Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Blog Tour: Review of The Darkness by Crystal Connor

Author: Crystal Connor
Publisher: Bennett & Hastings Publishing
Series Order: Book 1
Paperback: 266 pages
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)
Artemisia, a scientist who also practices alchemy, is wealthy beyond imagination. She is one of the founding members of the Skyward Group, a privately funded, secret, research facility conducting experiments that erase what tradition has established as the boundaries separating the realm of man from the realm of God. Artemisia has everything she wants - money, fame, knowledge and power - except for a child. Inanna is a powerful and dangerous witch, also wealthy beyond imagination. Her powers are greater and more deadly than any in the long tradition before her. Inanna has everything she wants - money, knowledge and God-like power - except for a child. The Child has nothing. At three months of age, he knows only what he has experienced through the bars of his locked cage. He has nothing. He doesn't have a mommy. He doesn't have a daddy. He doesn't have a name. The scientists who created him do not handle him, because they know The Child is dangerous. In The Darkness, Two women clash in a vicious battle that has been fought since the days of King Solomon - the fight over a child. One woman unleashes the nightmarish arsenal of modern science while the other dispatches the weaponries of witchcraft. And as The Child grows up, his love for one and resentment for the other will change the fate of both these women, forever.

Overall Rating: 3/5

It started off slowly, but a quarter of the way in, I was completely interested in the story. The Darkness deals with a mixture of super technology and dark witchcraft, which I found intriguing. The writing was more factual than I generally like (a lot of telling, very little showing), but I got used to it and didn't find it as annoying once I started reading more. Overall, I think this is an entertaining story that remains suspenseful until the very end.

However, the characterization wasn't enough for me. Part of this is told in first person, and with that point of view, I especially expect to have some sort of emotional connection to the main character. This didn't happen at all. I think it was because the narration was entirely factual. We don't get a lot of Artemisia's feelings, and if we do, they're rather shallow. Instead of reflection, the character only says, "I'm upset" (or whatever emotion she's supposed to be feeling) and moves on. Maybe she'll have a drink, but that's it. There aren't any deeper thoughts or tell-tale actions going on. I wanted more from her. The same thing can go for Inanna and Adam (The Child) as well, but I didn't have so much of a problem with their characters. Their stories were told in third person, and I didn't consider them the "main characters." Besides, I think their history was more fully realized than Artemisia's, which gave them more depth.

Also, all the characters are perfect. They are all beautiful, incredibly rich, successful, smart, can speak multiple languages, etc. I wanted them to have some flaws.

Despite this, I thought the story was enjoyable. I liked how the magic came from different cultures, and I especially liked the voodoo influence. The plot was suspenseful and delightfully frustrating as Adam tries to come to terms with his past. I thought the ending was rushed, but it's a perfect ending -- I would have been disappointed if it had ended any other way. If you're at all interested in dark stories or witchcraft, you should give this one a try. Like I said, the characterization had flaws, but the story is truly fantastic.