A Beautiful Dark Review

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Title: A Beautiful Dark
Author: Jocelyn Davies
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publish Date: September 27, 2011
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Pages: 320
Source: Publisher

Skye never questioned the story of her life. Her Aunt Jo adopted her after the death of her parents when she was just a child, and together they flip through memories the way some people flip through photo albums. She never questioned if the stories were true.

Until the night of her 17th birthday, when the arrival of two strangers intrudes on her cozy life. Polar opposites, like fire and ice, Asher is dark and wild, while Devin is fair, cold, and aloof. Skye has no idea what they want—only that their presence coincides with the beginning of some shockingly strange events. Events that Skye, if she dares to think it, might be responsible for causing.

High up in the mountains of Boulder, Colorado, Skye finds herself caught in the middle of an ancient battle, one that began untold millennia ago. Torn between unpredictable Asher, whom she loves, and the infuriating Devin, who she can’t stay away from, her fate is murky as a starless night. And as the secrets of her true identity are revealed, Skye realizes that her destiny may reside in the Heavens—or somewhere darker.
Skye lives in a beautiful town under a gorgeous sky with her Aunt Jo. She's lived this way since her parents died when she was six, and she's never questioned a thing. It's life. There is loss and there is tragedy, but she overcame it. When two boys, Devin and Asher, show up in her sleepy town, mysteries begin to unfold. There's a darkness that follows one of the boys, but there's an aura of calm and peace with the other. Most of all though, she feels torn into two, and she's unsure why. The boys are a catalyst, and Skye will learn the secrets of her parents that she was never meant to know...and what they mean for her future.

Let me preface my review by saying that I've said it time and again - I hate love triangles. Good Lord. At least give me a square, or a love pentagon. Please. Rant over. A Beautiful Dark is the brainchild of debut author, Jocelyn Davies. Providing three dynamic and engaging characters, the novel thrusts the reader into a world where dark and light are as different as night and day, and the truth within oneself might be more powerful than one could ever know. Engrossing and entertaining, A Beautiful Dark takes angels and spins an entirely new story of good and evil and how the line can blur between the two.

There were elements about A Beautiful Dark that I just adored, and there were parts that left me craving for more, so bear with me while I explain. Skye, as a main character, was strong. She was well-developed and relatable. There was an energy about her that was a smidge reckless, but altogether fun and infectious, which made it an easy feat to access her motives. I will also admit that both Devin and Asher are pretty fleshed out, making them real and as clear as can be. Having a trio of completely dynamic characters is quite a feat, and the author navigated it with ease. Having said that, I also must admit that I felt the love element was a bit too forced on me. I knew going into A Beautiful Dark that there was a triangle, but I was a bit disappointed to see that it didn't break that common love triangle hook. I wanted to see a different sort of twist, and it just didn't happen. Now, that said, the idea behind good versus bad in this book was wholeheartedly refreshing. So, like I said, there was a fairly even balance, though a few of the weaknesses were a bit taxing. I must, however, make note of the awesomely brilliant ending. Seriously? A Beautiful Dark nailed that one. I was riveted and left begging for just one more page.

All in all, while I'm not entirely certain that A Beautiful Dark sets itself completely apart from the competition in the genre, it will definitely find a hearty following. I give it a very strong 3.5 out of 5, and I'd recommend it to those who enjoy YA, especially stories about angels and paranormal romance.

I received this ARC free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.


  1. Yeah, the romance would probably be off-putting for me as well. It's good to hear that the heroine and the two love interests are relatively fleshed out, though! I might give A Beautiful Dark a shot after hearing that. :)

  2. I don't mind love triangles that much, but it's hard to get into a book when it feeds into things that you just don't like. That happens to me too. Glad the characters were at least well done.

  3. This one just didn't work for me at all, which was a real shame as I was really looking forward to reading it! I found it all very formulaic, and that love triangle did not work for me. Those boys just bored me to death!

  4. I loved the writing and I loved Skye. And like you, I absolutely adored the ending :-)

  5. A love pentagon? That would be amazing. We could just have one girl and a whole harem of boys who wanted her for one reason or another. Though I think the love pentagon would have to be reserved for a more adult audience:)

    I thought the ending of this one was too brilliant for words, I was completely blown away. I had trouble with the love triangle as well, but by the last page I definitely wanted more:)

  6. I haven't decided whether or not I'm going to read this one. Like you, I'm pretty hesitant about love triangles. Hmm...

  7. I'm almost in that mixed feelings place already! I keep hearing so many different thoughts on this one that I'm not sure what I'll think of it. I don't even own a copy yet though, so I'll be waiting a while longer before picking it up. I hope I'll enjoy it. :) Great review!

  8. I do not know about the book, but lol, you sold me on the ending ;) I really want to read about that

  9. I think the blowing you away ending makes up for the love triangle to me. You don't get blown away much.

    A love pentagon would be fun!! Hmm I'm thinking there are five boys in the family in my NaNo story
    But I can't make that work! Sorry!

    I wasn't going to read this one either, but now, I want to read it. My list for Santa is going to be nothing but books!


  10. I haven't been real anxious to get this one, it just doesn't sound terribly original. But I am all about character driven books and the characters sound great (other then the love triangle) so I may read it someday :)

  11. Gah! Love triangles--noooooo! But at least all three characters are dynamic and interesting and it sounds like there's a purpose for each, rather than just to make a triangle and conflict. While this one doesn't seem to stand out completely, it definitely sounds worth the read. Great review!

  12. Oooh, I'm so intrigued--I'll have to check this one out. Thanks, Melissa!

  13. I liked this book! I like the how concept of light vs dark. Great review!

  14. I've read mixed reviews. I don't mind a love triangle if it's done right but lately it seems to be the norm in ya books. Love triangles are all over the place! Ugh. lol Great review!

  15. This book has had so many alternating reviews. I want to read it, but I think it is going to have to be a library book and I don't know when I'll get to it. Although, you do have me massively curious with that ending!


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