Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Book Review: A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies

A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies

Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen (September 27, 2011)
Language: English
IBSN-10: 0061990655
ISBN-13: 978-0061990656
Series: 1st Book
Source: ARC provided by the publisher
Cover: The girl leaning into the fall with sleeves like wings is absolutely gorgeous. I love the blue sky in the background and the euphoria on the model's face. Great cover!
First Sentence: "The air had a brutal edge to it as I stood outside of Love the Bean, the local free-trade coffee shop."

Mini-Review: A Beautiful Dark stumbles in the beginning but finds it light by the end.


On the night of Skye’s seventeenth birthday, she meets two enigmatic strangers. Complete opposites—like fire and ice—Asher is dark and wild, while Devin is fair and aloof. Their sudden appearance sends Skye’s life into a tailspin. She has no idea what they want, or why they seem to follow her every move—only that their presence coincides with a flurry of strange events. Soon she begins to doubt not just the identity of the two boys, but also the truth about her own past.
In the dead of a bitingly cold Colorado winter, Skye finds herself coming to terms with the impossible secret that threatens to shatter her world. Torn between Asher, who she can’t help falling for, and Devin, who she can’t stay away from, the consequences of Skye’s choice will reach further than the three of them could ever imagine.
A Beautiful Dark is the first book in a captivating trilogy by debut author Jocelyn Davies.

A Beautiful Dark had everything right-- good characters, interesting mythology, nice setting, decent plot-- but it lacks that certain spark to keep the reader hooked. Skye was a decently interesting main character, her love interests Asher and Devin were engaging but A Beautiful Dark didn't add anything new to the crowded genre. The ending left me willing to read the sequel and I really liked the world building and angel mythology. I just wish I didn't finish with a neutral feeling towards it.

Skye is an orphan living with her Aunt (her mother's best friend who adopted her). She likes skying and is pretty level headed. But that's all I know about her. I know she's powerful but I didn't get to experience that full power. I liked that she struggled with her feelings for both boys. The only thing is, I never questioned who she was going to go for. For the most part, she didn't make rash decisions but there were a few times where I got annoyed with her for being dumb. I did appreciate that she didn't over rationalize the supernatural aspect of things. She didn't believe it at first but after seeing undeniable proof, she was willing to accept it. I liked Asher and Devin's quarreling and both boys separately were good. I just felt like with all of these characters, I'd already met them before. Skye's group offriends actually felt more unique than the main characters at times but I did get annoyed with the selfishness of her best friend.

Where I really enjoyed this story was in it's history and angelic mythology. From the moment Asher told his story by the campfire, I was intrigued. I'd assumed I was dealing with a fallen angel/angel scenario and in this aspect, the story really surprised me. I loved the warring sides and what they both meant. I'm also a fan of story where there is no clearly "good" side which was nice about this novel. The scenery of Colorado was gorgeous and I loved hearing about it. The author did a really good job with that.

A Beautiful Dark is a bit long. My friend and I had just finished talking about how somethings tend to repeat over and over without adding anything to the plot. I'm afraid I noticed this a lot with this novel. The last half, things start happening quickly and it ends on a bang but I wish there was more happening in the beginning. As a debut author, Davies can definitely write. There were plenty of gorgeous passages and I feel pretty assured that the story can only get better now that the ground was laid out.

A Beautiful Dark isn't exactly a bad read, it just suffers from not adding anything new to a crowded genre. I liked the characters and the ending made me invested in the story. The way I can see it, the series can only go up from here. If you're a fan of angel stories, definitely go for this one but if you've read a lot of this genre, you might find yourself a little frustrated. A Beautiful Dark stumbles a little but in the end it finds its light.



  1. Great review! I've heard mixed opinions on this one. But other than it being long as you said, Ive heard there was too much info thrown at you at the start and it left you with just too much. I doubt I'll be reading this one.

    Xpresso Reads

  2. I recently read/reviewed A Beautiful Dark & felt basically the same as you. I had a hard time pinpointing it, but I think what bothered me is the deluge of books almost just like it. Gets frustrating to feel like you're reading the same book over & over.
    Great review!

  3. Thanks for the review, I think Im going to put this one aside for a while and read it when I have bunch of time (December) I still not sure what to think about it since I have read excellent a okey-ish reviews. With so many awesome releases in September my pile is HUGE! and freaking school is taking a lot of my reading time .... SNIFF!!

    anyways, thanks for sharing =P

    happy reading!


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