Title: The Dark World (Dark World #1)
Author: Cara Lynn Shultz
Release Date: 1st June 2014
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Page Count: 368
Everyone thinks Paige Kelly is crazy, but the truth is that she can speak to ghosts, and when she’s attacked by a demon she finds out that’s not the weirdest part of her life. The boy who saves her, Logan, is a demon slayer, and he reveals Paige’s rare ability to open portals between the real world and the demonic Dark World, a gift that could get her killed unless he teaches her to protect herself from the demons coming after her.
The Dark World was a good novel, the type that I believe any paranormal romance lover will enjoy. The storytelling lacked a certain finesse and charged through the book with all the subtlety of a freight train, but made up for it by having a supremely awesome narrative voice. Paige is inherently snarky and witty, and her inner monologue sounds like your pretty average teen who can talk to ghosts and everyone thinks is insane but isn’t. I really enjoyed her snark, I found it quite refreshing. Paige wasn’t a bitch, but she was confident, even amongst all the bullying she received at the hands of the popular kids in her school.
Paige can’t help but be a special snowflake: not only is she extremely valuable as a portal opener, but she also killed a demon in her first tussle while highly-trained love interest Logan nearly died. Logan tells her again and again how awesome and amazing and wonderful she is, because of course she’s modest and self-depreciating and doesn’t quite grasp how special she is. It’s a stark contrast to Logan’s usual confident efforts, as he’s an experienced demon slayer as demonstrated later in the book. Paige actually does put work into learning to protect herself, and even though she’s special, she’s far from a Mary-Sue type character.
The romance with Logan was very sweet and nicely developed. It was overtly obvious from the first page he appeared on that he was going to be important, because he was the only person in the book that didn’t think Paige was crazy. After they got to know each other, this wasn’t really a problem. He was supportive and caring and loyal and protective, all swoon-worthy traits. It was nice to see him intimidated by Paige’s asshole of an overprotective, untrusting father as well. Logan was never snide or smarmy and he never tried to control Paige. He respected her, even though she was new to his world.
The Dark World is a strong novel that doesn’t deviate from the genre’s expectations and I would recommend it to paranormal lovers, or people who like to read about strong, confident non-Mary-Sue characters with a sweet romance.
Thanks to HarlequinTeen for providing an advanced reader copy for an honest review.