Synopsis: Two destinies. One death.
Eric Welborn isn’t completely human, but he isn’t the only shade in the small Midwest town of Hayworth. With one year left before his eighteenth birthday, Eric is destined to win a long-raging war for his kind. But then she happens. In the middle of the night, Eric meets a nameless shade, and she’s powerful—too powerful—and his beliefs are altered. The Dark has lied to him, and he’s determined to figure out exactly what lies were told, even if the secrets protect his survival.
Jessica Taylor moves to Hayworth, and her only goal is to find more information on her deceased biological family. Her adoptive parents agree to help on one condition: perfect grades. And Jessica is distraught when she’s assigned as Eric’s class partner. He won’t help, let alone talk to her, but she’s determined to change him—even if it means revealing everything he’s strived to hide.
“I knew nothing of death, and, for some unexplainable reason, I was beginning to feel guilty for that.”
This book read like a dream. In a good way. From the first page all the way to the last I felt like I had fallen into a dream world that was both completely similar to my world and yet wholly different, and it was a great surprise.
The book flowed effortlessly and I’m starting to really look forward to these books that have dual POVs in them as that seems to add cohesiveness to the storytelling that a lot of singular POV books don’t have. With both Eric and Jessica telling the story, you understand a lot more and you understand THEM a lot more as well, seeing things from each side which rounds out the plot so much more. It’s a lot easier to understand a characters actions when seen from different angles. Truthfully though I did feel as if Eric was the more driving force of the book and although I still loved Jessica as a character, in the end Eric was the one I was more interested in getting to know.
The relationship aspect of this book was wonderfully handled as well and I am so happy that although there was a smidgen of insta-love, it wasn’t done in an annoying way. I am especially happy with the way that Eric and Jessica’s relationship unfolded aside from the main plot with the nameless shade. Even though the book wasn’t that long, everything seemed to develop so naturally and I just adored that small scene at the prom with the two of them…so adorable💘.
The side characters were wonderful as well, although Robb and Zac need to take some chill pills and back off, seriously. I’m not a big fan of Jessica being friends with people who obviously have completely different personalities than her, I mean she and Crystal seem to be polar opposites but that’s how it is sometimes with friends I guess? Camille and Jonathan were great though and their friendship with Eric was sweet. I even liked his oblivious stepmother Mindy, who I hope appears more in the next book, I was warming up to her.
The fantasy/paranormal elements in the book were hard for me to grasp at first and there are some aspects I still don’t think I get fully, but overall I really like the concept. The idea that dark and light mean opposite things and also that a person can look completely different when their powers are engaged is a pretty cool (and also slightly terrifying) premise. The prophecy gets more interesting as the book goes along and I’m more interested than ever to see what the next book holds with everything that was unveiled in this first installment.
The ending really threw me on this one. Especially given how much development the characters had gone through and everything that had been revealed to them, I was so surprised to see it end that way. But sometimes I think surprising endings are the best kind because now I have no idea what the author is planning to do in the second book and that is what makes me want to keep reading.
Overall this was a wonderfully enchanting read with fabulous characters, spellbinding powers and an enticing plot that will keep you hooked until the end!
One extra thought: For some reason as I read this book I kept hearing “Cosmic Love” by Florence + The Machines playing in the back of my mind…I think it fits 😉
Then I heard your heart beating, you were in the darkness too
So I stayed in the darkness with you