Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Review: A Beautiful Dark

Author: Jocelyn Davies
Release Date: Already out!
Publisher: HarperCollins
Add it: Goodreads
Buy: Book Depository / Amazon

On the night of Skye's seventeenth birthday, she meets two enigmatic strangers. Complete opposites;like fire and ice;Asher is dark and wild, while Devin is fair and aloof. Their sudden appearance sends Skye's life into a tailspin. She has no idea what they want, or why they seem to follow her every move only that their presence coincides with a flurry of strange events. Soon she begins to doubt not just the identity of the two boys, but also the truth about her own past.

In the dead of a bitingly cold Colorado winter, Skye finds herself coming to terms with the impossible secret that threatens to shatter her world. Torn between Asher, who she can't help falling for, and Devin, who she can't stay away from, the consequences of Skye's choice will reach further than the three of them could ever imagine.
Skye's 17th birthday is certainly one to remember. Not only does her surprise party end on an explosive note, but two strange boys - cousins, they say - suddenly arrive. Polar opposites with a deep the animosity between them.  They've come for a reason and that reason is Skye. A girl whose eyes flash silver when her emotions run rampant, with powers unheard of. They need her to unlock the true potential of those powers because she is an enigma to the sides they are reporting to, an unsuspecting girl who could change the balance of all.  Is she light or dark? Order or Chaos? And what if she doesn't want to go where her powers are leading her? Does she even have choice?

While Asher and Devin quickly immersed themselves in Skye's life, I like that they didn't entirely consume it. She still tried to hang out with her friends, to maintain a semblance of normalcy with school, despite the fact that she has these two mysterious guys dogging her every move. I much preferred Asher of the two. Devin was charming in his own sweet way, but he was too tightly wound, too insistent on following the rules. Though I did enjoy those moments where he let go or a smile blossomed through, mainly thanks to Skye who was able to get under his skin in a way that may eventually prove... unruly for him. Asher, on the other hand.... how can you not fall for him? He's charming and flirty, dark and delectable. He's able to choose what he likes and what he likes is to shakes things up a bit. I guess I found it much more appealing that he had free-will, unlike Devin, and while Asher was still following his own orders, he maintained an air of spontaneity. Of choice. Of chaos. And a little chaos can be a beautiful thing.

So as the novel progressed I found it a very easy choice for Skye. I would never want to follow in Devin's path and have my life so rigidly controlled, with everything set out in path that never detours from the original. His kind may reside in a beautiful and peaceful paradise, but life should not be so meticulous and careful. There needs to be some disorder to make you appreciate the good. To surprise you, to excite you and make you FEEL alive. But as we learn more, the choice may not be so easy afterall. It was never easy for Skye. For me, while I am still strictly Team Asher, I can see how choosing between both sides, both boys, will have a huge impact on her life.

I've been debating whether to give this a 3.5 or 4 apples. I really enjoyed the book, but at times I would have liked something more from it. Much of the overall plot was focused on "Asher or Devin" - both in a romantic way and with Skye needing to choose a path to offer her powers. I prefer more of an intense plot with romance weaved into it, rather than a love triangle with a plot interwoven, but  Jocelyn still managed to hold my attention the whole way through! The boys and the mystery they presented compelled me to read faster, to find out more about the mythology and to see which path Skye would eventually choose. As she began discover her powers and learn more about each side, the climax builds into one of those dreaded-yet-secretly-loved cliffhangers. Let's be honest, they make you pull your hair out rage, but you kinda love what they do to you!

A Beautiful Dark offers captivating mythology, two enticing love interests and addictive writing that will hold your attention until the very last page... which has you begging the question - WHEN IS THE SEQUEL?

3.5/5 Golden Apples

25 comments:

  1. Oh no! Another once with a love triangle as its main focus?!?! *sigh* I probably won't read this anytime soon...BUT THAT COVER IS FREAKING GORGEOUS <33333 Maybe I'll get my greedy hands on it just to stare at the cover all day :D Awesome review as always, Brodie <3

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    1. Despite the dominating love triangle, it still managed to suck me in! And Asher <3 But I so see why you're tired of them... it's like everywhere you go, there's another lurky boy waiting for the girl to fall for him haha. Although I do enjoy some triangles. Anyway, yes! AMAZING COVER!

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  2. Yes I too had some trouble with this book - especially with the love triangle. It's a beautiful cover but with a very disappointing storyline. I'll still be reading the sequel just to see what happens. Great review! :)

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    1. Very intrigued to see what happens in the sequel, especially after that ending!! But yeah, I did enjoy reading this, I just wish the love triangle wasn't perhaps such a MAIN focus.

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    2. Yes exactly! If its main focus was on the actual storyline rather then on the love triangle, then I would've probably loved it more. But I'm still interested in the sequel especially seeing how book 1 ended.

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  3. Mwaha! Trust that you like the 'bad' guy :P
    Huh, OK, so it sounds like you weren't entirely sold on this one? Like Erin said: BEAUTIFUL cover, but kind of dissapointing inside bits? I'm still intrigued, especially about this order/chaos thing, because, confession: I was a TOTAL computer game geek growing up (not that I'm saying I'm not now *cough*). As in, there was this game called Baldur's Gate which is a computer version of Dungeons and Dragons, and there's this whole order/chaos aspect I've been fascinated by ever since. SO, long story short: whenever I see order/chaos anywhere now, it totally grabs my attention. SO now you've totally grabbed my attention. Yes. *STARES*

    Seriously though, that cover is so pretty...

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    1. For me, I wouldn't say it's disappointing. Agh. It's hard. I wish some MORE things happened, but at the same time, I was totally compelled. The boys intrigued me, especially Asher, and I wanted to uncover their mystery. And the story really did engage me! 3 stars means I enjoyed it. 4 is "Wow. That was GREAT." 5 is PERFECTION. So it sits between enjoyable and GREAT!

      I would definitely recommend reading it! OOOH. And okay, so I'm not a computer gamer, but that sounds cool :D

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    2. And I think you broke my comments. They were fine until you commented!!! :P

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    3. ... your comments are seriously weird... umm... I wouldn't be at all offended if you deleted it to see if it'll fix the problem? and it's defintiely only this thread--your other posts are fine... but I can't see what I POSSIBLY could've done. There is NO HTML in the comment. *confused*
      I didn't meant to do it! I SWEAR! :(

      And I'm glad you still liiiikkkedd it! I mean the same thing when I give 3 stars... but I've seen a lot of people treat it as a negative? And you sounded a little conflicted. Mmmm... my brain has kind fo turned off for the afternoon XD

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    4. ... your comments are looking normaly again... what happened? :S

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    5. LOL I don't REALLY blame you (although I know you totally orchestrated the event). I don't know what's wrong... they're a big better now, but the line-height is still off. Except I haven't changed anything =\ No idea!

      I should put up a rating system, since a lot of people treat X amount of stars differently. I figure 2.5 is 'average' since it's smack in the middle ;) 3 means definite LIKE!

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    6. Sorry, I should clarify: I totally got that you liked it, but it seemed like you were still a little conflicted :D
      I'm just so used to seeing 'It was AMAZING!' reviews from You recently, something less Jan 4 has taken me by surprise XD
      I think you've been on a lucky streak?

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  4. oh that sounds like such an exciting read :D definitely going on my tbr list. i think i'm actually starting to like all these love triangles, hmm...

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  5. I know what you mean, Brodie!! Sometimes it's so hard to rate a book because you enjoyed it but didn't at the same time, or you wished some things would've happened differently yet you couldn't put it down... these are the times when rating books with stars kind of sucks LOL! x) But I'll admit it: despite the love-focus thing, your review makes me think that this will be a book I'll enjoy to read too! :)

    Awesome awesome awesome review, Brodie!! :) <3 Hopefully the sequel will blow you away more -- in which case I DEFINITELY need to read this book soon then LOL!

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  6. "I prefer more of an intense plot with romance weaved into it, rather than a love triangle with a plot interwoven."

    EXACTLY how I feel. Though I'm glad that you mentioned the author was able to keep your attention throughout the entire book. It sounds like one I'm going to keep my eye out for, but I'm going to hold off on buying it. At least for now! Lol. I'm a broke college student, and after all, the SECOND I get some extra cash, I'm ordering Hunting Lila and Fated. By way, which one would you recommend reading first? :D

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    1. OHHHH. UM. Geez. I love them both, but Hunting Lila still remains my favourite by a wee bit. And I have a thing for the 'crush since childhood' sorta romance ;)

      I can't find one for Lila, but Cass just kicked off the AU blog tour for Fated with an excerpt for Fated, if you're interested! http://wordsonpaperya.blogspot.com/2012/01/blog-tour-fated-by-sarah-alderson-first.html

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    2. YES! I am SO interested! Lol. Thanks for the link (and the recommendation)!

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  7. I got this one sitting on my shelf as well! I'm curious about where this love triangle is taking us in the book and the boys! Awesome review, Brodie! ♥ Makes me really want to dive in this book and see what I think myself!!

    Celine @ Forget-me-not

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  8. Nice and honest review, Brodie :) I'm getting a bit tired of too much focus on romance(especially love triangles) so I think this one might not be for me at the moment.

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  9. I liked Asher way more than Devin too. I felt Devin too controlled, and wound up...like he was ready to snap at any time. As you mentioned, you need the release and the sometimes the bad helps you see the good.

    That ending!!!! It made up for some of what the novel is lacking. I love and hate cliff hangers in equal measure and laughed at your discription. We pretty much love the torture don't we?

    I also agree with this - "I prefer more of an intense plot with romance weaved into it, rather than a love triangle with a plot interwoven."

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  10. Interesting review...I didn't much like this. Totally agree that Asher is better than Devin, but he'll never make a list of book boyfriends in my view. Whole book was a bit too stereotypical and only saved by the ending. I'm glad you enjoyed it though!

    The Cait Files

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  11. Oh, I totally know what you mean about cliffhangers! No doubt. And ah, I'm glad you liked it even if it was lacking that something extra. I'm suuuuuper curious about this one, but I think I'm too scared to try it! Lol. I really have no idea what I'll think about it. But I need to. I like books having you screaming for the sequel. o:

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  12. I agree! Even though I gave the book I high rating, even more plot would've been nice... Team Asher FTW. Devin's too ___ for me ;)

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  13. I totally agree about preferring Asher over Devin. I couldn't connect with Devin at all unfortunately. And I also agree about wanting more from the book as well. I did think it was a really good read though. :) Great review!

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  14. I completely get what you mean - I like romance in books, but I like there to be a great plot too. I'd prefer great plot with a little romance to romance being the focus with a plot just somewhere around. Glad you enjoyed this one overall though - fab review! :)

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