Genre: Paranormal Romance
Queer Rep: Gay, Trans
Warnings: Bloodletting, Narration of death and resurrection
[Note: I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.]
“Ryder is a witch with two secrets—one about his blood and the other about his heart. Keeping the secrets hasn’t been a problem, until a tarot reading with his best friend, Liam Montgomery, who happens to be one of his secrets, starts a chain of events that can’t be undone.”
“Darkling” is a whirlwind of a novella with witches, dark magic, and steamy smut. The world is rich and the plot engaging. Honestly, all I wanted was to peel away the layers for more.
The plot is intriguing, but breathlessly fast. This works for the story more than against it—the entirety of the novella takes place over a few days, so the reader feels the suddenness of it along with the main character. I wish we could have had more time, but all in all that is my only complaint for this piece: I wanted it to be longer.
I know how it is with word counts and saying what you need to say, but damn it if the world wasn’t layered and interesting, and damn it if the characters didn’t leave you wanting to watch their every move. I wanted to dig in my heels and force it all to stay in one place so I could see and discover. I wanted a full length novel.
Luckily for me and everyone else, there is a sequel.
Despite the slightly rushed feel of it, the reader gets to know the world and the characters succinctly. You root for them, you form enemies and favorites, and you blow a gasket when you get to the smut.
This was the perfect novel to read in October. It all takes place in a port town in Washington state, surrounded by dreary skies and dense woodlands. The author is obviously familiar with the area or ones like it, because the attention to detail was incredible. Sometimes I might argue there was a little too much focus on details, but that’s picky of me. I felt like I was there, and it made my body feel alight with the magic of the trees and the sea.
I ended up loving Ryder and Liam, among others. They were frustrating in a way that felt real, and hurting in ways that definitely were. Watching them feel out each other and their futures was cathartic—it was hopeful even when the rest of the world was growing dark around them, and that was empowering to read.
My biggest complaint about this book was the lack of more, but the second book is already out and I have already downloaded it. Don’t let the breathless pace keep you from reading the perfect spooky treat; Darkling is the witchy ride we deserve this October.
[Note: I am an Amazon Associate and I am using affiliate links. These do not affect you or my reviews.]
From NineStar Press: