These ‘about me’ sections, or even sections that inform you about blogs, have never been my forte. Much to my chagrin, I was never taught the unwritten rules of what you are supposed to say. The links at the side of the blog – Twitter and Goodreads, for example – are liable to tell you more than I could ever say in words.

Mostly, this will be a book blog. I read a lot, and I love to share my views on my most recent reads. I try to read a little bit of everything, but if you look closely you’ll notice I will occasionally become obsessed with one specific genre for a short period of time. Old books, new books, yet to be released books – I read them all. If you’re an author looking for advance readers or just wish for more reviews of a book you’ve already released, please feel free to contact me. There is a contact form at the side of my blog – if you scroll down below the Twitter and Goodreads sidebar you will find it – so drop me a message and I’ll be sure to get back to you in double time. After all, finding new authors is what makes the book world go around.

Thanks for taking your time to read this. With a little bit of luck, you will find my blog much more interesting than this mundane introductory section.

Monday, 29 May 2017

Review: Abandoned Darkness

Abandoned Darkness Abandoned Darkness by Kate Wendley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Abandoned Darkness is the second book in the Forest of Darkness series, and I loved it even more than I loved the first. That’s saying something, because the first one hit me much harder than I’d anticipated. Nevertheless, such a thing worked to highlight a simple fact: this is promising to be one hell of a series, and I’m a serious goner when it comes to my addiction.

Although Abandoned Darkness is the second book in the series, each book tells the story of a different couple. There’s an underlying story throughout, we’re working towards some very big events, but it is not necessary to read the books in order. I’d certainly recommend doing so, but should you be wishing for standalone paranormal romance stories, these will work individually. Keep in mind the underlying story, though, as such a factor means each book will leave you wish some questions about the bigger picture. It’s entirely up to you how you read these story, but I really do recommend working through the series in order.

Mastering Darkness, the first book in the series, introduced us to the supernatural world as a whole. The main focus of the first book, however, was on the vampires. Although I understood the shifter world, I was interested in finding out more about it. Thus, you can imagine my joy when I found out the second book was a shifter story. My heart did a happy dance at the notion of finding out more details about the shifter world, of understanding how the specifics play out. All shifter stories have simple rules that are followed, but finding out the specifics for each series is wonderful. As with the first book in the Forest of Darkness series, the development of the supernatural world in this one is wonderful. In fact, so much about this one is wonderful.

The end of Mastering Darkness had me expecting a huge explosion for this second book. Whilst my heart was doing a happy dance at the introduction to the shifter storyline, I was a bit disappointed that the big bang at the end of the first book wasn’t more prominent. Those hoping for answers, be aware that you need to wait a little bit longer. This book does not directly deal with the issue. Saying such a thing makes this one sound like a filler book, but I assure you such is not the case. It continues the overall story, it introduces us to many important aspects, and it builds up suspense as we await our answers. It’s annoying in some ways, yes, but it is necessary. The events in this book, things that are explained, are extremely important for the future books. Moreover, once you’re pulled into the storyline of this book, you’ll soon forget about those pesky questions the end of book one left us with – at least until they’re brought about again through events in this one.

As with the first book, Abandoned Darkness is filled with wonderful characters. Those from the first book continue to develop in this one, along with introducing us to a new cast of characters. As I’ve already mentioned, this book introduces us to the shifter world, so it should come as no surprise to realise we’re getting to know more about the shifters of the series. These characters are very different to those introduced to us in the first book, yet their stories are just as wonderful. As with the first book, they’re all wonderful characters. Truthfully, I loved the characters in this one even more than I loved those in the first book. Again, we have wonderful development alongside drama, but there was something more with this book, something that left me enjoying the story a bit more than I enjoyed the first. Both book one and two were brilliant stories, I cannot deny that, yet the second book hit me harder than the first.

The drama in this one is more intense. Again, we have a paranormal romance that almost feels contemporary in nature. The supernatural element is kicked up a notch in this book, yet we still deal with a variety of issues throughout that you would see in contemporary reads. Issues surrounding the development and decay of trust, the problems that arise from being ostracised, and the changes that can develop through acceptance, to name just a few of the elements. Honestly, the way in which the almost contemporary issues merge so well with the paranormal elements of the world is wonderful.

I cannot highlight enough how the supernatural world develops in this one. It wasn’t simply a case of finding out about the shifter world – the overall story moves forward as well. Elements are introduced that play in with details we’re given in the first book, and although we’re no closer to answers, we do have more knowledge about the world. This really is a book of development – not just the wonderful development of our leading characters (I could rant and rave about that all day, such was my love for the couple), but also for the overall series.

In short, this second book worked to secure my addiction to the series. It’s an even stronger book than the first, the occasional five star moments we see an indicator of the heights this series will reach.

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