Friday, February 26, 2010

Book Review: Better Part of Darkness by Kelly Gay

Book Review: Better Part of Darkness by Kelly Gay
Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Pocket; Original edition (November 24, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1439109656
ISBN-13: 978-1439109656

Rating:  4/5
Source:  Personal Library

Book Blurb:
Charlie Madigan is a divorced mother of one, and a kick-ass cop trained to take down the toughest human and off-world criminals. She's recently returned from the dead after a brutal attack, an unexplained revival that has left her plagued by ruthless nightmares and random outbursts of strength that make doing her job for Atlanta P.D.'s Integration Task Force even harder. Since the Revelation, the criminal element in Underground Atlanta has grown, leaving Charlie and her partner Hank to keep the chaos to a dull roar. But now an insidious new danger is descending on her city with terrifying speed, threatening innocent lives: a deadly, off-world narcotic known as ash. Charlie is determined to uncover the source of ash before it targets another victim -- but can she protect those she loves from a force more powerful than heaven and hell combined?

My Review:
Really enjoyed this book! Think it's the first time I've read a book where the tough-as-nails heroine is also a divorced mother. Her child isn't a baby either, but an 11 year old girl named Emma. I liked that Emma was a large part of Charlie's life instead of a story device trotted out every now and again, then conveniently disappearing when not needed.

Charlie has been plagued by nightmares ever since her resurrection from the dead, and is also noticing strange new abilities. But she doesn't let that get in the way of her job; her newest assignment is trying to discover who is flooding the streets of Atlanta with a dangerous new drug. Charlie and her partner Hank work well together, despite Hank being a Siren and Charlie being human. Charlie and Hank are both smart alecks, and I really enjoyed their banter. You could tell that they both cared for one another, but not romantically, which was refreshing. Where is it written that partners have to be romantically involved? That gets old after awhile. I thought Kelly handled the "aliens" well, and the descriptions of Elysia and Charbydon were incredibly interesting.

This is the second book I've read recently where the main character has been brought back from the dead, so I wonder if this is a new trend in urban fantasy? Not that there's anything wrong with that. ;) Gave this book a 4/5 as I really enjoyed almost everything about it. Good plot, writing, and characters. Think that Kelly did a great job with her debut novel, and I'm looking forward to reading The Darkest Edge of Dawn, the sequel.


  1. I would never have picked up this book, but it sounds really interesting. I may have to read it! Thanks, Alexia. :-)

  2. Great review. I'm glad you mentioned the fact that the partners are not romantically involved, because it's on of the things I find so annoying about alot of urban paranormal/fantasy books. I may have to check this one out.

  3. This one sounds good too. Most novels rarely feature the kid and do have a romantic partership element. It's cliche by now.
    I think being brought back from the dead must be a new trend because I've seen that in a lot of books lately.

  4. Shannon - I had heard about this one on various blogs and am glad I picked it up, as it was a fun read! Love how we can introduce great new authors to each other on our blogs! :)

    Ryan - That's one of my pet peeves, so was glad that Charlie and Hank didn't become a couple.

    Pam - Loved how the daughter wasn't ignored, as I think that really added to the story!

  5. I really enjoyed The Better Part of Darkness for all the reasons you did too. I thought it was definitely a nice change in the UF genre. I'm sooo looking forward to next book.

  6. I am so glad you enjoyed this book so! I have been wanting badly to get this book and read it. It really sounds like a book I would truly love to read and enjoy. Thanks for the great review!

  7. Sheila - Very interesting characters! Even the cameos were good! LOL

    Donna - Couldn't agree more! Can't wait to read the next one, as I really liked this book!

    Melissa - I think you'll like this one!

  8. I have this one on my wishlist! SO have to get it! Sounds great! Loved your review hon!
    And I wondered about that fact with being dead and coming back too!