March 10, 2014 by mmileti
Release Date: March 10, 2014
Darkside Sun is a cross between Sci-Fi and Paranormal, and contains a romance that threatens to take over the story. The Sci-Fi elements of this novel are impressively unique, vivid, and engaging. On the other hand, the paranormal romance aspect of the book is frustratingly clichéd. Together, they combine to produce a novel that I have very conflicting feelings about.
The book’s narrative follows Addison Beckett, a young girl who has had a unique ability to both feel and see the paranormal since she was six. The book begins with Addison struggling in college because she can’t help but watch while reality is ripped apart in front of her. These tears in reality seem to happen wherever she goes, whether that is her dorm room, or a classroom full of students who cannot fathom why she is reacting so strangely. When her gorgeous but unkind professor implies that he knows what is happening her, and gives her a mysterious book to read, Addison is pulled into a secret society of immortals called the Mortal Machine. The members of the Machine can go between different realities and their mission is to save the world from the dead from a parallel dimension. These creatures are known as “wraiths,” and when Addison discovers she is the only one who can actually see these wraiths instead of just feel them, it becomes clear that she is incredibly special. Despite the weight of the world on her shoulders, one of her biggest problems becomes her attraction to her old professor, Asher, and the laws of the Mortal Machine that state that the two of them may never touch.
This book could have been a wonderfully distinctive Sci-Fi/Paranormal novel if it were not for a few major flaws. The first of these is that Addison is a character that I found incredibly difficult to sympathize with. Her dialogue is especially hard to read, and it seems like the author attempted to use the common vernacular of a young girl, but unfortunately did a terrible job of it. The dialogue ends up being incredibly banal and unrealistic, and it also makes her character seem less than intelligent. Also, Addison is attracted to a man who has never been kind to her and who has even threatened her life. This is almost a cliché, with the main character initially disliking the love interest but then realizing that she actually has feelings for him. Unfortunately, Asher is too violently dislikable, and no woman in her right mind would have such feelings for someone who threatened her life, no matter how good looking he was. Also, she feels this attraction from the very beginning, not even giving a chance to tell his sob story before changing her mind.
The second major flaw of the book is that its clichés took over what was an engaging and original plot. The books twists are all very predictable, and the romance is completely corny and clichéd. There is only a small portion of the plot that actually delves into the amazing creatures that can rip apart reality and travel through different dimensions, or the intricacies of the Mortal Machine. When the author was focused on these aspects, her writing was actually very good. She really made me feel and visualize these situations with incredible detail, and if she had devoted more of her writing to them I would be giving a very different review.
My hope is that the author sticks to the science fiction in the sequel, and that she improves her dialogue and loses some of the clichés. I feel like Adams has the potential to write a really amazing book. But, there is a certain audience that lives for clichéd paranormal romance, so I am sure that many people will love the aspects of this book that I hated. I understand that this is just not my genre.
Overall, I would give this book a 5.5/10.
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in return for an honest review.