Published by Curiosity Quills Press on October 10, 2013
Genres: Paranormal, supernatural, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Source: ecopy from Author
Reading Challenges: Clean Sweep ARC
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 still stalk Ash, and their interest in her 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 is the first book in the Darkworld series. I found Darkness Watching to be well developed and a very intriguing plot line. The book is told from Ashlyn’s point of view, and she didn’t know anything about this new world where demons and shadow creatures existed, so for a lot of the novel we felt all of her confusion and paranoia with everything and everyone. I didn’t even know who to trust. We only knew what Ashlyn knew. It was a very effective technique to help me feel connected to Ash.
Ash is a strong girl. I felt awful that she didn’t get into Oxford at the start of the book, but then when she started at Blackstone university things were looking up for her. I loved how her flat was described and I liked that she had five other roommates for us to get to know. I liked both of the girls and I liked David but I went back and forth with my feelings for him even more than Ash did. I figured out part of the mysteries, but I was pretty surprised about a few of the twists. It was the perfect mix of predictable and unpredictable for me.
There is plenty of magic and creepy creatures to appeal to paranormal and urban fantasy lovers. Let’s just say that I wouldn’t want to face down the harpies or any of the shadow creatures. Not even with backup. Since there is a new world so to speak that exists in the Darkworld series, there were a couple confusing moments, but everything eventually gets explained. I do wish that the explanations came a bit earlier on. I think it would have helped Ash as well. But because we only knew what Ash knew, the confusing aspect of the book did not really bother me. I just wanted her to demand answers sooner.
Darkness Watching has minimal romance, but has tons of action, adventure and magic to keep you on the edge of your seat. Fans of YA paranormal/urban fantasy should check out this series. It is marketed as upper YA/New Adult, but it felt more YA to me. Maybe future books in the series will be more New Adult though. It is one that I will easily continue.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: