Review: Love is Darkness by Caroline Hanson


Love is Darkness (A Valerie Dearborn Novel) by Caroline Hanson 
Urban Fantasy
2011-08-27 (Caroline Hanson)

Rating: D-
Heat: Warm

Heroine: Valerie Dearborn – Student, Empath 
Hero: Lucas – Vampire, Old as Dirt 
Setting: Multiple


There are so many issues with this book, I'm not even sure where to start... Did the author not have someone to copyedit this? Or any beta-readers? I realize this is a selfpub but there has to be a copyediter and beta-readers. People to catch errors, oversights, and general... issues with a manuscript before it goes public. If there were such individuals - then I wouldn't use them again.

First problem: The first five or so chapters span 15 years in which nothing significant really happens. Sure, there is background information. Sure, it gives history to the characters and helps you see where they are coming from. However, it was not necessary to devote nearly 25% of the novel to this. The events could have been condensed into a prologue and, perhaps, one chapter.

Second problem: Valerie is underdeveloped and flat. 2D. Her personality changes gave me whiplash. And this goes further than her being simply undecided in all aspects of her life and relationships. This is more than being hot and then cold. It felt as though the author couldn't figure out for herself who Valerie was supposed to be. It often seemed as though I had missed something, a sentence or paragraph, with how sudden her character changes happened. If Valerie is suffering from multiple personality disorder - then this might make sense. But I somehow doubt that's the case.

Third problem: The love triangle? I don't even know if it can be called that. Does Valerie want Jack? Yes. No. Maybe? Does Valerie want Lucas? No. Yes. Maybe? ...Does she want her cake and to eat it too? Definitely. While all the characters are in this "yes, no, maybe" mindset - Valerie is emotionally (and somewhat physically) with both Jack and Lucas, simultaneously. And Jack is none the wiser. Lucas has more of clue, but it's still skeevy.

Fourth problem: Plot. Wait, what plot? Oh, right, there isn't one. Or not enough of one. There's this thing going on where Valerie is supposed to be helping Lucas discover werewolves and fey, but it never really pans out. And it's mostly drowned out by Valerie. And her personalities. And a bunch of pointless scenes where she goes back and forth on any particular issue. I can't even put in to words the wishy-washiness of it all. There might also be this thing that goes down between Lucas and one of his minions, it happens around 80%, but by that point I just skimmed till the end. Yawn. Snooze.

I am honestly baffled by any rating higher than 3 stars. Could it have been a good book? Sure. If there had been someone there to guide and give sound advice to the author. But I guess you get what you pay for sometimes, and I paid $0...

Favorite Quote:



Thoughts While Reading:

70.0% - "Not hating it, but not loving it either..."


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