Title: Darkness Brutal (The Dark Cycle, Book 1)
Author: Rachel A. Marks
Published: July 1, 2015
Publisher’s Website: link
Aidan O’Linn’s childhood was far from what anyone would call typical. And when a demon killed his mother and marked his sister, Ava, with Darkness before his own eyes, it hit new extremes. Now he must protect his sister from the demons, who return every three years to try to finish what they started. But Aidan isn’t completely helpless in this endeavor. He has powers of his own, which allow him to see demons and try to fight them off before they can get to him. But lately he’s experiencing changes to those powers, and it’s clear things will only get more dangerous for him as a result. Aidan connects with Sid, the leader of a local paranormal investigation group, who has gathered a group of young people who also have powers, though each a bit different from Aidan’s. Aidan is hopeful that Sid can help him to understand his powers and keep his sister safe, but first Aidan needs to figure out if he can trust Sid. And trust is something that doesn’t come easy for Aidan at all. But should he have reason to trust Sid in the first place? And what about the others living in the house? With the demons coming for Ava again soon, Aidan doesn’t have much time to figure everything out.
I found myself pleasantly surprised by this book. When I read the blurb, I was intrigued enough to pick it up, but I didn’t expect to be drawn into this world as quickly as I was. The urban fantasy world (this is set in Los Angeles) that the author has created is very rich and dynamic, and the characters are well-developed, complex, and interesting. The plot has some unexpected twists, but it flows extremely well without a single scene appearing out of place. The way the author reveals the history is also quite fascinating, as it ties together comments that come up early in the book and follow the characters throughout.
This is the start of a series, and it’s definitely a solid one. I have to say I am personally looking forward to picking up the next installment when it releases in February.