Monday, March 10, 2014

3 1/2 stars for Darkside Sun by Joceyln Adams

Addison Beckett tries hard to pretend she’s normal, but she’s far from it. Since she was six years old, she’s seen the world around her unraveling, as if someone is pulling a thread from a sweater and it’s all slowly coming undone. When she ignores it, it goes away, so that’s what she does.

Enter her arrogant-but-hot professor Asher Green. He knows all about her special brand of crazy. In fact, he might be just as nuts as she is. Asher insists that the dead from a parallel dimension are trying to possess the living in this one. And since Addison seems to be the only one who can see these “wraiths,” she just might be the key to saving the world.

Addison wants nothing to do with Asher or his secret society, The Mortal Machine. But as their animosity grows, she finds it harder and harder to ignore the chemistry between them. And when she discovers that Machine laws forbid her from touching him, she realizes that’s all she wants to do.

Stop the wraiths. Break the rules. Save the world. All in a day’s work.

Normal was overrated, anyway.

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What I thought about Darkside Sun

I read quite a few New Adult titles, but I don’t see many paranormal romance, so when I saw Darkside Sun, I was curious to read this title. There’s lots of world building in the first book of a paranormal read, so I wanted to see how that was going to work for me.

The book opens with a fairly intense scene that tugs you right into the story. There’s some really nice imagery in the writing, as Addison deals with the visions she’s been having since she’s been a child. She’s seeing things, losing time and she’s most worried about the college professor that is going to freak when she’s late for class.

I loved the way Addison describes him:

If Lucifer posed for a Calvin Klein photo spread, he’d look like that.

He’d be like riding a wild, prehistoric beast. If you could catch him, had the nerve to climb on, and he didn’t tear your face off right away, the ride would be exhilarating, leaving you winded and flushed and hotter than Mount St. Helens’ guts.

He’d seen some heavy crappola. It swam in those eyes like a crocodile in dark waters, waiting to reach up and snap my head off if I came too close.

Unfortunately, the image of the hard nosed professor doesn’t play well in 2014 for me. I had a hard time believing his behavior (and the fact he looks like he's 20), which I guess is okay, since he doesn’t play the role of professor very long. 

Turns out he is a member of the secret society called The Mortal Machine, and he’s been watching over Addison. When Professor Asher Green starts to educate Addison on what she’s been seeing and feeling since she’s been a child, Addison learns very quickly that she can’t exactly go home.

I really liked Addison’s humor in this, and it probably helped me keep reading. I found some of the elements in this world to be not entirely unique or fresh. That was a bit of a disappointment because the writing was good and the world was nicely crafted.

Addison is, for the most part a strong female character. At first, she’s a bit disbelieving and passive, but once she finally figures out what’s going on, and realizes she can’t ever go back to her old life, she stays strong and makes the best of her situation. I liked that about her.

After Asher acts like a total douchebag for the umpteenth time, Addison transforms herself to ass-kicking heroine. I did enjoy the scene where she kicked Asher’s ass...hard. He deserved it. Yeah, Addison kicks some Ash then  she tells him to get lost. Loved it! 

Addison also meets secretly with the founder, Izan. who tells her about a traitor among them, and tells Addison's her special role with The Mortal Machine, which she doesn't quite understand at first.

There’s a nice cast of secondary characters. There is also a killer ending that leaves a lot of loose ends for the next installment in the series.

So overall, I liked this, although I found it used some paranormal elements I've seen in other works. The pacing is good and keeps the story moving forward nicely. I’d read the next book in this series to see what happens to Addison and Archer. 

ARC courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

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