Friday, 7 February 2014

Review ~ Dark Souls (Dark Souls #1) by Ketley Allison

Dark Souls (Dark Souls, #1)
ebook received from the author in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: September 29th 2013

Urban Fantasy/Paranormal

19-year-old Emily desperately wants a name for what she is. For what is consuming and torturing her. For what is changing her. 

But she’s not crazy like her mother. She’s not. 

Emily may not be as crazy as she thinks, because her body is no longer her own. Something is stirring inside her. It is soft, seductive, and tells her what to do to survive. As Emily learns that her world has been infected by demons that consume human souls and fit seamlessly into the bodies they empty, she must also accept that she is one of them. Yet, she is different from the rest, because her darkness didn’t inhabit her, it was awakened. 

And Emily must choose a side.

My Opinion

OK, so I will admit this book has taken me a long time to read - like a few months- as certain things have got in the way and I had to put it to one side for a while. However I have finally been able to finish it over the last two days.

When the author contacted me about reviewing this book I was intrigued as she told me it was a NA paranormal novel. As most NA around right now include romance, it caught my interest. I'm also a big fan of darker novels and this is what Dark Souls seemed to promise with both the blurb and the title. It was definitely at the darker end of the paranormal scale but now that I have read it, I would say it would better classed as a book aimed at the upper YA market.

The start of this book intrigued me. It built up questions nicely that developed the suspense and tension about who and what everyone was. It also created a good relationship between Emily and Macy. I liked their friendship and I could relate to Emily's situation when being dragged out by friends. It was believable and set the book up well. 

I read the first 30% with no problems at all and I found myself wanting to read on. However, after that I felt the book didn't hook me as well and, unlike other books, I know exactly why: the secrets were left hanging too long. Most of the problems I had with this book stemmed from that reason as rather than receive answers to move the story on quicker, I felt things dragged a little and I just grew to dislike Emily. For me she didn't do enough to find anything out for herself and I just couldn't sympathise with her in any way as she fought a the battle with her demon. I found her to be too isolated and shut off which, for me, created a cold character that you don't want to vouch for.

Saying that Dark Souls did pick up again but it wasn't until the 80% mark did I find myself wanting to read more. Once Emily found out what she was everything started to become better as there was another element to the story than just "what am I?" However, once Emily's character is revealed, everything else became kind of obvious as to who Asher and Gwyn were and what was going to happen. 

Personally, I would have liked the reveal to come earlier and then learn about Emily's demon side even more as things like the powers were a little underdeveloped. I feel that if this had happened then there would have been more depth to the book and allowed for a more climatic ending.

Overall though, although Dark Souls didn't connect with me, paranormal fans might enjoy this, especially if you're into darker fiction. The relationships are believable, the start is tense and I liked the different take on demons that aren't related to Hell. I thought the way the author portrayed them was interesting. Dark Souls shows the potential this author has but I feel the structure and pacing of the book needs a bit of work to develop certain aspects and add more depth so it can be a great read.

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