Darkness Watching by Emma L. Adams
Published: September 2013, by Curiosity Quills
My Rating: 3 thumbs up!
Eighteen-year-old Ashlyn is one interview away from her future when she first sees the demons. She thinks she’s losing her mind, but the truth is far more frightening: she can see into the Darkworld, the home of spirits– and the darkness is staring back.
Desperate to escape the demons, Ash accepts a place at a university in the small town of Blackstone, in the middle of nowhere – little knowing that it isn’t coincidence that led her there but the pull of the Venantium, the sorcerers who maintain the barrier keeping demons from crossing from the Darkworld into our own world.
All-night parties, new friendships and a life without rules or limits are all part of the package of student life – but demons never give up, and their focus on Ash has attracted the attention of every sorcerer in the area. Ash is soon caught between her new life and a group of other students with a connection to the Darkworld, who could offer the answers she’s looking for. The demons want something from her, and someone is determined to kill her before she can find out what it is.
In a world where darkness lurks beneath the surface, not everyone is what they appear to be…
Darkness Watching, by Emma L. Adams, is a dark, paranormal novel focusing on demons. I was so intrigued by the premise and I really enjoyed reading the book. I did spot a few concerns on the way, such as jumpy pacing concerning the level of excitement I had to continue and some unsatisfactory character development. Though I did enjoy the story itself, the mood it set, the themes and the overall plot, leading to an exciting ending I was not expecting.
Ashlyn is the main character and we follow her journey to college, where some unexpected events come out and she discovers new things about herself while she is followed by demons that can communicate with her. This is what I liked most. There was always constant mystery and unanswered question to help pull the story along. And even though it had one of those characters that give all the answers, she was a confusing fortune teller who made no sense and just created more questions. Brilliant.
The different themes the demons bring to the story adds depth to Darkness Watching. Demons are typically bad. They are negative beings and spirits wanting power and domination. However, I like that Darkness Watching takes this stereotype and twists it, so that everything is not boring black and white, good and bad, but a dynamic mix.
I also liked how writing and description really sets the mood for the story. It feels dark and cold, shocking and magical.
However, I wasn’t too fond of the pace. Some places were really slow and I felt like I was slogging through mud because I just wasn’t excited for what comes next. Whereas other parts were paced just right and I wasn’t keeping tabs on page count, but actually excited to continue.
Despite pace issues, the plot was well thought out and ended with a bang and some unexpected resolutions. I was actually not expecting some of what happened. The element of surprise always adds to a story.
The characterization of the main character was done really well. But not so much for the other characters. I felt as though the story was juggling too many characters. There was the MC, MC parents, the best friend, the 5 other people she shares a room with, the 5 other people she befriends, plus a fortune teller. That is a lot of characters for a somewhat short novel. If there were less to juggle, I believe development could have improved 100%, thus improving the quality of the story.
Because of this, I didn’t fall in love or connect with any of the characters, though I did find Ashlyn relatable in the straight forward sense. Uh, I’m a book worm, rather be by myself kinda person too! But there was no emotional, deep connection.
With the exception of some poor pacing and character development, I really enjoyed Darkness Watching. I believe Adams has done a wonderful job at describing, mood setting and ensuring the plot has depth. I would recommend Darkness Watching to all young, paranormal readers!