Sunday, 21 July 2019

Book Review: Captive of Darkness (Heart of Darkness #1) by Debbie Cassidy

Debbie Cassidy's Captive of Darkness has an interesting premise. Wynter lives in a place called Justice Falls that has to pay yearly tribute to silver riders who claim their marked citizens once a year. As one of the only people who can see the marks, Wynter is doomed to know the truth of all the people they've lost while the rest of the townspeople blissfully forget. That is, until the silver riders nab her adopted brother/love interest (I'm gonna give that one a big "Eww!") and she decides to go after him.

The story really doesn't get interesting for me until Wynter gets to Nawia, the place that is supposed to be Death's home but is being steadily destroyed by Oblivion. Although there are some dangerously rapey vibes from Veles (aka: Love Interest #2,) his struggle to remain human is more interesting than anything happening with Finn, who gets to spend a chunk of the novel thinking he's bonking his adopted sister (*shudder*) under a kind of spell.

There's a whole lot of mythology and folklore in here and most of it is quite muddled. Kind of like the author took a bunch of stuff she liked, dumped it in a pot, and stirred it up until she got the weird mixture that is Captive of Darkness. I'm not saying it doesn't work - it just takes some time to sort it all out.

I enjoyed Captive of Darkness even though it had a SODDING LOVE TRIANGLE at the heart of the story. Can we please stop doing these? Gah. They're insulting. They always suggest that a woman JUST CAN'T MAKE UP HER MIND until one of the men sacrifices his chance for some bullshit reason.

Listen up, people: women can make up their fucking minds, m'kay?

Anyway... Captive of Darkness's real saving grace is remarkably well written figurative language. There are some truly beautifully written lines in this novel. Although... it does get repetitive in places and there are typos scattered throughout, which lets it down.

Oh, and this is just my own pet peeve but I could have done without the “cocks.” I don’t mind that language in straight up erotica but it was a bit abrasive, given the setting the setting. Also, the dialogue could be more consistent. It doesn’t really match the setting in places either.

Despite its flaws, I enjoyed the story and would read the sequel. This one had some good sexual tension so I’d like to see how that plays out.

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