Author: Cara Lynn Shultz
Series: Dark World #1
Published by: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: May 27, 2014
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Paige Kelly is used to weird--in fact, she probably corners the market on weird, considering that her best friend, Dottie, has been dead since the 1950s. But when a fire demon attacks Paige in detention, she has to admit that things have gotten out of her league. Luckily, the cute new boy in school, Logan Bradley, is a practiced demon slayer-and he isn't fazed by Paige's propensity to chat with the dead. Suddenly, Paige is smack in the middle of a centuries-old battle between warlocks and demons, learning to fight with a magic sword so that she can defend herself. And if she makes one wrong move, she'll be pulled into the Dark World, an alternate version of our world that's overrun by demons-and she might never make it home.
I love Cara Lynn Shultz, but not in a creepy stalker way. Promise. I really enjoyed her Spellbound series, and Cara’s Facebook posts always make me laugh. So I was looking forward to The Dark World and knew Cara’s sense of humor would make it a fun read. And it did. There were a couple of issues, but I’ll explain them later. Those aside, this was pretty good book.
The Dark World is set in a high school with teenagers, and I think it’s very realistic in the way they behave and talk. I have a sixteen-year-old, so I’m constantly surrounded by them (help me!). In my opinion, Paige and Logan were very typical teenagers, minus all the paranormal stuff. This is a young adult book with teenage characters, so expect them to act accordingly.
Paige died briefly, and now she can see ghosts. Everyone thinks she’s crazy because she talks to herself. She gets picked on, but I love how she handles it. She is a strong girl who doesn’t give a crap about what other people think and keeps her head held high. Also, she has a great sense of humor, which I love. Unfortunately, there’s a lot more to her ability than just seeing and communicating with ghosts, and it’s putting her in grave danger. Logan is an interesting character; in a good way. He’s a demon slayer who is on a mission to … well, slay demon, of course. I don’t want to say too much about him because his story unfolds throughout the book, but there is a lot more to the guy. Plus, he’s encouraging and teaches her how to protect herself. I love guys like that!
I also enjoyed the secondary characters. Paige’s best friend is, you guessed it, a ghost. Dottie died in the 1950s and is restricted to school grounds. At first I thought Dead Dottie was going to be a Debbie Downer, but she turned into a pretty fun character. Then there is Ajax, the flirtatious demon. He’s so much fun; I hope he’s in the next book a lot more. Paige’s dad annoyed me though. I understand why he’s so overprotective, but that’s not even my issue. He and Paige would be going back-and-forth joking around, and then he’d suddenly be like “watch your smart mouth.” Sheesh, dude, no wonder she talks to her mother so much easier. Dad needs one of Paige’s chill pills.
The word-building is creative. There are Warlocks and demons who are at war for the Dark World. There are all different types of demons; like lust, fire, greed, etc. Then there are the higher up demons who are a whole lot more dangerous. Apparently Paige has an ability that is an asset to winning the war, but it comes at great cost. Here is where I have an issue. I can’t go into details because it might be spoilerish, but I feel like it is way too easy to poke holes in the way things work between worlds. I like everything nice and tight, but parts of this seems to be hanging by a thread. However, it was still an exciting and fun ride.
Something I do have to mention is the cliffhanger. I don’t mind cliffhangers at all. In fact, I’m the type that doesn’t even consider there to be a cliffhanger where others do. With that said, this is a cliffhanger of the worst sort. Why? Because it just abruptly ends in a way that makes you think the last page of the book was ripped out. No Bueno!
*Update* After comparing the ending with Candace, it turns out I am missing over a page at the end. So … I can’t really say how I feel about it now.
*Update x2* I downloaded the book again, but this time to my computer instead of my kindle, and the rest of it is there. Not only is there an ending that isn’t nearly as cliffhangerish as I first experienced, but there’s also a Q&A with Cara.
The romance I like! It’s sweet and innocent, spanning months, so the relationship growth was very realistic for their age. Actually, it moved a lot slower than most of the teen relationships I see around me. Plus, it isn’t all intense and overbearing like some YA books out there, thank goodness. I really like that Paige and Logan could joke around and have fun; that’s an important trait to me.
Overall, I liked The Dark World just as I expected I would. Cara continues to have me as a fan, and I will definitely read the next book in the trilogy!