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Darkness Watching (The Darkworld Series Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Darkness Watching has many positive qualities. I really enjoyed reading the novel and felt a strong connection to Ashlyn. With her quirky obsessions, literary knowledge and independent attitude, she was relatable (to me, a nerd), and kept the story flowing.
Adam’s take on demons is also very unique. The demons have bright amethyst eyes and cause sleep paralysis – rendering Ashlyn unable to move, trapped by her own body. The suddenness of their appearance in the story made things suspenseful. I needed to know why the demon appeared and why it chose Ashlyn specifically. That mystery, as well as Ashlyn’s strange connection to the history of the town of Blackstone itself, kept me reading.
Adams writing is beautifully vivid. Her metaphors are unique and decidedly creepy! The epigraph to the review provides one example of Adams’ spine-chilling style, and here’s another:
“Soot-blackened bricks divided rooms of yawning emptiness like a giant rib cage.” – Darkness Watching
Although a generally fabulous book, I did feel that a few of the less important characters could have been fleshed out further. Early in the book, I found it quite difficult to differentiate between Ashlyn’s female flatmates and would have liked a bit more reaction from her parents before she went off to Blackstone. I wondered why they didn’t notice their child was chronically sleep-deprived and possibly depressed, when they otherwise seemed supportive of her. Some of the world building also occurred in dialogue info-dumps and perhaps could have been better incorporated into scenes.
The heroine doesn't gradually put the pieces together and figure out what she is and where her powers come from; instead she reads it in a book as a complete solution towards the end of the book, and then just narratives it to us readers as a clumsy infodump. Meanwhile the characters are unbelievable - the main antagonist responsible for various attacks on the heroine is left off stage for the entire book, until he suddenly pops up in full mustache-twirling-deranged-baddie mode at the end. And the heroine keeps ignoring really obvious clues (or really dangerous situations that would make any person go: "I should check this out, or worry about this") for no reason that I can see, except the author didn't want to go down that route. It's just clumsy.
An example (trying to avoid spoilers): she's given something which demonstrates itself to have supernatural powers. But she never thinks; "hang on - what is this thing and why does it do this?" Instead she leaves it hanging around in a drawer, and never wonders about it or even considers it of any importance, DESPITE having seen it do supernatural things. It's just ridiculous, and she only acts this way because it makes it easier for a the author to bring about a later plot point. It's authorial intrusion and very clumsy plotting and characterisation.
There she meets a multitude of different characters, her flat mates Alex and Sarah become firm friends, the handsome David who she is never sure about. The totally weird Terrance. She also meets Claudia and her friends that tell her more about the blackness she sees and that it is linked to Darkness, the underworld and magic. Add the mysterious fortune teller Madam Persephone.
Ash is an easily likeable main character, with her lack if knowledge of what she is but with a hidden strength of character as more and more strange occurrences happen around her.I was gripped from very early on with this story, how Emma never quite told you the full story and left you wanting to find out more. I found myself totally absorbed and didn't expect it to take the turn that it did.Throughly enjoyable read especially if like me you love books with demons and strange things happening.I hope book 2 is out soon, can't wait to see which direction the next book takes.
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(This review may contain spoilers).Read more
Wow! Just Wow! I loved this book!
The book is laid out in a way that I believe matches exactly with the age it is marketed for.Read more