Saturday, January 30, 2016

Darkness Brutal by Rachel A. Marks

Darkness Brutal 
by Rachel A. Marks
Publisher: Skyscape
Publication Date: July 1, 2015
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Format: Paperback
Amazon Buy Link: HERE 
Goodreads Link: HERE 
Em's Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Book Blurb: Aidan O’Linn’s childhood ended the night he saw a demon kill his mother and mark his sister, Ava, with Darkness. Since then, every three years the demons have returned to try to claim her. Living in the gritty, forgotten corners of Los Angeles, Aidan has managed to protect his sister, but he knows that even his powers to fight demons and speak dead languages won’t keep her safe for much longer. In desperation, Aidan seeks out the help of Sid, the enigmatic leader of a group of teens who run LA Paranormal, an Internet reality show that fights demons and ghosts. In their company, Aidan believes he’s finally found a haven for Ava. But when he meets Kara, a broken girl who can spin a hypnotic web of passionate energy, he awakens powers he didn’t know he had―and unleashes a new era of war between the forces of Light and the forces of Darkness. With the fate of humanity in his hands, can Aidan keep the Darkness at bay and accept his brilliant, terrifying destiny?

 Reading the synopsis of this book, I was afraid I was going to read another “person founds out they had powers they didn’t know and was more important to the world” blah blah plot that I have read a dozen times over. What I feel that this book got right (and much to my happiness) is that our main character, Aidan, knows from a young age he is different. He can read langues long dead, and understand any spoken word. He can see demons and other otherworldly beings, and he can see your soul and the marks left behind on it, Violence, murder, sex - things that leave an impression deep into your core. I think I wanted to point it out, because one of the only negative comments on this book, was Aidan being able to see the “handprints of your partners”, which they called slut shaming. But, the author never had Aidan shame them, only know what happened in there past. If fact, Kara, the “broken girl” is a victim of sexual abuse and rape, (also she is far from “broken” in this story) and Aidan has a strong connection to her.

 There was many times that you had a tropes in this book like sex will “awaken” your powers, and then spun it to mean something else. Pointing out time and again connections to people are more important than sex. Other a mother dying when they were young - and other things I don’t want to spoil you about. It was like Rachel Marks wanted to set up part so you will feel, “oh I know where this is go...wait that didn’t happen?”

 This book was also 400 pages of no down time. You are carried through Aidan’s journey without times of random cleaning, or shopping trips, or any other random filler, but plot and character. I enjoyed most of the background characters, the main love interest was not a damsel waiting for her man, even if she was set up to feel like that was the trope the author was going for.

I will have to warn you, this urban fantasy is heavy with religious symbolism. This is not your “main character can shoot fire from his eyes,” demon hunter, (which he kind of turns into) but a lot falls back on that power of understanding ancient languages.  There is also talk about rape and basically a backstory of a child sold for sex, so if that is a trigger this might not be the story for you.

 I thoroughly enjoyable read, and I can’t wait to finish the next book. Which, I am already 30% into it, says my e-reader.


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