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3.04.2011

Review: A Brush of Darkness by Allison Pang


A Brush of Darkness by Allison Pang
Urban Fantasy, Fae, Angels, Demons
Mass Market Paperback $7.99 (368 pages, POCKET)
Ebook $7.99

The man of her dreams might be the cause of her nightmares.
Six months ago, Abby Sinclair was struggling to pick up the pieces of her shattered life. Now, she has an enchanted iPod, a miniature unicorn living in her underwear drawer, and a magical marketplace to manage. But despite her growing knowledge of the OtherWorld, Abby isn’t at all prepared for Brystion, the dark, mysterious, and sexy-as- sin incubus searching for his sister, convinced Abby has the key to the succubus’s whereabouts. Abby has enough problems without having this seductive shape-shifter literally invade her dreams to get information. But when her Faery boss and some of her friends vanish, as well, Abby and Brystion must form an uneasy alliance. As she is sucked deeper and deeper into this perilous world of faeries, angels, and daemons, Abby realizes her life is in as much danger as her heart—and there’s no one she can trust to save her.

Author Site: www.heartofthedreaming.com

My New MUST HAVE Author (5 stars)

When I write a book review I almost always provide a summary of the plot from my perspective. This time I'm not going to do that because I think the book's blurb does a perfectly fine job of it. Instead I want to use my handful of paragraphs that have your attention to tell you why I love this book and can't wait to see this author grow.

In my opinion one of the hardest things an urban fantasy or paranormal romance author can take on is a world building that includes multiple types of creature. I've seen a few pull it off quite well and others that I wish would have stuck with a smaller set. The problem is that sometimes there's just way too much going on. Fortunately, Pang is one of those who drops her reader and her protagonist into the scene with a pretty small amount of knowledge. In doing this she lets the reader figure things out naturally alongside of Abby. Not only does this make the progression of the plot and world building go smoothly, it gives the reader a common bond with Abby that might otherwise not have formed.

One thing Pang does excedingly well, and the main reason I took A Brush of Darkness slowly, is characterization. If you are a reader who gravitates toward characters first and can let the plot just be an extension of their development you'll like how this is written. There is a wealth of secondary characters, admittedly almost too many for me to keep track of the smaller ones, some of which are already fan favorites. From the pervy-purse-sized unicorn Phin to the mysterious nameless gypsy who makes a couple of appearances you're brought into this world knowing you're never really alone. Some of these you may even wish would get their own novellas eventually. I personally would love to see the story of how Melanie got her violin.

But what you really want to know about is Brystion right? The sexy incubus who rocks Abby's world will rock yours too. He's hot. As in he'll fry bacon in the nude in spite of the unicorn bite on his butt. Okay so maybe that is way sexier in the book but it got you curious no? ;) His smutty scenes are the thing of legend and it takes a lot to impress this reader with sex scenes. But he makes a great partner for Abby and he's just broody enough to please fans of the bad-boy vampire trope.

The overall story plot is a bit confusing. I'm usually really good at predicting what's going to happen but a lot of this one left me guessing and being just plain wrong. The story wasn't bad though. Not my favorite plot ever but it was fresh, complex and well suited to bringing the readers into the world prepared for further adventures. I honestly can hardly sit still in anticipation of the next one.

On the whole I absolutely loved this book. It's fresh, well thought out and sexy. I know other reviewers mentioned not liking all of the World of Warcraft references and I can respect that because not every reader will understand the references. As a WoW player I found it all hysterical and just plain fun, even reading some of those parts aloud to my husband. If you're an MMO fan I think those bits will be a bonus. Aside from that I honestly have a hard time not trying to sell ya on this book. How about I say something like "the cover is slutty looking"? Nah, 'cause I even like the slutty cover. It's probably not the book for everyone but if you like the steaminess of Larissa Ione or J.R. Ward, the great world building of Kim Harrison or the terrific heroines of Rachel Vincent with a touch of snark ala Stacey Jay, this author should be on your watch list.

Other Reviews:
The Good, The Bad and the Unread
Vampire Book Club
Jia of Dear Author
Escape Between the Pages
Book Chick City


Notes: Received ARC via publicist.

1 comment:

Larissa {Larissa's Bookish Life} said...

ooooh this looks awesome! great review Rhi! =D

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