Review: A Brush of Darkness
Abby is a human, but she's special. She serves as a Touchstone to the Fae Protectorate, Moira. Her job is essentially to anchor Moira to the human plane, help her cross between worlds, and to assist with disputes and problems Moira helps settle. In exchange, Abby will not age for the seven years of her contract with Moira; and when she is done, she gets one wish. Unfortunately, Moira has gone missing and Abby has to hold down the fort in her absence. She keeps the disappearance a secret as long as she can, but things are becoming more complicated than she can handle alone.
A sexy incubus named Brystion shows up, needing help to find his missing succubus sister. Abby agrees to work with him, which lands her in the thick of danger. The succubus is one of several of her kind who has disappeared --and it all may or may not be tied to what happened to Moira. Tensions run high as Abby is blamed for her boss' absence. And all of this is happening as she deals with her own internal demons that have been plaguing her ever since the car accident that killed her mother.
It took me awhile to connect with the book because the world building was revealed so slowly. Often in the early chapters, I felt lost or like I had missed something. But once the basics were laid out and the romance started to build steam, I got more invested. (Didn't I mention the romance? Come on! The hero is an incubus. What did you expect?) I found myself going back and forth with how I felt about the relationship between Abby and Brystion. There were times, in his softer moments, that I really rooted for these two. But then, I'd find myself questioning how real it all was and how much it had to do with the fact he was an incubus. Does he want her for who she is or for the juice she can give him?
The questions, the sex, and action really got me wrapped up in it all. Not to mention, a healthy dose of humor, some really engaging secondary characters --and a talking, horny miniature unicorn. I was really enjoying it all until I slammed into the brick wall of an ending, going about 90 miles per hour. Don't worry, I'm not going to spoil the end. But I will tell you that I didn't like it. And I didn't understand a single good reason why it had to go that way, except to set the stage for the next book. And that kind of ticks me off.
So I am conflicted about how to rate the book. For the most part, it was really great. It made me laugh out loud. It surprised me with its twists and turns and unexpected betrayals. But it also confused me occasionally and it made me mad. Mmm... 4 stars.
*ARC Provided by Pocket Books
A Brush of Darknessby Allison PangRelease Date: January 25, 2011Publisher: Pocket Books