of an apparent shark attack. But minutes before his friend died, Jake saw another surfer out in the water with Cody. During his quest to track down this mysterious surfer, he finds a group of surfers who only surf at night… I don’t want to say anything more for fear of giving away too much. This novel blew me away—one of the most imaginative vampire novels I’ve ever read.”

In the last 20 years, Paul Goat Allen has reviewed more than 8,000 genre fiction titles for companies such as The Chicago Tribune, Publisher’s Weekly, BN.com, and BlueInk Review and is an adjunct faculty member in Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction program. He has published one novel and two collections of poetry and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle.

Read the full review: http://www.blueinkreview.com/ten-must-read-self-published-vampire-fiction-novels/

Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers’ Favorite

Readers' Favorite Five Stars

Review Rating: 5 stars!

“Dark Surf by TC Zmak was an amazing story! I was hooked right from page one and could not put it down until the very end. I have always loved vampire tales; this was something so completely different, such a unique take on an age-old story, and that is what will give this book the edge over all the other vampire stories on the market today. Exceptionally well written, with a fantastic story line and well developed characters. TC Zmak allowed us regular insights into the background of each character in a measured manner, drawing out the details and giving the story some real depth. Absolutely loved it, can’t wait for part two!”

Read the full review: https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/dark-surf

Joanna Brauer for The Californian,
part of the USA Today network

The Californian

“This is an entertaining vampire yarn, with a unique twist … There is romance, betrayal, secrecy, murder, sun and surf.”

“Audience: Anyone who enjoys a thrilling vampire story, surfing, the Californian lifestyle, lovers of the natural world, and…Hollywood, I see a movie here, folks!”

Read the full review: http://www.thecalifornian.com/story/life/2016/01/21/book-review-something-their-blood-zmak-brauer/79064826/

ScreenCraft 2023
Cinematic Book Competition


DARK SURF is a highly engaging, conceptually strong vampire thriller. This swiftly paced, suspenseful novel also features a very original premise in focusing on ‘vampire sharks,’ and by combining a surfing-themed action-thriller with a dramatically gripping vampire story.

“The novel features a vibrant, distinct ensemble of well developed characters … The action is briskly paced and generates a great deal of mystery, intrigue and suspense, and the dialogue is witty and nicely naturalistic. The novel’s very unique vampire mythology is also clearly laid out for the reader, and features a number of innovative, fascinating new additions to vampire lore. … The novel feels ideally suited for a screen adaptation for both a theatrical and streaming release. It’s even possible to see this story working quite well as either a limited or ongoing series for a prestige cable network like HBO, Showtime or FX, or for a major streamer like Netflix, Hulu or Prime Video, as vampire-themed thrillers like TRUE BLOOD have been massive hits with viewers.”