The appropriately named The Dark World (Dark World #1), sets the stage for an interesting new series featuring 17 year old Paige Kelly as the protagonist who is forced to face an entirely new reality. The world created by Cara Lynn Shultz, author of Spellbound, intertwines the human world, with a Dark World where Demons and Warlocks have been fighting for supremacy for hundreds of years.
Paige, bless her little heart, is not your typical teenaged heroine nor would I expect her to be after everything she's been through. Three years ago, she rushed out into traffic to save a little boy from being crushed to death at the expense of her own safety. Upon waking up, she began seeing things that nobody else could (ghosts), and was forced into not only moving to a new school and starting over, but relying on her own strengths to get by without any real friends, and the watchful eyes of overbearing parents. Credit though to the parents for sticking it out and not running away and hiding from Paige with work, or outside activities.
Her best friend, Dottie Flanagan, just happens to be a forever 15 year old ghost from 1955, and Paige is known around her new HS as "Bellevue Kelly" because she has a tendency of getting caught talking to herself. Except for Dottie, Paige really has no expectations of having any other female or male friends, until the new kid on the block, Logan Bradley, charges in and changes her prospective on her abilities, and opens her heart to new possibilities, and an entirely new world.
I will say that I was a bit disappointed in this book overall due to a LARGE portion of it being tied to Paige's high school experiences, and the ever present bad girls and bullies who infest the young adult genre. But, I will give it a positive rating for not having a twisted love triangle, or an insta-lust romance between Paige and Logan, and an alternative reality NYC that I can't wait to read more about.
Luckily for my sanity, Paige isn't a character that cowers to anyone, and gives back what she receives in a snarky, laughable manner that you can't help but to be impressed with. Her relationship with Dottie and Logan is actually entertaining, and then you add in secondary characters like Ajax and Rego that truly have only scratched the surface of what they can offer to readers, and you have the keys to a very successful series.
I had some interesting decisions to make about whether or not to like Logan. You see, Logan is a different kind of character and also has his own secrets to tell. He doesn't get in your face, or make you cringe because he is drool worthy. I mentioned at one point that he was adorkable, and I'm sticking to that description even now. He doesn't grab hold of Paige like Fred Flintstone, and force her into being with him or rushing her into situations where she's all alone where she's vulnerable.
In the end, I will definitely be interested to see what an alternative reality New York City looks like through the eyes of an actual person who lives there. I've heard that there will be plenty of suspense, secrets, betrayals, and shocks to come and I can't wait. One can only hope that some of the mysteries that have been written to this point, are explained and revealed and not just shoved away into a corner.
Author - Cara Lynn Shultz
Title - The Dark World (Dark World # 1)
Published by Harlequin Teen
Released: May 27, 2014
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Format: E-Book 384 pages