Review: “A Beautiful Dark” by Jocelyn Davies


Title: “A Beautiful Dark”

Author: Jocelyn Davies

Genre: YA, paranormal

Publication Date: September 2011 (expected)

Synopsis: On the night of Skye’s seventeenth birthday, she meets two enigmatic strangers. Complete opposites–like fire and ice–Asher is dark and wild, while Devin is fair and aloof. Their sudden appearance sends Skye’s life into a tailspin. She has no idea what they want, or why they seem to follow her every move–only that their presence coincides with a flurry of strange events. Soon she begins to doubt not just the identity of the two boys, but also the truth about her own past.

In the dead of a bitingly cold Colorado winter, Skye finds herself coming to terms with the impossible secret that threatens to shatter her world. Torn between Asher, who she can’t help falling for, and Devin, who she can’t stay away from, the consequences of Skye’s choice will reach further than the three of them could ever imagine.

☆: 4/5 – an interesting new look at the war between heaven and hell.

Review: I seriously cannot be more sick of the love triangle, girl pulled between two worlds kind of YA storyline, and when I first started this book, I had the awful dread that this would be yet another one of those books. But Davies really used the triangle to her advantage in this one, and gave me an entirely previously un-thought of idea of the war in Heaven (that resulted in Lucifer’s fall), making for a fantastic story.

However, one of the pitfalls early on is that Davies did rely a little too much on the (budding) love triangle itself between Skye, Asher, and Devin – though I understand why she did. It’s hard to construct a story like hers without having at least a small crutch to establish information and a backstory when you’re having to construct an entirely new ideology/mythology from a story/myth that’s been deconstructed and reconstructed so many times in the past. I’ll be blunt when I say that I nearly quit reading around the end of the first third of the book, until things started getting more interesting, and the story finally refocused itself on Skye (where it should be). It was a bit of a slow (but explosive) start, but after that first third, I really could NOT put this book down.
Skye’s development as a character through the book through the arcs (and yes, through the love triangle) was significant and definitely something to be noted. Davies used the concept of arc as character transformation very effectively, which is rare in YA lit as of late, and much appreciated. She became a very strong heroine throughout the book, and it’s always a real pleasure being able to watch someone grow in a story like that.

I do have to commend Davies, though, on the aforesaid entirely new look on the war in Heaven. It made everything different, and gave me such a new and interesting perspective that really has not at all been introduced into any kind of lit, YA or otherwise, at all (at least, from what I can tell). I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to not let go of such a story before so far (other than “The Night Circus”) as of late. I wanted to shriek at the ending (it’s a cliffhanger), and I really can’t wait for the next book in this series. Skye, once she got her head in the game and out of her pants, was an awesome heroine, and one I can’t wait to meet with again.

This almost made my best of 2011 list, but because of the slow start, just missed it. Still, it deserves a read if just for the entirely new take on the Heaven/Hell myths. Definitely an awesome book, and I can’t wait for the sequel!

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2 thoughts on “Review: “A Beautiful Dark” by Jocelyn Davies

  1. Pingback: 100+ Books in a Year 2011 – my progress « birth of a new witch.

  2. Pingback: (Unofficial) 2011 Debut Author Challenge « birth of a new witch.

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