Early Review: The Dark Light by Sara Walsh

August 19, 2012 Review 2 ★★★★

*This title will be released on August 28, 2012*

The Dark Light

by Sara Walsh

Genre: Paranormal YA | Excerpt: No
Book Trailer: No
Reviewed by: Abigail | Source: Publisher

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse (August 28, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 1442434554
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442434554

Rating

Excellent – Loved it! Buy it now & put this author on your watch list.

Sexual Content

Kissing

Description

Mysterious lights have flickered above Crownsville for as long as Mia can remember. And as far as she’s concerned, that’s about the only interesting thing to happen in her small town.

That is, until Sol arrives. Mia’s not one to fall for just any guy, but she can’t get Sol–or the brilliant tattoo on his back–out of her mind.

Then Mia’s brother goes missing, and Mia’s convinced that Sol knows more than he’s sharing. But getting closer to Sol means reevaluating everything Mia once believed to be true. Because Sol’s not who Mia thought he was–and neither is she.

Review

Reading THE DARK LIGHT was like reading two books.  The first is the one the description hints at which focuses on Mia, the mysterious lights that are related to missing boys, and also the new enigmatic guy at school who may have answers.  But, that’s only the first part of the story.  The second, larger part was a complete surprise, and the good news is that both parts are excellent paranormal fantasy.

THE DARK LIGHT begins in a small town with a tenacious but down to earth girl struggling to maintain as normal a life as possible for her little brother in the wake of their parents’ abandonment.  Mia works hard, doesn’t complain, and embraces happiness where she finds it.  Enter a bunch of missing boys, a smoking hot and secretive new guy, strange phenomenon, and Mia’s brother vanishing. Without giving away the second half of the book, the setting shifts from Nebraska to someplace entirely other with new and frightening threats both creature and environmental.  Mia takes this new situation in stride by focusing on the important life and death questions, and never once wavering from her main objective of finding her brother.

Based on the cover, I was expecting THE DARK LIGHT to be on the steamy side for YA, but it’s actually pretty tame.  Just a few kisses. The romance is still a large part of the story, but the focus is on the build up, the attraction, rather than physical interaction.  Considering the situation Mia is in and the urgency to rescue her brother, anything more than a few kisses would have been wildly inappropriate.  However, I could see the romance heating up in possible sequels (which I sincerely hope there will be, though nothing is contracted just yet).  One small criticism would be that Mia had a tendency to insist on rushing into situations that she was ill equipped to handle which resulted in endangering herself and others and ultimately caused more problems.  But fortunately those scenes were few and far between in this otherwise stellar debut.

Full of surprising twists and artful misdirection, THE DARK LIGHT does what few other YAs manage: it keeps readers guessing–and engrossed–until the very last page.  Don’t expect faeries, but if you enjoyed Julie Kagawa’s The Iron Fey series but were hoping for a more mature story, THE DARK LIGHT will utterly dazzle you.

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