And she bounces back for the win!
Genre: Y/A, Science Fiction
No. of pages: 212
It’s called dark matter, a living substance secreted by a meteorite that can make people invisible. Sixteen-year-old Leona Hewitt has been wearing it for twelve hours. It should be every teen’s fantasy—unbeatable pranks, a front row seat in her crush’s bedroom, a place to lick her wounds all alone. And it is . . . it is.
Until she can’t get it off.
In an instant, the fantasy becomes a nightmare. She’s stuck like this, invisible. Scratching at it, burning it off, cutting her skin off with a knife—nothing works. Dark matter is eating her, consuming her body like a bacteriophage and leaving behind a ghost.
But when she wakes up in her bedroom, seemingly back to normal—only to find the city outside abandoned and ghostly quiet, she realizes she’s been transported to an impossible parallel realm. Electronics barely function, food turns mealy and rotten, fire snuffs out in seconds . . . and the only signs of life are the clues to a strange riddle left behind by a dead girl.
After being disappointed in ‘Of Starlight’ I was hesitant to pick up ‘Ash and Darkness,’ but glad I finally caved. This was so much better than I was expecting!
We really delve into the science fiction aspect of the series, the implications of dark matter, what it is, all come to the forefront and had me begging for more.
Gone is whiny, immature, wise-cracking Leona. We get a triple dose of survivalist-never-giving-up Leona. And it was such a refreshing take for this franchise that my faith in Dan Rix is restored. I’d like to say, skip book two, but there is important information you need to understand what is going on in ‘Ash and Darkness’ all I can say is – persevere. It gets so much better! Character development shines abound. I really hope Rix continues in this fashion for the rest of the series, because if Leona turns back into a flake I’ll be holding me a book burning party.
Pacing in this installment is above par in comparison to its predecessor. You get a sense of time, urgency, isolation and desperation. Especially in a landscape of unknowns. I completed this book in a day because I was so eager to find out what happens. With such great pacing and an easy styled narrative, you can fly through this novel. Granted some of the sections dealing with the physics of dark matter had me re-reading, but that was a good thing. Not only was I learning something science-y, I was genuinely fascinated in the world Rix has created.
Word of warning – it does end on a cliff hanger, so have ‘Slaying Shadows’ ready and waiting if you aren’t the type of person who deals well with waiting. This book marks the halfway point in a series of six books to the franchise, and I am truly excited and intrigued to see where it will all go.
Overall feeling: Faith restored!
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