Review: The Darkest Day by Britt Bury


The Darkest Day by Britt Bury
2012-07-03 (Forever Yours)

Rating: C
Heat: Warm

Heroine: Izel Campbell – Fionn, Last Mortal
Hero: Kelvin Kerr – Pookah, Immortal
Setting: Scotland



I have to be honest… At around 20% in, I almost DNF'd this one.

I initially picked it up because other reviewers were comparing it to Kresley Cole's series, Immortals After Dark. Miz Cole is my numero uno favorite PNR author. She writes it, I will read it. Period. So buzz linking this book to her, it grabbed my interest.

However, in that first 20%, the similarities were almost too much for me. Sure, there are the PNR staples: Alpha hero? Check. Ability to sniff arousal? Check. Overuse of the word ‘mine’? Check, check.

But then there came Ryo the Righteous, an eccentric witch who can see into the future and calls herself all-knowing. Which instantly felt like Miz Cole’s character Nix, or Nucking Futs Nix, a Valkyrie who see’s into the future and calls herself ever-knowing. Ryo simply felt like a Nix-lite to me and I found it hard to see past the similarities between the two.

Then a little thing called 'Court of Contention' was introduced. A four day period where the four realms open, all hell breaks loose, and war causes mass casualties between all the immortals. And it happens every 400 years. Which sounded a little like 'The Accession' from the Immortals After Dark series. A period of all-out war and battle between every immortal faction, which occurs every 500 years...

There were other notable similarities, but those two are the most glaringly obvious to me. And I almost couldn’t see past it all and focus on the story. Almost.

Moving on to The Darkest Day itself…

Izel Campbell is a Poet Fionn from clan Campbell. What is a Fionn, you ask? I don’t really know. I take them to be simply an inherently magical being that can use said magic in one of three ways: Poets by mouth, or their words. Mystics by blood. Warrior by body, or their strength. Only, Izel has never been able to make her magic work—in any way. She is also mortal and THE last human. Period. And she has never experienced any emotion whatsoever… That is, until Kelvin Kerr comes along.

Kelvin Kerr is a Razorback Pookah from clan Kerr. What is a Pookah, you ask? They are apparently animalistic shape shifters who do not actually shift shape into their said animal. And there are only three types: Bear, Wolverine, and Razorback. Yes, Razorback as in wild boar. Or pig. Not exactly the sexiest animal… Razorback Pookahs are ruled by darkness. At night they are at their strongest. And on the Solstice, or longest night of the year, they can ‘attempt’ women in hopes of finding their mates.

And Kelvin knew at first whiff that Izel was his mate. But, as Izel’s father killed Kelvin’s father and Kelvin then killed Izel’s father and pledged vengeance on all Campbells… He’s fighting his overwhelming attraction for her tooth and nail. Which makes him suffer from mood swings and often treat Izel cruel one moment and kind the next. And they say women are moody… Psh.

So, as Kelvin and Izel traverse the Scottish countryside, making their way toward clan Kerr’s castle, there are moments of action and intrigue. Bad guys show up to make their journey fraught with peril—and Miz Bury writes those scenes wonderfully. Kelvin’s macho alphaness is at it’s most potent when protecting Izel from harm. Or, if I’m being honest, when he’s teaching Izel the emotions of lust and desire. The tension and attraction between Izel and Kelvin kept me turning the pages.

While this book doesn’t suffer from any world-building info dumps, it does suffer from vagueness and a lack of clarity. The author kind of throws you into the deep end and hopes you can make sense of Fionns and Pookahs and Dark Prince Daughters and four realms and what have you. It was a tad overwhelming at times. There is a glossary of terms at the very end (it may be located at the beginning for non-ARCs), which I wish I had known about sooner. I didn’t discover it till more than 40% in.

It also wavered on the storytelling… between showing and telling. The first two thirds felt more like showing while the last third felt more like telling. The best example of this is the character of Ramsey. We’re told he’s sarcastic and witty and fun but never really see him being that way. It would’ve added a more well-rounded and fleshed out quality to see these things instead of simply being told they are so.

Bottom line? This a fun and sexy paranormal adventure with a new set of supernatural characters. I applaud Miz Bury for daring to go outside the vampire and werewolf standbys, even if a Razorback does seem like an odd choice. And while this book feels like a first novel, it also shows great promise and the growth potential is definitely there.

Favorite Quote:



Thoughts While Reading:

6.0% - "Pookahs and Fionns... What? Going to Google those so I actually know what the characters are."

1 comment:

  1. pookah, fionns, razorbacks, oh my... wait what? LOL


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