Friday, October 15, 2010

Book Review: The Better Part of Darkness

The Better Part of Darkness

By:  Kelly Gay

Publisher:  Pocket Books

Publish Date:  November 2009

Format:  Paperback, 391 pgs - pocket book size

Genre:  Fantasy

Series:  1st book in Charlie Madigan Series

Recommendation:  Yes! Takes the world as we know it and mixes in some fantasy.  And a great action packed mystery.

Book Synopsis:
Atlanta: it's the promised city for the off-worlders, foreigners from the alternate dimensions of heaven-like Elysia and hell-like Charbydon.  Some bring good works and miracles.  And some bring unimaginable evil...

Charlie Madigan is a divorced mother of one, and a kick-ass cop trained to take down the toughest human and off-world criminals.  She's recently returned from the dead after a brutal attack, an unexplained revival that has left her plagued by ruthless nightmares and random outbursts of strength that make doing her job for Atlanta P.D.'s Integration Task Force even harder.  Since the Revelation, the criminal element in Underground Atlanta has grown, leaving Charlie and her partner Hank to keep the chaos to a dull roar.  But now an insidious new danger is descending on her city with terrifying speed, threatening innocent lives: a deadly, off-world narcotic known as ash.  Charlie is determined to uncover the source of ash before it targets another victim - but can she protect those she loves from a force more powerful than heaven and hell combined?

First Sentence:
"You told a two-thousand-year-old oracle to prove it."

My Review and Summary:
Thought you had a rough day?  Charlie has just had one, or a few, with just one thing after another coming up.  It all started when she got the call of an unconscious girl on the bathroom floor at her daughters school, fearing she's another victim to ash.  When she goes to investigate the scene she learns the girl is the girl who's babysat her daughter and is like a daughter to her.  Then, her day just goes down hill from there; she gets beaten to a pulp by jinn, and her ex-husband wants to be with her again - after what he did.  On top of all going wrong today the nightmares that started eight months ago, when she died, which have been haunting her every time she closes her eyes have pushed her to the exhausted state and now strange things are happening to her; emotionally and physically.

I enjoyed this book more and more as I read.  I liked the world that Kelly has created here.  She has taken the world we know and added a few extras to it.  We have a sound explanation to where the different beings come from, and the abilities they have.  Through these parallel planes we have mages, sirens, a being I like to call a vampire/elf mixed type but what Charlie calls aliens, and jinn along with a other beings as well.  There was one small piece that threw me off only a few times and that was the sudden appearance of unexpected beings, or item.  In these few moments I felt I might have missed a piece that would lead up to them, but this in no way affected the story happening.

Part of what I enjoyed the most was the storyline direction and mystery.  Charlie was constantly in action and uncovering a piece of the puzzle.  The story was constantly on forward movement, in a fast pacing.  We got the pieces right along with Charlie as she went through the actions and we tried to piece them together, together.

The characters where great.  As Charlie wasn't my favorite character in the story, it was no fault of hers.  It was the secondary characters I enjoyed.  They helped in drawing the character of Charlie.  Her sister is a wonderful addition with her magic skills and friends.  Her partner, Hank, is a nice addition with being a siren.  Charlie's husband, or he is one to watch as you read.  And then we have Charlie's daughter, nice to see we have a main character who is a single mom and trying to make it work.  And the relationship she has with her daughter is a great one.

In the end, I enjoyed the book very much and look forward to reading The Darkest Edge of Dawn.  As the story here ends there is lots of room and a few questions to answer to follow through further in the series.  Kelly has a great start to a fresh new series here.  Kelly has done a wonderful job drawing a mystery in a fantasy world with enough similarities to ours, but with many amazing surprises.

Glad to hear that Kelly will be going further in the series than two books.

If you would like to visit Kelly Gay's site, you can do so HERE.

I read this book for my pleasure.
This book qualifies for the Speculative Fiction Challenge, hosted by Book Chick City.


  1. I enjoyed this book too! I think I even enjoyed the 2nd one even more! All I will say about that one is ever since I read it my dogs are worried about me getting a hellhound.

  2. Hey honey! Popping in to see how you are doing and what's going on!?! I hope all is well and I hope everyone else is just fine! Hugs to you!!!

    Things have been kinda... ugh over here.. but I will see the rainbow... I will see it soon! LOL!!! Have a great weekend!

  3. I've been dying to read this. Great review!
    From the Shadows

  4. What a great discussion we had that day. I really enjoyed this book too....when are we going to read 2?!
    Hope all is well!

  5. Melissa - Glad to hear you enjoyed the second one too. I am really looking forward to it. Ha. Ha. Maybe I should have got a few hellhounds, huh? :)

    Cecile - Hey Hon! Oh, we are going crazy here. I haven't had any time to get on the computer much. I am hoping things will start to calm down some here. We just got two German Shepard puppies on Saturday, so we have to start calming down to be home with them. I hope the sun starts to shine for you. :) And all works out. Hugs. :)

    EJ Stevens - Thank you! I think you will enjoy this one if you get to it. :) Thank you for stopping by.

    Spinecraker - Oh, I really enjoyed that discussion too! Robyn and I were wondering on when we where going to do this book too. We are going to have to add it into the line up here sometime.


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