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: Mastering Darkness

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

Mastering Darkness is the first book in the Forest of Darkness series, and it sets us off with a huge bang.

When I entered the series, I wanted nothing more than a way to pass the time. I’m awaiting so many books, there are so many addictions that need feeding, that I saw this series as a way to pass the time. It wasn’t that I was expecting a bad book; however, the synopsis had me expecting something I’ve read before. After all, the synopsis makes it sound like any other vampire loves human romance story. I never say no to such stories, yet I’ve stopped expecting any real wow factors.

It turns out I was wrong in so many ways. This series is not a mere way to pass the time – this series is another heavy addiction. Within chapters, I knew I was a goner. Mastering Darkness pulled me in and refused to let up. As soon as I was finished with the story, I was jumping into the next one, and then the next, and then the next. It went from being a way to pass the time to a series quite high on my ‘give me the next book in the series now’ list. So yeah, I guess you could say I’m somewhat addicted to this one. Obsessed would be a better word, if I were to be truthful.

Honestly, words cannot do this series justice.

As soon as I was a few pages into Mastering Darkness, I was hit quite hard with a very simple fact: Kate Wendley really knows how to pull you into the world she has created. I went in expecting the usual clich├ęs, but within moments these thoughts were pushed aside. The trepidation I felt vanished almost instantly. This wasn’t what I had been anticipating, and Kate Wendley’s way of telling the story was the reason for that. Some authors take very simple concepts and turn them into something more – such is the case here. Some authors have a way of pulling you deep into the world, so deep that you cannot escape – such is the case here. Some authors have a special touch, something that cannot be identified with ease, something that makes them stand out when comparing them to other authors in the genre – such is the case here. The entire feel of the story was so different to what I’m accustomed to, it really did stand out against other books in the genre.

If you’re a fan of paranormal romance, you really do need to jump on this series. You’re missing out if you’ve yet to start the Forest of Darkness series – I can assure you, it’s a must read series.

There really are so many things that made this book great, but to list them all would be to write a very lengthy review. A review lengthier than what this is already becoming. As you can see, this is very much a book – a series – that has hit me hard. It’s pulled all kinds of emotions from me, making coherence extremely difficult. I will try to hit upon all the main points, though.

First off, we have the characters. I fell in love with the characters instantly. Both our leading characters and the side characters were wonderful. There was a realness to them that had me connecting in next to no time at all. They’re far from perfect, they have their issues, and yet they’re perfect because of their flaws. Mistakes are made, emotions run high, and you’re not always happy with them – however, you love them throughout because they’re such real characters. It was so fun to watch as they slowly developed throughout the story, as changes occurred in line with interactions. The entire cast was amazing in so many ways. I can assure you, even if you’re not obsessing over the two leading characters, you will find at least one character you truly adore.

Next up, we have the paranormal world building. This aspect is surprisingly simple. I do not mean this in a bad way, far from it. What I mean is that you can easily understand the world. Sometimes paranormal world building can seem a bit convoluted – such is not the case here. It is a very rich world, there are many elements, yet you understand it with ease. Don’t worry, though, there is plenty thrown in to mix things up. Although everything seems straightforward at first, as the story progresses elements are thrown in that leave you with promises of what will come in the future books. You’re left with many questions relating to the paranormal world, things that will leave you curious about where the series will head in the future.

The next big point is the romance. Throughout I knew the romance in this story felt a bit different. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it at first, but as I read more books in the series I had an epiphany. Despite being a paranormal romance, the issues the couple faced throughout the book felt more like contemporary romance issues. The paranormal element is always there in the background – it is pivotal to the story and cannot be ignored – yet the characters deal with the kind of issues you would deal with in contemporary romance stories. There is insecurity, there is fear of rejection, and there are issues from the past, to name a few. Although these elements are mixed wonderfully with the paranormal, I couldn’t help but feel as though they were addressed in an almost contemporary romance way. It sounds odd, it sounds as though it shouldn’t work, and yet I adored this. It was refreshing in so many ways.

What hit me the hardest, though, is the ending. Hot damn! If I not had already been excited to jump into book two, that ending would have done it for me without a doubt. You knew something was coming, you knew there would be something to throw us into the future of the series, but what we were given was not at all what I had expected. I genuinely let out some very happy noises as I read the end of the book – answers were needed, and they were needed straight away.

Without a doubt, this was a wonderful first book in the series. A solid four star rating, with so much promise of where we will go in the future.

Paranormal romance fans, you really need to jump on this one.

View all my reviews

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