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The Better Part of Darkness Mass Market Paperback – 26 Nov 2009

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The Better Part of Darkness + The Darkest Edge of Dawn (Charlie Madigan, Book 2) + The Hour of Dust and Ashes
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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; Original edition (26 Nov 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439109656
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439109656
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.5 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 429,975 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By humanitysdarkerside VINE VOICE on 24 Feb 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
There is something about Charlie that I find appealing. Her life is a mess in so many respects, but she, herself, is a really decent person. Kelly's writing is, of course, alpha and omega in making the series work and helping me like it. I find it amazing that this is actually Gay's writing debut.

The Charlie Madigan series is an urban fantasy one. They are meant to entertain. There are issues that come up in the books that are important ones, but like most novels out there on the market this is for the general public and not an esoteric philosophical LSD audience (Ok, that might have been a bit mean).

As with a great deal of the other urban fantasies out there the Charlie Madigan has a male/female action team. Since both Hank and Charlie work together, have a bantering tone between them and look quite good - well ...

In "The Better Part of Darkness" we find ourselves in an Atlanta city in a possible future where scientists have discovered two parallel planes of existence. Surprise, surprise, angels and demons do exist although not exactly in the heaven and hell version that we humans are so fond of. We have been visited by them for thousands of years and they have been using us and the earth as a battleground for working out their differences.

Now that humans know about them, we won't put up with their nonsense any longer and have laid down the law for them. A police-department has been established dealing especially with extraterrestrials. They are called the ITF (Integration Task Force). Charlie Madigan is one of the officers working for the Department and her partner, Hank.

Pretty early on in "The Better Part of Darkness", we find out that Charlie had a dead-then-alive experience that seems to be changing her physically.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Claire Mill on 6 Sep 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the first book in the Charlie Madigan series. I've had this book on my shelf for a while having heard about it and thought it sounded interesting. But it's only now I've gotten around to reading it and I'm kind of sorry I waited so long. Charlie is a tough cop, a devoted mom, and fairly screwed up by having died a few months previously and having had some very creepy nightmares (and other strange side effect) ever since. When a strange 'off-world' drug, ash, hits too close to home she becomes more determined than ever to find the source and stop it. But the deeper they get in to it, the bigger the mountain they face. They're up against some very powerful opponents and some how Charlie knows it ties back in to her brief death. She's in serious trouble and her skills as a cop are probably not enough to save her, and she's not sure her allies are any more capable. But she'll try anyway.

I really liked this book. Charlie is someone who's dedicated to her job, but also a very loving, devoted mother. It doesn't take long to see that Charlie's world revolves around her daughter, Emma, and that she'd do anything for her. I really like when books show parental type relationships (may just be a child/teen the protagonist finds themselves responsible for) and familial relationships. Sometimes they can really make a book, whether it's a child/teen in an adult book or an adult in a major role in a YA book. It can be a really nice change to read, that level of realness, that extra drive it can give a protagonist that can't come from anything else. For it to work well though, there has to be the right balance, and that does exist here. Emma gets enough page time with her mom and there is enough of Charlie talking/thinking about her as well.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By "Seregil of Rhiminee" on 21 Jun 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The events in The Better Part of Darkness take place in Atlanta. Atlanta is a place for off-worlders, who are foreigners from alternate dimensions called Elysia (a heaven-like place) and Charbydon (a hell-like place). The existence of Elysia and Charbydon was discovered recently and ITF (Integration Task Force) was assigned to monitor all immigrants and off-world beings.

The main character, Charlie Madigan, is a divorced woman. Charlie's daughter, Emma, is a normal child and she has a good head on her shoulders. Besides being a mother Charlie is a cop who works for ITF. She has an off-world partner, Hank, who's a siren from Elysia. Charlie is a tough cop, but also a loving mother. In my opinion Charlie is a "kick ass" heroine who does her best under difficult circumstances.

The plot is interesting, because Charlie begins to investigate things when a fatal off-world narcotic ash starts to spread in the neighborhood. This is a good and strong start for the book - it makes the reader want to know more about what's going on. The character development feels good, because Charlie is a realistic character. She has inner struggles with certain things (she has feelings for her ex-husband etc). It's good that Charlie isn't a perfect person, because it adds realism to the book. The other characters - including Charlie's sister Bryn who is a gifted earth mage - are also interesting.

As many readers may know, urban fantasy has become increasingly popular during the last couple of years. It's a genre of its own, because it combines elements of fantasy, science fiction and everyday life. Urban fantasy differs greatly from normal fantasy and it provides a different kind of reading experience. This is perhaps one of the reasons why readers love urban fantasy.
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