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Review: Dark Time by Dakota Banks

Dark Time (Mortal Path #1) by Dakota Banks
Urban Fantasy, Demons, Magic
Mass Market Paperback $7.99 (320 pages, HARPER VOYAGER)
Ebook $7.99

Three hundred years ago, she sold her soul to a demon. Now she wants it back.
For centuries, the woman calling herself Maliha Crayne has lived a second life—as an assassin for the malevolent creature who owns her soul. A haunted killer with the blood of countless victims on her hands, she has finally discovered a way to nullify the demonic pact that chains her: If she saves a life for every one she has taken, she will be free.
But if she fails, her punishments will be unspeakable, unendurable . . . and neverending.

Author Site: dakota-banks.com

Hit on my cardinal sins of fiction too much. (2 stars)

Writing a review on a book I didn't finish is a very rare occurrence. It takes a lot for me to give up on a book, especially one where I liked enough of it to put in a full hundred pages before stopping.

Conceptually DARK TIME works. A woman wrongly accused of being a witch is burned at the stake, is given a demon's pact of sorts to be returned to life but she regrets it and tries to break free. It's nothing particularly fresh or original but always makes for a likable, readable plot. What made it start off on the wrong foot from page one was the name issue. In fiction I have only a couple of big peeves that can kill a book for me and one of the biggest is having a character that's name changes more than once in the course of the storytelling without VERY clear definition to why. The name from the blurb doesn't pop up for over 70 pages. That alone was like getting a full-body bath from a cat but the storyline also jumps from historical point to historical point only really beginning around the same time.

By the time the back story was given I had not only lost interest but found there was nothing to like about Susannah/Maliha. At no point did I feel a connection to her or desire to see her reach her goals. The only time I connected to her at all was when she was imprisoned and went into labor. It was pretty much the only human, weak moment she had and when she jumps into being Maliha later in the book I all I could think was that she had multiple personality disorder.

As much as I wanted to like this book I read just over a hundred pages and realized it just wasn't going to happen. I liked Banks' writing itself, she paints a clear picture as far as visual elements go but as a reader I cannot feel this detached from the protagonist and enjoy it. To sum it up... I truly cannot think of anyone to recommend this to because so little of it worked.

Other Reviews:
All Things Urban Fantasy
Babbling About Books, and More...

Notes: Review Copy from Amazon Vine.

Other books in this series:


Crystal ♥ said...

Great review hun. I felt the same way about the first two books in this series. I gave it a shot but won't be reading any more from it.

Rhianna said...

It was a difficult choice to make. I hate not finishing a review for a book I asked for. This one has been sitting on my shelf for two years while I mustered up the interest and then to have it be as unenjoyable as it was... I just... yeah.

The thought hit me "why am I forcing myself to read this when there are other books I've requested or bought that deserve my attention too?" which gave me the courage to just give up.

I hated doing it but once I finished the review and read some other ones I realized my thoughts were echoed by several others so I wasn't being a total ass about it.

Thanks for commenting Crystal!

Crystal ♥ said...

I had my first DNF the other week and then yesterday I had to set a book aside that I was having trouble getting into as well, I'll come back to that one eventually but like you said; why continue with something you're not enjoying when you have so many other books in your pile to read & review?

And don't worry about the end, I found it to be such a disappointment after slugging through the whole book(s), I understand a continuing story arc but there needs to be some questions answered and settled by the end of each book for me to keep going. There wasn't, so I just became frustrated and gave up!

Rhianna said...

I think I've only had 4 DNF reviews in my entire reviewing 'career'. That's not bad really. Sometimes a book sounds good and you just can't get into it, it's not the book it's your taste maybe. Those are the ones I will usually slog all the way through but if a book is pissing me off with major peeves it's not as likely to convince me to keep going.


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