Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Book Review: The Dark Light
Mia is torn between two guys—and two worlds—in this epic, romantic fantasy.Mysterious lights have flickered above Crownsville for as long as Mia can remember. And as far as she’s concerned, that’s about the only interesting thing to happen in her small town.
That is, until Sol arrives. Mia’s not one to fall for just any guy, but she can’t get Sol—or the brilliant tattoo on his back—out of her mind.
Then Mia’s brother goes missing, and Mia’s convinced that Sol knows more than he’s sharing. But getting closer to Sol means reevaluating everything Mia once believed to be true. Because Sol’s not who Mia thought he was—and neither is she. Quoted from Goodreads
Yeah, so the cover looks like a steamy adult romance that I would probably never pick up. Come on, half naked man wrapped around a girl? Plus the "epic, romantic fantasy" description in the first line? I was lucky I picked the book up and have a kindle, because there is no way I was waving that puppy around in public. But we have been told not to judge a book by its cover, and I'm so glad I didn't.
Okay, so I'm going to warn you right now, I can't do this review without a few spoilers leaking out. I won't ruin anything big, but there are one or two things I don't know how to review without spoiling. I figure it's kind of like the synopsis above where you find out her brother goes missing. It happens early enough in the book that it isn't going to spoil the story for you.
First off, it's not aliens. That's what I thought when I started reading the book. Mysterious lights in the cornfield? Boys disappearing out of their backyards? You do the math. But it absolutely wasn't.
I really liked the main characters. There was no insta-love, which is a big plus. Yes, Sol is hot. Who doesn't want a hot potential love interest, but that isn't the reason Mia is drawn to him. She actually first talks to him because of her little brother, and I liked that. Plus that hint of a love triangle . . . yeah, not so much. Maybe if there's a sequel, but I doubt it.
So now you know, no aliens, no insta-love, and no love triangle.
But what is there, you ask.
Great characters and a great world. Honestly, I really liked the main characters, especially Mia. She is an average girl who has gone through a lot of crap in her life, but she still maintains a positive outlook on everything. She doesn't whine, much. She doesn't wait for things to work themselves out. She pushes, takes risks, and still occasionally realizes that there are some things she shouldn't do. I especially like when she gives back a sword after trying to use it a couple of times because she realizes that she has no clue what she is doing and carrying it made her more of a liability. She even made friends with other attractive, straight, funny boys, who didn't immediately fall in love with her! Wait, can this happen in Young Adult? I don't know. Between Bella, Katniss, Rose, Helen, Kelsey, Cassia, Evie, Laurel, Kate, and Sophie, I'm not sure. (Oh, and major bonus points if you can tell me the books each of those characters comes from)
This book starts out as a mystery/paranormal but swiftly transforms into a fantasy. My only complaint with it was there was little that was beautiful, fun, or quirky about this world. It was dark, full of monsters and villains, which is great for the story but made it hard to fall in love with. Part of it is that Mia is only seeing the bad parts. She is either being almost captured or trying to rescue her brother the entire time, so I'm sure she isn't getting the tourist viewpoint. Still, the only delightful thing this world really has going for it is magic and the amazing people that defend it.
Still, it was a fun story that totally took me by surprise. It was absolutely not what I expected (though after this review, maybe I've spoiled that aspect for you). I give it the far too used recently, though that really isn't typical (maybe I just like to blog about really good books) award of 4 stars. Don't be put off by the cover. Boy or girl, young or old, you could absolutely read this book and have a great time.