Friday, February 10, 2012

Darkness Dawns

By Dianne Duvall

This is actually a two-part book review because I will be publishing a review of the second book in this series on Monday.

Darkness Dawns begins with a woman gardening in the pre-dawn hours. She is actually trying to mark the area on her property – several yards from her home – where she plans to start a garden. The reason she is working at night is because this is in the south in the late spring and it gets too hot in the day to garden. So, a woman is out at night with a shovel in her hands. Thus, she is able to save an immortal guardian from the humans that have left him to die in the rising sun (immortal guardians are as susceptible to the sun as vampires). All it takes is a few good whacks with her shovel and pulling out the stakes out of the hands and feet of the handsome naked, although severely injured, man. Then the woman carries the man into her home.

The woman, Sarah, believes the guy when he tells her he is with the CIA and gets her to call his “boss” to help out. Nothing is further from the truth. This guy is actually an immortal named Roland who is over one-thousand years of age. And never found his one true love? Come on! But, with only some shallow dialogue, they begin to fall in love.

This is one of the worst books I have read in a long while. And, it won several romance awards. Perhaps because book number two saved it (see my review on Night Reigns).

Why is it so bad? Did you not read my description of the beginning of the book? What woman would be out in the dark digging without so much as a light? And a garden in late spring in the south would never grow...I've tried it on a smaller scale myself. But then there are the characters of Sarah and Roland. The reader never finds out more than a small peek into Sarah's life and why she is such a loner. The other characters keep saying Roland is a recluse who doesn't do small talk, yet he won't leave Sarah alone and talks small talk with her. In fact, that is all the kind of talking that they do. Even their “chemistry” seems off. I never got the attraction they seemingly have for one another. And at the end, Sarah is told that she has dreams that tell the future. So, why didn't we see that in the novel?

The premise of the immortal guardians is a good one but well-used in other books. There is not much character development at all. Even the bad guy at the end turns into a possible good guy who might just be the subject matter for future books. And there is the worst thing about this book: Darkness Dawns is a set up for a series of books. The purpose of this book was not to explore the relationship between Sarah and Roland but to introduce this new world and forthcoming books.

Where is my faith in this book? Scripture is full of folks asking for wisdom. There seems something essential between our faith and wisdom. Wisdom provides something that we cannot always get ourselves. Wisdom is a gift of the Holy Spirit. There are young people who are wise but the majority of us either don't think to ask for it until we are older or we just are not ready for it until then. Duvall's premise of being immortal and forever young is certainly an obsession with our society. The idea of someone who combines youth with wisdom makes them very attractive. Yet, we know that most wisdom does come with age and experience. Those grey hairs and wrinkles do provide a benefit.

Although I don't recommend Darkness Dawns, you may want to try it out if you plan on reading the next in the series.

Happy (wise) reading!


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