Review: Darkness Watching by Emma L. Adams

Posted September 3, 2014 by Lillian in Reviews / 0 Comments

I received this book via the author, Emma L. Adams. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.

Review: Darkness Watching by Emma L. AdamsDarkness Watching by Emma L. Adams
Series: Darkworld #1
Published by Curiosity Quills Press on 2013-10-10
Length: 196 pages
Reviewing eARC Rating:

Eighteen-year-old Ashlyn is one interview away from her future when she first sees the demons. She thinks she's losing her mind, but the truth is far more frightening: she can see into the Darkworld, the home of spirits– and the darkness is staring back.

Desperate to escape the demons, Ash accepts a place at a university in the small town of Blackstone, in the middle of nowhere - little knowing that it isn't coincidence that led her there but the pull of the Venantium, the sorcerers who maintain the barrier keeping demons from crossing from the Darkworld into our own world.

All-night parties, new friendships and a life without rules or limits are all part of the package of student life - but demons never give up, and their focus on Ash has attracted the attention of every sorcerer in the area. Ash is soon caught between her new life and a group of other students with a connection to the Darkworld, who could offer the answers she's looking for. The demons want something from her, and someone is determined to kill her before she can find out what it is.

In a world where darkness lurks beneath the surface, not everyone is what they appear to be...

Darkness Watching by Emma L. Adams is book one of her new series Darkworld and tells the story of Ashlyn, an eighteen year old off to college for the first time who also happens to see demons. Ash thinks she’s crazy, seeing dark voids with purple eyes staring out at her everywhere she goes. She just wants a normal life and believes that living away at college will give that to her. Then she is accepted to some obscure college that she doesn’t remember applying to. On a visit she realizes that on campus there are no demons. So she happily accepts. But there’s more to this college than she knows. Why can’t she see demons while on campus? And once there, why does she feel like something or someone is after her?

So this book was just okay for me. I had a hard time relating to Ashlyn and found myself skimming instead of reading multiple times. Ashlyn is your typical teen, ready to leave home for the first time when she sees her first demon. Then she becomes a bit of a recluse. She doesn’t socialize with her friends, she talks to herself (a lot!), and well she handles the whole seeing demons better than I would have. She doesn’t break down or anything like that. Instead she internalizes her feelings. She claims she’s gone crazy and tries her best to ignore the whole problem.

David, one of Ash’s flatmates, becomes the sort of love interest for this story. He, along with two others in the flat, are English lit majors just like Ashlyn (I found this a bit unrealistic, as usually dorm assignments you have nothing in common with your roommates). He’s sweet, a little on the uppity side for me, and takes to following Ash around like a puppy. When he finally works up the nerve to ask her out, he has ulterior motives. Sorry can’t say more without spoilers. Then there’s Claudia and her circle of sinners as they call it. Like Ashlyn they can also see demons. And they have information for Ashlyn about what she is and who might be trying to hurt her.

The Venantium is a secret society of wizards who locked the demons in their world hundreds, if not thousands, of years earlier. But they’re not necessarily the good guys either. Claudia describes them as ruthless and power-hungry. With Claudia’s and the other’s help, Ashlyn tries to hide from them. The Venantium make a really good absent villain. You know, the kind that everyone talks about and tells scary stories about, but no one really knows what they are capable of or who is involved with them.

The plot is really focused around Ashlyn discovering her newfound abilities and whoever is trying to kill her. The writing is good, but as I stated earlier I found myself skimming instead of really reading several times. The beginning of the book was slow to start and it really didn’t pick up the pace until about half-way through. I had a really hard time paying attention and some of the characters I had to go back and reread because I wasn’t sure who they were.

Overall I give this book 3.5 stars. The ending really picked up the suspense and action, along with a bit of drama, that renewed my interest. Because the book ends without a cliffhanger, it can be read as a standalone, and it makes a good start to the series. There is some world-building, but I believe there will be more as the series progresses. Although this book is classified as young adult, there is some violence and sexual innuendoes (I mean they are in college). I would recommend this book more for the 16+, possibly even new adult. If you enjoy paranormal, wizards, and demons, I believe you will enjoy this book.

About Emma L. Adams

Emma spent her childhood creating imaginary worlds to compensate for a disappointingly average reality, so it was probably inevitable that she ended up writing speculative fiction. She was born in Birmingham, UK, which she fled at the first opportunity to study English Literature at Lancaster University. In her three years at Lancaster, she hiked up mountains, skydived in Australia, and endured a traumatic episode involving a swarm of bees in the Costa Rican jungle. She also entertained her creative writing group and baffled her tutors by submitting strange fantasy tales featuring dragons and supernatural monsters to workshops. These included her first publication, a rather bleak dystopian piece, and a disturbing story about a homicidal duck (which she hopes will never see the light of day).

Now a reluctant graduate, Emma refuses to settle down and be normal. When not embarking on wild excursions and writing fantasy novels, she edits and proofreads novels for various publishing houses and reads an improbable number of books. Emma is currently working on the Alliance series, a multiple-universe adult fantasy featuring magic, monsters, cool gadgets and sarcasm. Her upper-YA urban fantasy Darkworld series is published by Curiosity Quills Press.

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