A Brush of Darkness, book one
by Allison Pang
Release Date: January 25, 2011
Publisher: Pocket Books
Pages: 368, mass market paperback
Source: Allison Pang
Read for… my curiosity; my reading pleasure
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.
Cat piss and cabbages.
My Thoughts: My Mom has been telling me about Allison Pang and her debut book for several months now. I sort of listened, and jokingly would ask, “Did you tell her that your daughter writes “reviews” about books on her blog? Did you ask for a copy?” Joking because really, I am a bit uncomfortable with reading books that come directly from the author…pressure, you know. A few weeks ago, I was in a daring mood, I asked my Mom to inquire with Allison if there was a way for me to read her book. My Mom did, and Allison emailed me. There you have it….that is how I got my hands on this book, in PDF format.
What did I think? By the end of the story, I let a big “whew!” because I was very pleased with the read, and very glad that I could honestly say…
This is a unique and fun, fun urban fantasy.
I greatly enjoyed the storyline; good pace that kept my eyes glued to the “pages” of my NOOK. I was intrigued with the life that Abby was leading; the world she was living in. The OtherWorld is not like any other urban fantasy world; full of characters you may not expect together. This lot of characters consists of werewolf, demons, pixies who take a stand with PEETA, a faery boss, elven princess, and a very cool unicorn, and other paranormal creatures. Seriously, one would think that with this mixed lot of fantasy world beings that the story would then be crazy mixed up too, but it wasn’t. These crazy, fun, serious, different characters added great flavor, and interest to the story. I got a kick out of them, and the quest they each undertook.
The storyline itself was fantastically fun. Yes, there are some familiar urban fantasy elements within these pages, but the way Allison Pang pulls it all together is another reason why the story has unique flair. She did a fabulous job adding in twists along the way that kept me curious and wanting to discover more of the world. This world provided me with an interesting concept; the touchstone. I really liked that aspect of the story; unique The touchstone added a dimension into this urban fantasy that truly made the story all Allison Pang. Meaning, sometimes, reading urban fantasy after urban fantasy can start to leave a reader a bit flat. You know, how many stories can truly have originality? Well, Pang mixed in originality. Although, I must admit, I did get slightly lost with a few plot elements, and twists but no worries, my reading style enabled me to get myself back on track; a fun ride.
The key to kick-ass story was Abby and Brystion. Abby, of course, is our heroine. She appears to be an average chick who naively finds herself engrained in a paranormal world without any apparent super traits…initially. She is sassy, and won’t back down even when she clearly is being confronted by someone of greater power. I found her to be a bit on the brash side of life but that is what makes her interesting, and, honestly, slightly annoying. I do think she could be a fun character to watch evolve into greatness; shed a bit (just a bit) of her in your face sass, and replaces it with a bit of in your face finesse. Abby really is fun though, and she has some great friends in her life; friends who stick with you through thick and thin no matter the situation. They all were very cool too with their own little fantastical twists. Yes, Abby was fun character, indeed.
Okay, Brystion….he is hot, but how could he not be when he is an incubus out to accomplish a goal. Around him, women melt including Abby, but even while she is having some rather steamy dreams…Abby does resist, fairly well, the urge to act upon on his sexual allure, and because she does resist, an emotional relationship beyond the sexual attraction starts to take shape. Back to Brystion himself… I liked him…a lot. Ooops…see…women melt. He is cool, and adds tons of allure, but don’t let me mislead you though because he is not one dimensional. Nope, he has emotions, insecurities, and what I like best….his banter….seriously fun. Actually, in general, I liked the banter throughout this story; humor was woven throughout. Anyway, I was truly intrigued with Abby and Brystion’s relationship….steamy with sparks and tension flying all around.
There is a lot that happens towards the ending, and a lot that I did not see coming…love it when that happens. I cannot say that I am completely satisfied with the ending though, and this is mostly due to…well…if I tell you then a spoiler would be in this review and that I do not want. Let me assure you, even with this ending dissatisfaction of mine, I am very glad that I was able to read this story, AND I want to read the sequel. Actually, I cannot wait to read the sequel and am holding out hope for a change in that dissatisfaction that I allude to.
Bottom Line: a fun, fun urban fantasy with a creative world that kept my eyes glued to the “pages”. I am glad that I read this book; a good debut book that holds promise for a rockin’ series.
Recommendation: Urban fantasy readers, and those who like Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series. Really, this book rocks along the lines of the Fever books….not exactly the same but pretty damn close, and maybe will rival it one day as the series matures.
You Should Know: This is an adult urban fantasy book with many steamy, steamy scenes. I was fanning myself at times, and blushing too.
Side Note: My Mom met Allison through a group that they both belong to…a group that raves about a mutual interest of theirs. Raves…I tell ya!!! This connection did not influence my liking of the story. Believe me, I cannot be bring myself to like something if I don’t.
By the way, very soon, say…the week of February 14th, I will be telling you about that mutual interest of theirs. Will I be raving? Ah…most likely, but not gushing as I am currently doing over…well…stay tuned .
I am not keen on the cover. I don’t think it does the story justice. Nor does it give the sense of Abby’s capabilities, and possibly makes her look a bit on the seedy side of life…a bit trashy. While my heroines can exude sexiness and all that, I do like them to also exude strengthen of being beyond the little clothes book covers want them to wear. I suppose, I take issue with the ulta mini-skirt, and stockings. Hmmm…did she dress like this in the book? My mind does not remember that. What do you think?
I did say in the beginning of this post that I am not comfortable accepting books from authors themselves. This is true, unless I already know that I tend to like the author’s style of writing….less pressure (notice that I did not say that there is *no* pressure). Anyway, this coming week will feature a guest post from an author with whom I am comfortable with because I already know that I do indeed like her style of storytelling. Stay tuned….