Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Darkness Watching by Emma L Adams

Synopsis: Eighteen-year-old Ashlyn is one interview away from her future when she first sees the demons. She thinks she's losing her mind, but the truth is far more frightening: she can see into the Darkworld, the home of spirits- and the darkness is staring back. Desperate to escape the demons, Ash accepts a place at a university in the small town of Blackstone, in the middle of nowhere - little knowing that it isn't coincidence that led her there but the pull of the Venantium, the sorcerers who maintain the barrier keeping demons from crossing from the Darkworld into our own world. All-night parties, new friendships and a life without rules or limits are all part of the package of student life - but demons still stalk Ash, and their interest in her has attracted the attention of every sorcerer in the area. Ash is soon caught between her new life and a group of other students with a connection to the Darkworld, who could offer the answers she's looking for. The demons want something from her, and someone is determined to kill her before she can find out what it is. In a world where darkness lurks beneath the surface, not everyone is what they appear to be...

My Thoughts: A book with some really good ideas but bogged down with a slow pace, tedious dialogue and poor world building.

What Worked:  Ms. Adams' idea of a girl going into her last year of high school all of a sudden starts seeing demons had great potential. As did her constant feeling of coldness overtaking her. I thought the character of the Fortune Teller was interesting and I wished she had more parts within the book. Unfortunately this is about the extent of the positives.

What Didn't Work: The incredibly slow pace of the book had me setting the book aside more than a half dozen times for something more exciting. When Ash started seeing Demons, the author grabbed my attention but quickly lost it when I realized Ash just thinks she is crazy and just lives with it. Thankfully the author fast forwards to Ash starting at the university. Yet despite her seeing more demons and something called a shadow fox the pacing never really picks up. Instead, we are bombarded with uninspired dialogue and sketchy world building. Ugh, the world building! After finishing this book I'm still not exactly sure who or what Ash is, what she can do and why, if the Venantium is good or bad, how her "game society" friends were as knowledgeable as they are about sorcery (did they go to a special sorcery school? did their parents spend evenings and weekends teaching them to throw fireballs? etc), why Ash suddenly started seeing demons that she couldn't accept but within minutes fully accepts that she can do magic, why why why?

World building aside the characters also suffered. For the most part all characters were interchangeable (minus the bad guy which was very predictable by the way). Since finishing the book I can honestly say that not even one of those characters stuck with me. I can't even remember most of their names.

Listed as a YA and a New Adult book it hovers between the two without committing to either. The University setting pushed it a bit beyond YA yet the characters were quite immature in their "love interest" drama which felt more junior high to me. Although this book does not contain any sexual encounters, sex is mentioned and the characters randomly spit out a curse word every so often (except when I'd expect them when a demon like creature jumps out of  a shadow and tries to kill them). There were other things that I felt contributed to this book just not working but I'll end the Cons with that.

In a Nutshell: This wasn't a bad book but it wasn't that great either. I, for one, will not continue on with the series. There are far too many great books waiting to be discovered for me to setting with another mediocre one.

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